The National Automobile Dealers recently issued advice to car owners who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, urging them to use caution before moving vehicles that have been soaked or flooded by rain.
NADA Chairman Bill Underriner said the amount of damage depends on how long a vehicle has been submerged and how deep under water it was, but a good rule of thumb is to take extra caution if a vehicle's carpets have been wet for an extended period of time.
The best course of action to prepare for flooding is to equip a vehicle with heavy duty car mats. If a vehicle is flooded, NADA suggests contacting the auto insurance company before moving the damaged vehicle.
"Do not try to start a vehicle that has been severely damaged by water," Underriner said. "Starting a vehicle even in a damp condition could cause harm to the driver and the vehicle's onboard computers and wiring. A short in the electrical system can cause a shock, or worse, a fire."
According to Carfax, Hurricane Ike destroyed nearly 100,000 cars in Texas and Louisiana in 2008. Hurricane's Katrina, RIta and Wilma left more than 600,000 cars in floodwater in 2005.