Whenever drivers encounter water, especially in the form of puddles, they must use extreme caution. Be careful if the roads are flooded due to a storm, damaged street pipes, or any other reason.
Even if the water appears to be just a few inches deep, it can still inflict significant damage to your vehicle. Regardless of its depth, rapidly moving water can cause the car to float, which could cause you to lose control and cause an accident.
Many motorists mistakenly feel that driving through a puddle will get them to the other side of the road faster, only to discover that the puddle is much larger than they anticipated.
It’s important to remember that even if there’s water just above the bumper, it can still get into the engine and cause it to stall or worse, do serious damage. If that’s the case, try to locate a different route if at all possible.
Several problems can arise if you attempt to drive in a flooded area. To begin, below is a list of common auto parts and how water affects them.
Common car parts that can be affected by driving through water
Driving through a cold puddle when the disc brakes are still hot can cause the discs to bend and the brake pads to break, resulting in a shorter lifespan for your brakes overall. Due of the brakes’ exceptional sturdiness, water is less likely to impact them.
After driving through a puddle, pay particular attention to your engine’s performance. Any weird noises, jolting, or sputtering in your vehicle could be an indication of an electrical problem. Hydro lock can also result in fractured piston rods and a hefty repair price if water is present in the combustion chamber. Alternators, belts, and other internal automotive elements can also make a loud noise.
Find any water with your dipstick. There’s water in the crankcase if the oil is yellowish or you notice droplets of water on your dipstick. It’s a pity, but water will get into the engine shortly.
As soon as you notice that your air filter is moist, you should have it checked out to see if water has made its way into the engine.
Electronics and sensors in today’s automobiles are far more advanced than ever before. Even if the parts are water-resistant, it’s a good idea to double-check to make sure nothing was damaged. Your fuses and batteries should be fine if your lights are on.
Electric windows, radio, ECU, and sensors are just a few examples of what might go wrong when there is a water leak in a car. Remember that tampering with these locations can result in an electric shock, so don’t play about.
Water that comes into touch with carpet can lead to the growth of mold and other unpleasant odors. The door trim and panel should be checked. Check your spare tire for rusty nuts and bolts, which can be caused by water.
These are just a few of the places to search for water damage in a vehicle’s fluid system. In addition to the coolant, power steering fluid, and fuel system, the high tightness of these systems makes them less susceptible to serious damage than other components.
If your vehicle has been flooded, you can see what kind of damage it’s sustained.
How fast should I drive my car through water?
Remember the water safety tagline you saw on TV commercials? Keep Your Head Up and Don’t Sink to the Bottom. For more than a decade, the National Weather Service has used this term to remind people of the harm done to their vehicles and to themselves when roads become inundated.
It’s a common belief among mechanics that water can cause engine harm. Due to the proximity of the engine’s air intake system to the ground, water can enter the engine’s air intake system when a roadway is flooded.
If you’re not sure how quickly you can drive through water, you should keep your speed between 3 and 4 miles per hour in order to avoid a splash.
A wave will be created as you drive faster, and this wave will splatter water all over the place, even under your car! Do not stop if this happens! You’re risking a costly repair if you allow water to accumulate in the exhaust pipe while you should be driving.
Keep the engine going, depress the accelerator pedal, and drive straight ahead until you’ve reached your destination.
Why does the car stop suddenly when driving through water?
Floodwaters or deep puddles on roadsides are enough to cause hydrolocked pistons in the engine’s intake system, resulting in an immediate stop. In addition, water can cause broken rings, bent connecting rods, and a faulty crankshaft, which necessitates an expensive repair.
Your automobile will come to a complete stop if the engine can no longer breathe due to high levels of road water or damage to the exhaust pipes. When the water’s back pressure is relieved, a qualified mechanic can correct the issue. Even if the engine doesn’t start, it’s important to properly inspect all of the vehicle’s components.
Repairing water damage to automobiles is a risky endeavor at best. How much water the car absorbed and how it was influenced by the water will determine this. Another important factor is the type of water used. Oily substances, grass, and leaves can all be found in mucky water. Damage from salty water might be so extensive that your car may have to be towed away.
Do yourself a favor and avoid driving across large puddles if at all possible. After making sure it isn’t deeper than your bumper, go cautiously till you pass it; if it is, then look for an alternate route.