How to drive through a flood without busting an engine?

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(Photo Credit: pixabay)

When the rainy season arrives in Thailand, we can’t escape the common issue of flash floods, a problem that is one of every Thai driver’s traffic nightmare. So, should one back out of flooded areas or drive through them?

It is possible to drive through a flood with the right driving techniques that will save your car’s functionality. If you don’t know the techniques and persist in driving normally, your car might be ruined. Let’s check out the right way to drive through a flood!

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Don’t let the wheel flood

Please look carefully at how deep the water level in that area is. If it’s not more than 30 cm., above the footpath (around 10-20 cm.), or half of a wheel's height, you're good to go.

But if the flood reaches the edge of the car’s door, it's not recommended to go further. Because water might enter the car and cause various engine system damage or shutdown.

Choose the right road lane

Try to observe which road lane has higher flood levels. If your road lane is higher, you should avoid continuing on this path and move to another lane to reduce the risk of water entering the car.

Stop speeding up your car when approaching flood hotspots

If you meet with a flood in an emergency, you should slow down before driving into it. Otherwise, the car might go out of control. We recommend you drive at the lowest gear at a consistent speed by keeping the engine at 1,500-2,000 revs. If it’s lower than this, the engine may shut down. In other words, if it’s higher than this, it’ll push more water to be sucked into the machine.

For manual transmission cars, we suggest using gear at levels 1-2, while auto transmission cars recommend using L gear for driving through flood water.

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(Photo Credit: pexels)

Turn off the air conditioner

If you would like to drive into the flood, you should turn off the air conditioner and open the window instead for ventilation. Many people might be confused about why we have to turn the air conditioning off as it seems so unrelated to the situation. 

But turning off the air conditioner will help to protect your car from water entering as the impeller of an air conditioner system will blow the water into the car. Additionally, rubbish from the flood may get stuck in the fan motor causing damage to the engine cooling system.

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(Photo Credit: pexels)

Slow down when driving through the lane

If there's another car on another lane, you should slow down your car in case there's a wave coming, splashing your car, and entering your car’s engine and electric system.

Keep spacing between other cars

Due to the efficiency of the brake lining being deteriorated when driving through water, its reliability fades. Therefore, you have to keep a safe distance from other cars to avoid accidents.

Don’t cut off your engine suddenly

When you arrive at your destination, don’t cut off your engine immediately. Leave it for a while, so that any water that may be left in the muffler evaporates out first.

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(Photo Credit: pexels)

Keep stepping on the brake and clutch to let the water inside out

For automatic transmission cars, please repeatedly step on the brakes to drain the water in the brake system. Conversely, please repeatedly press the clutch for manual transmission cars to avoid clutch slips.

Engine off, won’t restart

Be calm first! Do not restart the engine after it stalls while driving through the flood. Get a tow or push your car out of high flood first to shield your car engine from the flood.

Before driving through the flood next time, don’t forget to follow these techniques above to not worry about the cost of repairing from water damage.

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