Cars and Floods

With all of the rain around lately and probably more to come, causing lots of horrible flooding, we thought we’d take a look at how best to deal with it. We’ve taken a few elements and looked into them a little closer.

🚗 Polluted Water
A majority of flood water will be polluted, that’s just a sad fact. Water will come up from the sewers. And add that to the fact that rain water nowadays can carry lots of additional pollutants, and you’ve got a recipe for damaged paintwork and smelly upholstery.

We recommend washing your car regularly anyway (with our HUGE range of AutoGlym products in all three branches!) but if you ever needed a reason then rain water and flood water are it. Keep your paintwork in tip top condition by washing polluted water off as soon as you can.

As for your upholstery; while there are many products out there that can clean up your seats you still run the risk of a mouldy or mildewy smell. Where possible air out your car naturally, leaving windows or doors open to let the air circulate.

🚗 Rust and Mould
Even driving through the smallest of flood waters (or that little fjord you like to whizz through!) can lead to rust under your vehicle or mould in your carpets.  You might think that little bit of manky water that got in will soon dry out, but beware of what it might leave behind. Once all dried out, get the hoover out and suck up any chance of mould taking hold.  Then check your underside for rusty bits, especially any clips that are holding things in place, like your brake lines and exhaust.

🚗 Slippery Brakes
When your car has been submerged in water it stands to reason that the brakes are going to suffer.  You can dry your brakes out by driving slowly in a low gear and pressing the pedal.  While brakes will not absorb water they will be affected by applying unevenly, grabbing or being weaker than usual. Be conscious that your brakes got wet and don’t expect them to react in their usual manner.  casey-horner-RO-RiCMo748-unsplash

🚗 Taken by Surprise?
Flash floods can come out of anywhere. Once a river bursts its banks the water will go wherever it wants and will gather momentum and debris as it travels. If you come across a flash flood you DON’T have to go through it!  If you think it’s too risky then turn around. Just two feet of fast flowing water will carry a car along with it so where possible just get out of the way. And if that’s not possible? Well, your car is replaceable and you are not, so get out and get to safety.

🚗 Electrics
Most modern cars are full of electrics and electronics and if there’s one thing they don’t like, it’s water!  So what can you do if you’ve driven through floodwater?  While it’s likely that they’re encased, it’s not a given that no moisture will get in. Get a towel (from your handy kit that you keep in your car!) and wipe done any areas affected by the water.  Keep a few spare fuses in your car too, as they might suffer when driving through flood water.  Oh, and FYI in a majority of cars the airbag control modules are under the seat, so if the carpet gets wet it’s likely some moisture is going to get in there. Get them checked out if you’ve been in water.

🚗 Check your dipstick
If the engine seems a bit jittery and juddery you likely have water somewhere where you don’t want it.  Two quick checks you can do are:

  1. Look at your oil dipstick. If there’s water in the oil you’ll see droplets on the stick, and you may notice the oil itself is kind of milky
  2.  Check out your air filter. If water came through your air intake then these will also be wet.

In both cases it’s best NOT to push on. Call a recovery vehicle and save yourself the heartache of a huge bill because you end up with hydrolock or your air filters don’t filter!

All in all we don’t really recommend that you drive through flood waters. Or large puddles!  Just 10 inches of water can do major damage to your vehicle and leave you stranded and broke!  🚗

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