Flooding is a common issue during the rainy season. Blocked drains, burst river banks, tides, and burst water mains are all issues besides heavy rain that can be dangerous. It only gets worse if you happen to be on the road when you encounter a flood. Flooded roadways can put you and others in a dangerous situation; hence, one should have adequate arrangements to prevent getting stranded in flooding waters.
Driving through standing water:
Driving through deep water should be avoided. Water can damage your engine, transmission, electrical systems, and drivetrain which is why we highly suggest you be very cautious if forced to drive through.
If you find yourself in a situation involving a flood, here are some helpful tips that could prove useful:
- If the road is starting to flood, forget about the lanes and drive in the center. This is because water tends to be deeper on the sides and more shallow in the center of the road. Ignore lanes and drive slowly. This tactic could buy you some time before the water gets too deep.
- Keep in mind the manner in which water moves or places itself totally depends on the surrounding area. Be sure to pay attention to your surroundings and make wise decisions. Assuming that water will behave the same everywhere is not suggested and dangerous.
- Drive slowly so that you have better control over your tires. A low gear for a manual vehicle is most suitable. Drive slowly until your vehicle has dried off as much as possible. Taking off as soon as you leave deep water is not recommended as you should check for damage first. Pay attention to how long you were in the water as well as how deep it was before continuing to drive.
Checking the depth of the water:
If you have a spare tire in your car, you can submerge it in the water upright to check how deep the water is before you drive your vehicle through. If the water is too deep, try your best to find a safer alternative route. Rushing through a potentially dangerous path is not worth risking your life or vehicle. The maximum depth of water for safe driving in a standard 4×4 car is 4 inches. Because modern cars are water tight, they can float somewhat in 12in deep water but this of course is not suggested. Water may not be able to get into the cabin, but other important functions of the vehicle that allow it to operate could be hampered. It is always important to check the water depth prior to driving in order to avoid potential damage.
Speed limit when driving the water:
When you are driving through a flooded area, the recommended speed limit is 3 to 4 mph only. Driving too fast can cause you to splash water on the other drivers on the road and cause your car to lose contact with the road. If anything like that happens, you need to avoid hitting the brakes. Take your foot away from the accelerator and keep the steering wheel straight. Do not move forward until you feel the grip of the road.
What to do if you are stuck in the water?
The worst thing that can happen while driving in a flood is getting stuck in deep water. In that situation, do not try to open the hood as it could worsen the damage. Do not try to restart your car engine as more water will be pushed into it, causing more damage. At this point, if you cannot move the vehicle out of the water yourself by pushing or cannot get help from emergency services without risking injury or your life, it is always best to just leave. Return once things have settled down and hopefully your car is not too damaged by that point.
What to do after getting your car out of deep water
- Do not start a flooded vehicle as you could cause more internal damage
- Begin drying your vehicle in any way that you can.
- Remove moisture from the car if the inside got wet. Using fans or a vacuum is suggested. Remove seats if you have to.
- Contact your insurance and report the water exposure
- Record the highest level of water the car was exposed to.
- Contact a certified technician or team of technicians who are familiar with water damage.
- Replace all fluids in the vehicle such as oils, coolant, and lubricants.
- Perform thorough cleaning of brake parts and bearings.
- Look into replacements for padding and insulation in order to prevent the growth of mold or mildew.
- Have a qualified technician inspect all the electrical components. While parts of your vehicle may be resistant to some water, continuous contact with water may result in problems that don’t reveal themselves until later down the line. The longer you wait to get repairs done, the more likely it is for problems to come up later. .
How Eric’s Car Care can Help
The professionals at Eric’s Car Care are familiar with what water damage can do to a vehicle and know the best solutions to deal with many auto problems. Although it is good to avoid driving in high water if possible, if you did get stuck in it, it is better to call professionals that can help with repairs. Keep in mind that water damage can be severe depending on how much water entered and where it entered. Water can create problems with your engine, electrical system, air bags, and other major components that we can look into. At times, if a car is damaged enough, repairs may not be worth getting as you could use that money on a new vehicle.
Call us today if you are in need of an ASE certified team of car professionals who know what they are talking about. We would love to answer all your questions and assist you with any auto problems you may be experiencing.