Kiwi Buys Flooded Tesla Model 3, Sets Out DIY Plans To Turn It Into Something Useful

We've never seen a car that looked so devastated by a flood like this Tesla Model 3 from New Zealand. Despite that, a brave local started a DIY project with the ultimate goal of returning it to the road, one way or another. He's far from getting it done, but following his project is a lot of fun.
Flooded Tesla Model 3 9 photos
Photo: HamCandle via Tesla Motors Club | Edited
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Flooded vehicles are traded every day by the thousands, and depending on their state and price, they could sometimes prove a great deal. Still, you never know what to expect. The water exposure can damage sensitive electronics, which could lead to expensive repairs down the road. In the worst-case scenario, the seller doesn't even mention that the car was flooded, and you get yourself a dud. That's why it's a good idea to stay away from flooded vehicles and always look for signs that indicate that they have been submerged.

If you've seen the pictures in the gallery, disregard the last sentence. This Tesla Model 3, a single-motor Standard Range Plus, looks like it spent centuries on the bottom of a lake. The interior is covered in silt and moss, and so are the front and rear trunks. Still, one brave New Zealander thought he could turn it into something useful, hence the DIY project he's documenting on Tesla Motors Club forums.

The 2021 Tesla Model 3 has spent an unspecified amount of time under (reportedly fresh) water after a cyclone. After recovering it, the car sat for three months until the insurance papers were signed, and the Kiwi could haul it home. He's excited about the DIY project ahead of him as he tries to bring the EV back to life. This doesn't necessarily mean making it road-worthy again, although he would love to make it look and work as designed.

Getting inside the car was difficult because it didn't have a key card. He could get in because one of the rear windows was down, and from there, he triggered the emergency release of the front doors. That's when the hard work began, as he started scraping the dirt with a kid's shovel. In the meantime, he submitted ownership documents to Tesla and was later able to add the car to the Tesla app. Although he told himself to be patient and not try to start the car until it was clean and dry, he couldn't resist.

Things went south after connecting a 12-volt battery to jump the Model 3. The car sounded as if the horn was trying to blast full of dirt, the headlights were flashing, and then nothing except the smell of burnt electronics. That's when he thought it would be wise to do some research before setting the car on fire. He's happy that only the front vehicle controller (vcfront) has burnt so far.

Several people intervened and tried to convince him to give up and write off the unspecified amount of money he spent on the car. That, before spending more money than a decent used Model 3 would cost. It would probably be wiser, but the guy just wanted to have fun working on the car, fully aware that the project could go nowhere. Others rooted for him, admiring his ambition and wishing him luck. What do you think? The way this car looks in the pictures, would you consider salvaging it or just dumping it?
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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