Your car took a big bath during Hurricane Irene. Now what?
Well there’s basically two options.
Insurance: You’re only covered if you have comprehensive coverage. Consumer advice pundits usually say that all you need is liability, but this is one of those occasions where you’ll wish you paid for comprehensive.
Repairing it: Generally speaking, if the water got in past the floorboards into where the electronics start, it’s totaled. Everything else is probably repairable, but all the scented pine trees in the world dangling from your dash may never get rid of that musty smell.
If your car did flood, don’t start it until it’s been cleaned and inspected. Try to dry it out as quickly as possible. The less time its exposed to water, the better. Record the maximum height the water went to and call your insurance company. Then, get a qualified and certified tech to check out all your wiring and electrical components, as well as all the mechanical ones. Make sure to flush all fluids and replace all filters and gaskets. While a flood-exposed car may drive, the longer internal components sit with water damage, the greater the risk of damage to the engine and other parts.
Flood-Damaged Cars: Your Top Questions Answered [Fox Business News] (Thanks to Wayne!)