The rain season has commenced once again and most roads across the country are flooded again. Managing your car in this condition is very tasking especially when driving in flood water. Modern cars are quite capable in extreme weather, but they remain especially vulnerable to water. Both the electrical system and the engine are particularly susceptible to water damage. And that’s before you take into account the immediate danger of fast-moving floodwater, which is surprisingly capable of washing a car downstream. Below are a few tips to help you if you find your car in a flood situation:
1.) What Should I Do If I Encounter A Flood?
The best advice is “avoid”. If you can find a solution that doesn’t involve driving through floodwater, you minimise the risk to both you and your car. It’s almost always worth turning around and finding another route if a road is flooded – you’ll regret ruining your car for the sake of a few minutes.
You should definitely avoid driving through more than six inches of standing water, or more than four inches of moving water. Suitable footwear might allow you to gauge the depth of the flood by yourself, but a less charitable approach is to park up and observe motorists more foolhardy than yourself. See how another car gets on, and then proceed with caution
If you decide to go through, stay on the crown of the road where possible and crawl through the water very slowly in first gear. Keep the engine revs up to avoid water entering the exhaust pipe. Also avoid the temptation to make a quick exit, as going at speed can push water into the engine.
When you emerge from the water, dry the brakes by using them gently, and if there were leaves in the water, check the radiator for blockages.
2.) What Should I Do If My Car Gets Flooded?
Immersion in water can wreak havoc with a car, especially the engine, electrical system, and interior. If your car has been immersed in water more than halfway up its wheels, follow these eight steps to assess and address the damage.
i.) Do not attempt to start the car! If your car stops or has been in the middle of the water. It’s tempting to turn the key and see if the car still works, but if there is water in the engine, attempting to start it could damage it beyond repair.
ii.) Call your insurance company. Flood damage is generally covered by comprehensive (fire and theft) insurance, so even if you don’t have collision coverage, you may be covered for repairs or replacement. Find the most affordable and best insurance coverage HERE.
iii.) Start drying the interior. If water got inside the car, mold will grow quickly. Start by opening the doors and windows and putting towels on the floor to soak up water, but you should plan on replacing anything that got wet, including carpets, floor mats, door panels, seat padding and upholstery. Remember, these repairs are likely to be covered by your comprehensive insurance.
iv.) Check the oil and the air cleaner. If you see droplets of water on the dipstick or the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter has water in it, do not attempt to start the engine. Have it towed to a mechanic to have the water cleared and the fluids changed. You can call our S.O.S. number 08154666018.
v.) Check all the other fluids. Fuel systems on late-model cars are usually sealed, but older cars may need to have their fuel systems drained. Brake, clutch, power steering and coolant reservoirs should be checked for contamination.
vii.) Check all of the electrical systems. If the engine looks OK to start, check everything electrical: Headlights, turn signals, air conditioning, stereo, power locks, windows and seats, even the interior lights. If you note anything even slightly amiss — including the way the car runs or the transmission shifts — that could be a sign of electrical trouble. Take the car to a mechanic, and remember that the damage may be covered by insurance.
viii.) Check around the wheels and tires. Before attempting to move the car, look for debris lodged around the wheels, brakes and under-body.
Hope these tips come handy as we pass through the rain season. Please feel free to drop more hints for the benefit of others in comment section. Thanks for reading.