High cost of flood-damaged cars

Ruth to the Rescue has flood water warning for drivers

By Tony Statz - Producer

DETROIT - A fast flood on the Southfield Freeway stranded drivers during the evening commute on Monday.

"I picked up the phone, called my wife to let her know that I'm going to be late for dinner and then called up the insurance company," said Greg Kosakowski, one of the drivers who was caught in the flood.

Read back: Southfield Freeway flooded in Dearborn

Kosakowski was stuck in the water for over an hour and climbed out of his window as soon as the tow truck arrived. He said he was completely dry as long as his legs were on the seat.

His car was taken to the body shop at Village Ford in Dearborn. The price of the repairs can get expensive quickly.

"You could have a cost of anywhere, if it's a minor claim, of $500 to replacing an engine would be $3,500 to $5,000," said body shop manager Rod Gill.

Gill said it can take about three to four days for repair work and about two weeks to install a new engine or take care of other detail work. Another costly expense if you have to rent a car.

These days standing water can be even more dangerous for newer cars. Gill says the air intake is lower than it used to be.

"If you're in six or more inches of water as the car's moving, it's going to flood the water into the intake," Gill said. "Air intake is about midway of the tire in the front of the vehicle so if you're moving through the water, it's going to force it to the bumper, into the intake then up into the engine."

Even worse, if the water makes it to the dashboard where the car's electronic systems are stores, it would be a total loss. "It's going to destroy all the electronics in the vehicle which controls everything," Gill told Ruth to the Rescue.

"My biggest worry is if the transmission survived," Kosakowski said.

The body shop didn't have an estimate yet on his repair bill.

Kosakowski said the next time he sees standing water, he may take a different approach.

"A deep puddle? I'll probably either wait or go around it!"

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