How quickly can your engine flood in high waters? Quicker than you think.

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METAIRIE- La, — You always hear that old expression, “Turn around don’t drown,” but it’s also smart to turn around in order to save thousands of dollars worth of potential car damage.

Just ask Julie Webb, the owner of Complete Automotive Repair Service in Metairie, who has been working on cars for 26 years.

She says one mistake that she sees drivers make time and time again is driving through flooded streets.

“If you’re driving and there is already water, you need to turn around and not drive through the water. The water can always be deeper than you anticipate that the water would be, so you need to keep that in mind,” says Webb.

Webb points out that every vehicle has an intake system that sucks in air.

The vacuum usually sits low and close to the bumper which makes flooded areas extremely hazardous for your engine.

Webb says she has seen people pay between $5,000 and $15,000 for a new engine, and that is without labor expenses.

Water can also saturate the carpet inside of a vehicle which can be cleaned, but Webb says what’s under the carpet causes major issues.

“The padding underneath will not dry and if you have the old felt padding, it will never dry,” says Webb.

The mildew smell, she adds, will also stick around.

So, if the roads are flooded and you go for a drive, then your car might end up in a shop like Webb’s.

“Generally, your car is your next most expensive purchase past your home, so you need to protect that in the best way that you know how,” says Webb.

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