Electrical problems after flood

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  #1  
Old 04-06-06, 03:56 PM
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Electrical problems after flood

Long story short - my 2000 Chrysler T&C van got stuck in about two feet of water for over an hour last Friday. Once pushed to high ground, it started right up & we drove it home. Other than some water in the interior, it seemed OK. We dried out the interior by sucking out excess water with shop vac and then leaving the van in the garage for about 4-5 days with fans and a dehumidifier. Now it is having weird electrical problems. On a forum at another site someone said that the van would now be considered a "flood car" and should be totaled by our insurance company. I'd like to get some of your opinions. I hate to have it totaled as I know the insurance company won't want to give us much for it but then again I don't want to drive something that is going to start being unreliable. We bought it new and really haven't had any major issues. Oh, the van has about 88,000 miles on it.

Any thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear them. Thanks
 
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Old 04-06-06, 05:56 PM
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It's possible you can run down all the electrical gremlins and the van will perform as before, but it's equally as likely that you will be chasing electrical problems until the cows come how. There is no way of knowing or predicting the outcome. Some vehicles weather being partially submerged better than others. Major problems often occur with the main computer which some manufacturers mount in such places as under the driver's seat or other fairly low-lying areas.

Have to ask yourself the $64,000 question: Is the van really worth the trouble of current problems plus the possibility of future problems versus the amount of money you will lose by writing it off. Book value looks to be about $8000-9000 or so. If the insurance pays maybe $7000, do you really want to wrestle with the electrical problems to get 3 or 4 more years use for the $2000 difference?

And, of course, it could be worse:

http://www.mastertowing.com/pics001.htm
 
  #3  
Old 04-06-06, 07:24 PM
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This could be an endless electrical nightmare, not to mention the issue of mold growing under the carpet. There's a reason an insurance company would total it....it's not worth fixing, if thats what they conclude. If you ever wanted to sell it (if anyone would even buy it), you would get the value of the van in its current post-flooded condition. The insurance company should give you the value of the van before it was flooded.
 
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Old 04-06-06, 08:39 PM
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Thanks!

Hi - Thanks for your replies. I am beginning to agree that we need to just get the insurance company to total it - especially because 1) unknown future trouble & 2) not being able to sell it in the future.

I am really hoping that the insurance company will give us $8000-$8500 but maybe it's wishful thinking. It just boggles my mind that something we paid $36,000 for is now, six years later, almost worthless (even before the flood). I will never again buy a brand new car - let someone else take that first year depreciation. Fortunately, we have two other vehicles
but the van was so practical - especially when we had visitors come to the island.....oh well.......Thanks again.
 
  #5  
Old 04-07-06, 02:54 AM
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what type of electical problems are you having now?
would think 2 feet of water would not be enough to submerge very many electrical components on your van.
 
  #6  
Old 04-07-06, 01:23 PM
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bejay/Flooded Van/How long does a battery last

Originally Posted by bejay
what type of electical problems are you having now?
would think 2 feet of water would not be enough to submerge very many electrical components on your van.
Although the actual depth of the water was about two feet, some not too bright people kept driving through using the sidewalk . This caused wakes which washed up into the engine compartment (as well as causing more water to leak into the interior) The problems vary - if we turn the headlight switch to the auto on/off position and then turn on the dashlights - everything blinks off & on. For awhile, everytime I pressed on the accelerator, it would trigger the auto locks and the "door ajar" light would come on. Now, the auto locks aren't working and the "door ajar" light in on continually.

We have driven the van during daylight hours a few times since the flood hoping that things just need to dry out. Yesterday after starting it about four different times while shopping, I got in and it wouldn't start. My husband came and jumped it and it started right up. So, it seems that the battery might not be charging when we drive.

This got me wondering if the battery needs replacing. The battery is an Interstate and has been in the car about three years. I don't know if a worn battery would cause these other electrical problems and I hate to buy a new one if the insurance company is going to total the van. I already spent $250 on Monday getting new front brakes and a few other things done before I learned that the van may get totaled.
 
  #7  
Old 04-07-06, 04:03 PM
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it doesnt sound like it is charging which can cause other electrical problems as the battery voltage drops and often does eratic things due to the voltage being low at the computer that contols them.
on average a battery last usually around 4 years, while you should charge the battery up and have it tested. the alternater is what charges the battery while driving and suspect that you have a problem with the alternater or voltage regulator in the pcm.
 
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