One of the goals people may have when they plan to buy a car is often to protect them from the rain. However, rain can still be a problem for people even if they have bought the car of their dreams. This is even more so if there is a heavy downpour which often results in flood. In most cases, car owners are recommended not to drive their car out. But what if they are in need of going out in their car? Well, they need to read through this article to find out how they may drive more safely in flood.
What most car drivers usually assume vs. the fact
There are quite a lot of car drivers out there who think it will be fine for them to drive their valuable car through flood as long as they have their car tyres in good shape. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even though it is true that today’s modern cars are usually more capable of getting through pretty severe flood, danger still exists. As a matter of fact, even those large 4×4 car drivers should try to be very careful when they are trying to get their car through flood.
This is why Roger Crathorne, the manager of Land Rover Driving Experience, mentions that one thing that may probably put a 4×4 car to a halt is often the water that the car engine is sucking. Also, he mentions that it is necessary for car owners to be aware of where their car intake is located. This is because some cars have their car intake located very low which makes it vulnerable when there is a flood going on.
So how can people drive safely during a flood?
Well, of course, the very first thing that the car drivers may need to do is to try to see how deep the flood ahead of them is. This way, the car drivers can pull over before they approach the flood. They can then see how the other cars, either the larger cars or the cars similar to the size of theirs, struggle with the flood. There is one thing that every car driver should keep in his or her mind. If the flood level reaches a level higher than the bottom edge of the car door, the flood water may get into the car engine compartment. As a result, stalling may take place.
The next thing to do is to drive slowly. It is recommended that the car drivers make use of the 1st gear in order to keep the car at a low speed level. Otherwise, they may create a bow wave. Believe it or not, a bow wave often causes severe damages to cars and they are expensive to deal with. With that being said, it may be better for the car drivers to put the oncoming traffic into higher priority to pass.
Yet, what the car drivers need to do next is to consider driving their cars in the middle of the road. The reason is that flood is usually at its shallowest level in the middle of the road. The middle part of the road is often known as the crown of the road.
If the car drivers happen to approach flood water that is moving fast – probably when they approach a flooded bridge, they must not drive fast. Otherwise, they run the risk of getting their car washed away with them inside!
Standing water is pretty dangerous as well. If people drive through it at high speeds, tyres aquaplane and steering control loss will take place. If possible, the car drivers had better avoid driving their car through the standing water. But if aquaplaning does take place, the car drivers are recommended to take a light hold of their steering wheel and to lift the throttle off until the tyres manage to regain grip.
Another disadvantage that may occur due to driving considerably fast through standing water is that a car may come to a complete stalling, even if the engine sucks only a little amount of water. Those who drive a turbocharged petrol car or a car with a diesel engine should even be more careful since they are often the most vulnerable targets to stalling.
The next thing car drivers need to do as they are struggling to get their car through the flood is to keep on revving to get the car engine running strong. They can do this by slipping their car clutch. This way, they may prevent water from entering the car exhaust as well as prevent the car engine from stalling.
What if the engine stalls?
Well, obviously, the car drivers will have to get someone to tow them out. Yet, if they are not sure enough how deep the flood might be, or if it is moving, they had better stay put in their car until rescue arrives. In the meantime, the car drivers need to make sure that their car bonnet stays closed instead of propped open. Otherwise, chances are they will run into a hard time trying to start their car engine because of the rain-soaked electrics.
What to do after getting through the flood?
Well, the first thing that people should do is to look for any possible scratch, crack, bump or something hanging off their car.
Then, the interior is the next thing to examine. The car owners need to check whether there are any damp patches or not on the carpets, upholstery and the door panels. If there are indeed damp patches, the car owners should not wait for the damp patches to dry out. This will often cause a very annoying damp musty smell. If the car owners are not in the mood of coping with the damp patches themselves, they can get it done by the professionals available.
The car owners should then check the condition of the transmission fluid and the engine oil. If the transmission fluid seems diluted, beige or milky, there is water in it. Therefore, do not drive the car but tow it instead for repair.
The air filter is also very important. If the car owners think that the air filter is damp, they need to replace it and then change the oil.
Going underneath the car to see if there is any mud, dirt, grass or debris is also important. Such things can cause undercarriage damage and they need to be washed in no time at all.
Car owners should also be concerned about the braking system. They need to see if there is anything wrong with it. When necessary, the car owners can get it checked by the professionals.
Indicators and lights are often vulnerable to water damage and rust. If the car owners see any water in them, the car owners should consider replacing the bulbs. Checking should be done regardless.
Last but not least, car owners need to test run their car. If they happen to hear any sound that is not quite familiar to them, they need to check it out very soon. Of course, professional services are always available