You know the saying: Turn around, don’t drown. We know of the safety concerns driving through flooded streets has for us, but what about your car?
No matter if you are caught by surprise in a sudden rainstorm that turns your street into a swimming pool or you come across a washed out section of road with a creek running across it, it is never a good (or smart) idea to expose your car to deep water.
If you drive your car through floodwaters, you run the risk of flooding your engine. If you think you have flooded your engine, turn off the ignition, but only if it is safe to do so.
One of the most common ways water can damage your car’s engine is when it gets sucked up through the air intake. If your car takes on too much water in its cylinders, it can result in hydrostatic lock. In other words, your engine’s pistons could potentially freeze and cause the engine to stall. This sudden stoppage can cause irreversible damage to internal components within your engine.
Not only could your car potentially suffer from a hydrolocked engine, if the water gets high enough, all of your car’s electrical components could be compromised.
So, what can you do if your car takes on water? Before anything, remember to disconnect the battery before you start working on your car. If your car took on water in its interior, try to remove as much standing water from your car as possible. You want your car to dry out. Wash out the carpeting and maters.
You’ll also want to flush and replace all fluids, oils and lubricants in your car’s engine as well as replace all filters and gaskets that were exposed to water. While your car may still run with fluids that have experienced water intrusion, extended internal exposure can increase the level of damage to the engine and other vehicle components.
If you think your car took on water, no matter if it is running smoothly or not, it’s a good idea to get your vehicle checked out by a local auto mechanic like C&G Auto. While at the shop, the auto mechanic can also determine if any of your car’s electrical components need to be replaced after being waterlogged.