Should I Get My Car Checked After Driving Through Water?
In the UK, you cannot rule out the possibility of flooded roads at any time of year. Flash floods or persistant rain can cause road flooding. Cars are not designed to go for a swim. So, avoid driving through a flooded section of the road. Besides being dangerous, it can damage your vehicle. If you happen to drive through deep water, it’s likely a good idea to get your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
The Problem With Driving Through Water
Driving through water is dangerous, especially if it is flowing over the road. Your car can easily be swept away. You will also have no idea about the condition of the road underneath. In general, don’t drive through water if the water level is over half the height of a tyre. If you are unsure about the depth, don’t be the first to take the plunge! Observe other vehicles. If you decide to drive through water, drive slowly and steadily.
Driving through a flooded road can cause damage to your vehicle. The best option is to take a diversion or park in a safe place until the water recedes. If you drive through water and your engine stalls, you have no choice but to restart the engine. This can cause severe engine damage. Even otherwise, water can cause havoc with all low lying components of your car. Here are some things to check if you drive through a deep water.
Check The Interiors
Water can enter the cabin and damage the interiors of your car. Check the carpet and other floor level components for dampness. If it is damp, your car will need professional cleaning. Just allowing the car to dry is not enough due to the risk of mildew growth. If mould grows in the cabin, it will result in bad odours and unhealthy air quality. Besides the risk of mould, components like seat brackets are likely to rust or malfunction if they are allowed to remain damp.
Check The Fluids To Rule Out Contamination
If you drive through deep water, it can enter the engine compartment and contaminate critical fluids like the engine oil, transmission oil and differential fluid. Pull out the dipsticks and check the condition of the fluids. If something appears diluted, discoloured or milky, chances are that contamination has occurred.
If you suspect fluid contamination, call your garage and have your vehicle towed in for a check. Driving a vehicle with contaminated fluids can cause severe engine damage.
Check The Air Filter
If the air filter is wet or shows signs of dampness, it must be replaced. You may also need engine oil replacement.
Check The Underside Of The Vehicle
If you drive through muddy water there is a high possibility of mud, grass, road debris and dirt sticking to the bottom of your car. Check the engine compartment, radiator, undercarriage and the bumpers. If there is dirt on any part, get it cleaned as soon as possible. If moist dirt sticks to metallic components, it can cause corrosion and result in expensive repairs.
Get Brakes And Suspension Joints Checked
Get the brakes checked by a mechanic. Dirt and water can go into brake components and prevent optimal functioning. Get the suspension joints checked for rust and lubrication.
Check The Lights
Check all external lights and indicators for water damage. Damaged components will need replacement if they cannot be cleaned or repaired. If your car is equipped with a rear camera or parking sensors, verify that everything is functioning correctly.
If you hear abnormal noises, take your car to the garage. With timely investigation and repairs, you can avoid major damage and expensive bills.
Driving through water is dangerous for both you and your vehicle. If you drive through water, get your car checked at a good garage to detect and fix any problems. This can save you a lot of trouble and money.
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