2011 Prius 3 got flooded...what kind of damage am I looking at?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by KB89, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. KB89

    KB89 New Member

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    so our Prius got flooded here in Louisiana (don't say sorry, a car is very small in the big picture of things) the water level only got about 2/3 up the tire for reference but the water definitely got into the cab and hung out for about 24 hours before receding. We still have about an inch of standing water on the floor boards. The car no longer "primes" for lack of better words when you open the door. I know that there are a lot of electronic components in the vehicle but am not sure about where they are or what the chance is that the car will be repairable? We have insurance so ultimately its up to them just trying to get an idea. Checked the oil to see if water had contaminated it- it appears to be ok.
     
  2. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    Water into any of the electronic systems will cause problems. But also could have gotten into and damaged your brake system, wheel bearings, exhaust system and other low hanging components. You're right insurance will need to assess damages; you may need to keep on top of them to make sure they do a complete adjustment and work with the service department to get everything back to the way it was.

    Best of luck.
     
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  3. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    After being submersed for 24 hrs at that level I would expect substantial water damage. Expect the insurance provider to write it off as a complete loss.
     
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  4. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    More likely that the Hybrid Battery is OK because of the high stance inside the vehicle, but other mechanical parts like the exhaust system, will be toss.
     
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  5. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    One concern is if you will get mold and rust under the carpet 8-(
     
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  6. KB89

    KB89 New Member

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    I am concerned about mold through out the vehicle at this point- it's had a fair amount of moisture inside since Saturday and it doesn't look like they will be coming out with an inspector any time soon. Not sure how/if they can get the mold out of all the nooks and crannies

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  7. KB89

    KB89 New Member

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    Hybrid battery was one of my biggest concerns initially as I'm not sure exactly where it's connections are and how the connections are ran for that matter.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  8. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    I don't know the wiring for a 2011/3, but if there are any sort of electrical connectors down under the carpet they are liable to rust up to the point of failure where the connectors meet. If you wanted to take heroic measures to keep the car you could remove the seats and carpet, take apart each connector (assuming you have them) and open, clean, and grease each one. Lots of slow fiddly work seated cross legged on the floor with Q-tips and contact cleaner. A dealer would probably just replace the wiring harness, (=$) but you might see things different.

    This would also give you a chance to *really* dry out everything, shampoo or replace the floor padding and carpet, and stop any newly started rust. Nowadays mold is getting to be treated as a big bad monster that must be completely removed from all human contact. I don't quite know if this is a fad or something real. Any idea how far water crept up into the sides of the seats and upholstery?

    If you want to take action now, the first thing would be to work on drying the poor beast out using whatever tools you may have. If all you can do is bail it out and park it directly in the sun (so as to start heating it dry) by all means, do that.
     
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  9. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    I would leave it as-is. Let the insurance adjuster determine the fate of the car. You can do nothing to unflood the car. It will never be the same. You'll be waisting your time.
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is it fresh water?
     
  11. KB89

    KB89 New Member

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    It is fresh water but filled with lots of nasty sediment/ debris from near by bayous and drainage canals

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    still, that's better than salt, if they balk at totaling her.

    man, you guys got hammered. was this a repeat event, or once in a lifetime?
     
  13. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    If you don't mind sharing, what part of LA are you in? How much rain did you get there from that LOW pressure area?

    Still raining here, started Monday night. Since then have dumped our rain gage three times. Total of 14.5 inches of rain has fallen here so far. I saw reports of as much as 30 inches in 24 hours in LA. That would compare to TS Allison that we had back in 2001, flooded Houston big time.

    Tropical Storm Allison - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sorry to hear about your loss. My best advice is to get your Prius towed to a Toyota dealer and then let the insurance handle it. Don't be surprised if they total it.
     
    #13 dorunron, Aug 17, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'd suggest, at minimum, ASAP, reaching under the floor pan and popping out all the rubber plugs you can find. That's not enough to dry the carpet, but at least let the standing water out.

    Next step, certainly get everything out of the car that might be on the carpet ... get as much ventilation going as you can. Even if you don't remove the front seats, you can pop out the rear seat cushion and the door sill trim, lift all the exposed carpet edges, make it possible for air to circulate above and below the carpet. Prop it up with some egg cartons or whatever to preserve that circulating space.

    The idea to park in the sun for drying heat was good as far as it goes, but only with great ventilation—let it fester in the sun, closed up, and you'll have mold that blows out the doors, walks down the street, and takes prisoners.

    Get it in a sheltered space and run those carpet-drying blower fans in it, if you can.

    I don't know the provisions of your auto policy, but I know in my home policy there is some language that, after a loss, I am expected to take reasonable actions to protect the property against further loss while waiting for the adjuster to show up. These steps, at least, I would consider to fall in that category.

    Only after pulling the drain plugs, raising the carpet, and trying to get some dry on, I'd suggest a $15 techinfo subscription. I can't give you the exact link (my $15 has run out) but I am sure I saw a document in there—probably under the quick-technical-guides tab or the reference tab—totally dedicated to evaluating flood damage, starting with finding the high-water mark, and then enumerating the things that need to be checked based on how high the water got.

    Most of it is stuff your insurance adjuster probably needs to know anyway, but, being a specific document from Toyota, it might be more detailed and useful. Your adjuster might even find it helpful, if you have downloaded it before the visit.

    -Chap
     
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  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I recall Allison as we were house hunting in Baton Rouge during the flooding then. Had a few years there.
     
  16. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Well, I think the OP said the car won't go to "ready" (in another way). It may be the 12V battery went dead as the car sat for a while.
    The traction battery is basically above the spare tyre in height above ground. The cables run under the car but are waterproof (immersible). Then they go up to the invertor/charger under the hood. It is also waterproofed. The traction battery is NOT waterproof, so if water intruded on it both the battery and the internal computer system in it are ruined.
    Do keep in mind, when the car is "off" the high voltage is completely disconnected from the rest of the car (a relay opens), so if something gets wet, then dries before you put it in "ready" there may be no electrolysis damage. But the 12V is live to most systems even when "off", so they can be damaged.

    So don't be in a hurry to get it to "ready".

    I think the main problem will be damage from mold and mildew to the seats, carpet, door liners, and underlay. It's really expensive to repair that, as the entire interior has to be stripped out of the car and the car steam/pressure cleaned, then new carpet, door liners, and seats installed. I suspect it will be a write-off just for that. If the invertor/charger is damaged that's a $3000 hit as well.

    Sorry to be so negative.
     
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  17. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

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    Flood damaged cars can be some of the worst...especially if salt water.
    Never ending repairs.
    IMO, best to total, take insurance money and buy a replacement.

    To mitigate the damage, get the carpets out of the car asap.

    Good luck.
     
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  18. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Don't forget to check for water in the lubricant in the transmission. Because of its vent location, it may be more vulnerable than the engine oil.

    Wheel bearings are a likely problem which won't show up for a while if the car is otherwise salvageable. They don't get noisy until after the bearing races have rusted.
     
  19. JGC61

    JGC61 Member

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    Flood cars are usually always totaled.
    If not they are an electrical nightmare that only gets worse with time.
     
    #19 JGC61, Aug 20, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2016
  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I was thinking of T-SB-0229-12 (you can find it quickly from the techinfo search screen by putting flood in for Keyword: and leaving all the other search fields as ALL, then looking under the 'b]TT/SB[/b] tab).

    It has a section 1 just about getting the vehicle safe. First, decide whether any water got over the rocker panels into the car. If not, great, go to section 2. Otherwise, even if you see no water but carpet's damp, open all doors/hatch/trunk, pop the rubber plugs at floor pan corners and spare tire well, disconnect 12V battery ground (be sure to fold cable well away from the terminal so it won't sproing back and make contact), pull traction battery service plug (but only after disconnecting 12V, and only after letting water drain from the area). Then use wheel dollies to get the car to a safe place away from other valuable stuff.

    Most of the rest of the TSB is section 2, with different lists of things to inspect depending on how high the water got (level 1, lower edge of rim; level 2, axle centerline; level 3, top of rocker panel/lower door edge; level 4, lower edge of dash panel; level 5, top edge of dash panel) and whether the car was driven in the water.

    Section 3 is then about repairs.

    -Chap
     
    #20 ChapmanF, Sep 5, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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