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Old 3rd December 2015, 11:39   #211
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Default Re: Car completely underwater - chennai floods

Deeply saddened by the calamity in Chennai. Scary visuals on TV. Huge losses suffered by fellow humans and BHPians. Let the primary objective be to save yourselves, then save your fellow beings and afterwards, save your material assets. If you are in a safe place, please stay indoors till the water recedes, be watchful of electrocution hazard.
Let us hope, those cars breathe into life again !!
A lot of philanthropists across India has initiated relief operations, take part, contribute, let us bring back Chennai to normalcy!!
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Old 3rd December 2015, 11:59   #212
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Default Re: Car completely underwater - chennai floods

Update: The car was with my relatives
My relatives are still stranded without food or water on the first floor of their house. I am unable to go anywhere their place. I have been up all night trying to get them help. After much effort i managed to talk to a emergency control room, he said they are still evacuating people stranded in 15 feet of water and that help might be delayed.

If any BHPian is involved in the rescue work

People are stranded in CIT nagar 3rd main road, 46/16, including senior citizens and children for well over 24 hours. Even if rescue is not possible at least food and water have to be delivered immediately. Their phones are not reachable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by prithm View Post
I share your pain Virage. I am from Chennai too and we will fight together to come out of the current situation.

- Can she be saved? or is she a write off( feels like a death in the family )
* I still have hope. Have you managed to get the battery disconnected before total flooding ? It can be saved if you allow it to dry naturally (which might be a month or more given the current prediction) with ventilation. Check after a month's time and decide. Chennai's humidity is of huge concern, but we will cross that bridge after some time.

- What are the steps that i can take to save her?
* Remove battery immediately. I am sure it would have short circuited by now.
* Drain fuel if you can and store it away. Not necessary at the moment.
* DO NOT MOVE THE CAR OR ATTEMPT TO START IT.
* Take multiple photo / video of your submerged car (showing number plate, location, house number) in the same parking location so that insurance guys cannot try to do any foul play with you. It will serve as a proof of natural calamity and not intentional drowning of asset. (Believe me they will take this stand during this time to save themselves of the losses and might be a lengthy court room visit also.). Record insurance agent's visit to your location during assessment. They should not be given any free hand to wriggle out of the situation or responsibility.
* Call the insurance people for on site assessment. Might take time due to natural calamity. Insist for this.
* Do not attempt to do anything until the insurance assessment is done and final figure is reached.
* Even after that, get the car towed or transported on flatbed to service station.

Hold on to that hope. We are with you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
Really sad situation in Chennai, and it is disheartening to see people suffer and the cars totally submerged.

What one should do in case you are expecting to flood around your car:
  • Disconnect both terminals and tape it around or stow it away from the battery
  • Use polythene bags and rags to cover and tie around both the air intake and the exhaust
  • Use jacks/bricks to raise the parked height of the car to prevent water from entering the interior cabin through door sills

If the battery is not disconnected, the ECU, BCM and other electronics would be short circuited and would fail.

A friend had taken the above precautions in the previous stint of floods, but still his oil sump had more water than oil, the car's interiors and engine internals had to be completely removed to be cleaned.

And lastly, NEVER EVER attempt starting the car. It would hydrolock the engine and cause more damage to the engine and pocket.
I left the car with them so that i could avoid flooding in my usual parking spot. Since this was a flash flood at 1 am in the morning, nobody had the luxury of time to prep the car. But my uncle did tell me that he tried to disconnect the the battery, not sure if he succeed. As of now my priority is them, not the car. I feel guilty that he tried to rescue my car when his house was going under water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindRide View Post
Its widely regarded the Madras calamity is man-made and not an act of nature.
I assume of most of the submerged cars are in the southern low-lying suburbs where houses have violated multiple human settlement norms.
Can the insurance company deny insurance citing this?
"Its not an act of god that caused damange to your car, but only your negligence that you parked it inside a lake-bed" could be a retort, for example?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajitkommini View Post
I don't mean to be insensitive but wouldn't it be possible to avoid this kind of damage by moving the car temporarily to a different area - parking it at the home of a friend or relative for example, or maybe using the office parking etc.? Of course, this wouldn't be possible if there is a sudden, rapid flood or if the owner is away and returns only after the car is submerged.
This is far beyond man made, the flood waters are of a biblical proportion, trust me on this. Just to clear things up, the locality is a stones throw away from the biggest shopping district in chennai. In fact there is a storm water canal near by that was de-stilted and the walls reinforced. even if there was nothing but trees here, here wont be a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
Easier said than done, almost 90% of the city was submerged. Given the volume of cars, there and the mobility, there was little that could be done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Once it is possible, why don't you call up your insurance provider and talk about this so you know exactly how to proceed and the do's/don'ts.

Feasibility? It'd be pretty late by the time people realize the magnitude of damage; finding a safe place would be difficult, getting there much more and getting back home the most difficult. Plus, given the kind of damage Chennai has seen, I doubt there are a lot of areas where you can be assured cars be safe. And of course, there wouldn't be enough space for outside cars.
Completely agreed.
The limited resources are better used for saving human life.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 12:37   #213
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Default Re: Car completely underwater - chennai floods

Well things do happen, now that it has happened. Once you have access to the car.

1. Do *not* attempt to start the car or even switch on the ignition or try to use power windows etc.
2. Retrieve your car papers from your glove box. leave them to dry.
3. Get your car carpets and put them out to dry. Remove your car stereo, speakers if possible and put them to dry.
4. Since the entire city has been affected, chances are that the workshop too will be affected and there will be really long queues for repair and servicing.
5. Getting to the service center first will help but for that you need to find a tow truck, cheaper alternative would be to get a sturdy rope and tow it with another car. Ensure that you disconnect the battery and push the key in to take care that the steering doesn't lock up during towing.
6. Call up insurance guy and get it surveyed as soon as possible, as long as your car has not been started - i.e. no hydro lock - insurance will usually pay. Hydro lock implies engine overhaul - big expense.
7. Typically - all fluids - engine oil, gear oil, brake/clutch fluid, coolant will be changed. These are consumables - insurance will not cover these. If possible, do a passive engine flush with "flushing" oil/diesel to get out the muck. This may not be 100% effective.
8. Electricals - starter, alternator may be require to be opened and serviced. All relays, controllers and fuses will be replaced. Some of these components *may* work fine once they dry up.
9. The workshop will take out the seats and hang them to dry for a few days. ensure the workshop is able to identify your seat - paint car number on the seats. Try and salvage the seat covers if possible.
10. While your car sits in the workshop waiting for survey, parts etc, try and get water out of the headlamps and tail lamps to try and minimize the damage to reflective surface. Do not wipe, just dismantle the headlamp, remove the bulb and pour the water out. Plastics/glass/bulbs etc - insurance may or may not cover.
11. Wait, wait wait. Till your car comes back to you. Sadly, it will never be the same again. Rust will set in at some places and you will have more than your fair share of electrical niggles and premature failure of electrical components esp - motors.
12. Look out for goodwill offers, if i remember correctly hyundai replaced carpets for free for new cars after the mumbai deluge.
13. Service centers may not honour extended warranty on some of items in the future - citing previous water ingress and consequent damage/failure.
14. Explore alternative travel arrangements, life without vehicle for an extended period is frustrating.
15. Work with the service advisor to get things speeded up. Yelling alone will not help.

Hope this helps.

Been there , done that - 26 Jul 2005 Mumbai, 6 month old car. I still have my car. :-)

Last edited by cyberwhizs : 3rd December 2015 at 12:41.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 15:56   #214
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Default Re: Help! Car submerged in flood

Now this is a catch 22 situation. Most of our cars now come with central locking/remote/keyless entry, etc., all of which are operated by battery of the car. Now, in order to disconnect the battery from the hood, you need to open the door - in order to open the door, you need to unlock the car using your central locking system. Now, if the water is risen to a level that its going to short out electricals and wiring, even operating the door lock/unlock function would cause a possible short.

Now, with people quoting flash floods starting at 1am, most cars will be in the locked state and locked using the remotes in general.

My question is this - can we lift the hood of the car without opening the door - in order to access the hood release lever INSIDE the car? Is there a way to access the cable / lever without even operating any electrical equipment of the car? This way, we can avoid shorts due to water seepage.

I have seen folks using a long steel scale near window beedings and they push this scale at a particular point and this unlocks the car - this happens when people usually lock their keys in the car.

Even with card with a key-based entry, and ones with the autocop/alarm function, its recommended to unlock / lock with key or unlock/lock with remote in order to prevent the alarm from going off. Now, we lock our cars with the remotes and unlock with with the keys - alarm will sound which implies electrical system is being used => which implies possible short.

Is this a catch 22 situation or is there a workaround I am missing?
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Old 3rd December 2015, 16:04   #215
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Default Re: Help! Car submerged in flood

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
Now this is a catch 22 situation. Most of our cars now come with central locking/remote/keyless entry, etc., all of which are operated by battery of the car........

Is this a catch 22 situation or is there a workaround I am missing?
I do not see how this is a catch 22 situation.

All central locking systems (atleast OEM) can be over-ridden by the old school mechanical way of opening the door with the key.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 16:18   #216
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Default Re: Help! Car submerged in flood

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
I do not see how this is a catch 22 situation.

All central locking systems (atleast OEM) can be over-ridden by the old school mechanical way of opening the door with the key.
Sure, but would this not normally trip the alarm anyway? On a side note, some part of the electrical system would be running even with the key off right? Else how does the remote unlock function work at all?
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Old 3rd December 2015, 16:23   #217
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Default Re: Help! Car submerged in flood

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajitkommini View Post
Sure, but would this not normally trip the alarm anyway? On a side note, some part of the electrical system would be running even with the key off right? Else how does the remote unlock function work at all?
AFAIK,

lock through central locking and unlock using key: alarm
unlock through central locking and then use key to lock: no alarm

This is how Autocop behaved on our Zen.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 17:10   #218
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Default Re: Car completely underwater - chennai floods

Quote:
Originally Posted by virage View Post
If any BHPian is involved in the rescue work[/b][/b]

People are stranded in CIT nagar 3rd main road, 46/16, including senior citizens and children for well over 24 hours. Even if rescue is not possible at least food and water have to be delivered immediately. Their phones are not reachable.
Can you post up on chennairains.org - I will also post up on Twitter.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 17:13   #219
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Default Re: Help! Car submerged in flood

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
Is this a catch 22 situation or is there a workaround I am missing?
Everything would have been shorted by now. Our batteries are not that well guarded as that of Off-Roader's and rally chariots, so terminals would have had kept the security system alive until shorting out when level reached up to it.

Key entry is the only way possible. And pray that battery is totally dead by now. If for some reason it tries to send across any charge in the circuits, it will be total disaster all around.
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Old 3rd December 2015, 18:55   #220
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Default Re: Car completely underwater - chennai floods

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindRide View Post
^ Apologies if my query sounded insensitive. I completely understand the grave nature of the situation. Its horrible to see even from this far away.
Insurance companies are known to be heartless and will try every trick in the book, including questioning the legality of the parking location of insured vehicles. Especially in the near future, when they face a deluge of claims.
Totally agree. They will try to cut all loose ends to make sure they don't get burnt. Its well known and insurance companies hone their skills during natural calamity to stress out already stressed and depressed people.

We have to make sure no overlook is done at our end. They are seasoned criminals and know tricks to avoid penalty, so its our responsibility to make sure all things are covered with proof and if things don't go as promised, court hall visit is a must. Never shy away from it. Take the fight to them.

We are not monkeys to dance as per their tunes, we paid our hard earned money to safe guard ourselves and did a favor by selecting their brand.

So, keep calm and wait for normalcy. This is a natural calamity, so everyone will be affected in some way. Until then let the car sit idle and collect all evidence of your car being submerged naturally. Enter car only after the assessment is over from insurance company. Else they might play this against you. Sometimes they will ask you to transport car to garage for full assessment and give the usual deal of 50-60% assured amount, don't fall for it. Assess the damage properly and get what you truly deserve.

They will play the critical act of willful negligence, which means you did this intentionally to get money. Which the court will believe and nod. Your proof's such as video and pictures of car being inside a residential area and untampered will gather some sympathy from the judges in consumer court.
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Old 4th December 2015, 14:47   #221
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Default Re: Help! Car submerged in flood

Quote:
Originally Posted by virage View Post
Update: The car was with my relatives

Completely agreed.
The limited resources are better used for saving human life.
Deeply saddened by this disaster. I truly hope your family and friends are safe. The magnitude of this disaster is too high and caught most of you off guard.

Very sad about what will happen to your car's too but make sure Insurance pays for it. After all, they have been collecting yearly premiums from all of us. Let them put it to good use now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prithm View Post
Totally agree. They will try to cut all loose ends to make sure they don't get burnt. Its well known and insurance companies hone their skills during natural calamity to stress out already stressed and depressed people.

We have to make sure no overlook is done at our end. They are seasoned criminals and know tricks to avoid penalty, so its our responsibility to make sure all things are covered with proof and if things don't go as promised, court hall visit is a must. Never shy away from it. Take the fight to them.

We are not monkeys to dance as per their tunes, we paid our hard earned money to safe guard ourselves and did a favor by selecting their brand.
Well said. All Chennai car owners need to take as much proof as you can of your car's submerged under water. As soon as you get electricity, charge your phones and take a pic and video. Don't give away your hard earned money simply to these insurance guys.

But don't panic Bhpians, as even most comprehensive basic packages cover flood related claims so no one can say NO for a disaster of such magnitude.

Don't worry about your car's I would say, worry more for your loved ones and your safety.
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Old 4th December 2015, 20:24   #222
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Default Re: Help! Car submerged in flood

Just had got back, happy to report that my relatives are safe.

They did manage to remove the battery before the car was submerged. Had a quick look at the oil dip stick, and there was only oil.
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Old 5th December 2015, 20:44   #223
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Default Skoda Yeti submerged in floods. What should I do? URGENT

Friends, need your help and response urgently.
Got my Yeti submerged in water up to the dashboard level for about two days in the on going floods in Chennai. Do have the insurance for the vehicle but don't know whether this would cover the flooding part.
What should be my next steps?
Look forward to your ideas and suggestions. Thanks in advance.
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Old 5th December 2015, 21:00   #224
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Default Re: Skoda Yeti submerged in floods. What should I do? URGENT

DO NOT START the vehicle at any cost. After the ASS has opened, please call them and get the car towed on a flatbed.
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Old 5th December 2015, 22:18   #225
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Default Re: Skoda Yeti submerged in floods. What should I do? URGENT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krishnan V G View Post
Friends, need your help and response urgently.
Got my Yeti submerged in water up to the dashboard level for about two days in the on going floods in Chennai. Do have the insurance for the vehicle but don't know whether this would cover the flooding part.
What should be my next steps?
Look forward to your ideas and suggestions. Thanks in advance.

Check the liabilities section of the insurance paper. I had insured my car with HDFC ERGO. There is a section on the back side of the paper stating what is covered and what is not.

Even if you are unsure, call up the insurance company and raise a claim, so that they can make an assessment at the earliest.
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