Beware of deep puddles!

Beware of deep puddles!

Huge puddles on the roads not only limit the capacity of the streets, but can also directly contribute to serious vehicle damage. What can happen if you drive too quickly into a deep puddle? You may have to use the service scrap cars for cash.

Heavy rain that lasts for several days often causes heavy flooding in the streets. If the drainage of the road leaves much to be desired, huge puddles linger for a long time, and surprised drivers, not seeing an alternative, decide to drive along it. However, sometimes, completely unexpectedly, an obstacle in the form of residual water is encountered, and the car enters with force into a puddle. Potential spraying by a pedestrian would then not be the main cause for concern: such contact with a deep puddle can seriously damage the drive system or even completely immobilize the car.

Of course, you shouldn’t worry about every puddle that we overcome on the way. The design of the vehicle provides a significant margin of safety in terms of unwanted contact with water. Owners of SUVs and crossovers can feel most comfortable: due to the increased ground clearance, water even from very deep puddles will not affect the state of the key elements of the car and it will leave safe and sound. However, even ordinary cars usually remain unharmed when exposed to large amounts of water. The most important role is played by the technical condition of the most vulnerable parts and … the completeness of the engine covers. And, of course, the amount of ground clearance in our car.

To be safe from any consequences of water getting into unwanted places, first of all, let’s make sure that large (and deep-looking) puddles cross very slowly. Driving into it at high speed causes a number of dangerous and unpleasant actions: from splashing a pedestrian and losing traction to the irreversible failure of the car itself.

So what can happen if we run into a puddle too quickly? You will not believe how much damage can be done to a car in those few seconds!

Brake discs

Filling discs with cold water leads to their deformation, and in extreme cases, even to cracking. We learn about problems with discs, in particular, after the characteristic beating of the steering wheel. Driving with this defect will eventually entail another one, such as damage to the steering gear. It is best to replace brake discs with new ones.

Water in the engine

Unwanted fluid can enter the engine through some air intakes (sometimes very low) or through lines leading to the intercooler. As an incompressible substance, it causes great destruction in it: it bends the connecting rods and valves, destroys the pistons. In many older models, repairs no longer make economic sense. You should be looking for a used engine.

Water in the gearbox and differentials

Water usually enters gearboxes through vents and is corrosive. This causes above average noise from the gearbox or differentials. Then it is worth changing the oil in them as soon as possible, and if it does not help, look for a new gearbox.

Flooded “electrics”

This is the most common cause of engine stalling or erratic performance after crossing a large puddle. Water floods the spark plugs and ignition cables, as well as sensors located in various places, and even the main controller, usually located in a sensitive place, that is, under the shaft. Drainage from this area is prevented by dirt accumulated over the years, such as leaves. Even if it does not get inside the controller, some components may short-circuit or catch fire inside. Computers are usually not repaired, but completely replaced.

Generator, catalyst, turbocharger, particulate filter

All of the above components reach very high temperatures and any contact with water (“heatstroke”) almost always means problems. Manufacturers make every effort to place them relatively high or to protect them with various casings, but experience shows that this does not always help. Flooding a generator, catalytic converter, particulate filter or turbocharger will usually destroy them, making repairs unprofitable. If some items are damaged (for example, bearings in a generator), you can try to repair the item.


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