The rainy season is often associated with flooded roads. Then, there’s also the car damaging potholes and manholes filled with water that could result in serious harm if not properly managed. It is often advised that motorists apply serious caution when conversing through highways during the rainy season to reduce the event of an accident. But, what do you do when you have to drive through flooded streets?
The fact is that as much as it is advised to avoid driving through flooded streets, it is sometimes an unavoidable situation. At such times, you will need to tactically wade through it to save your vehicle from getting damaged in the flood.
The following tips will guide you on how to safely drive through a flood, and what to do after.
• When Caught Up In A Flood
Turn off the air conditioner
Driving through a flooded street with your air conditioner running could damage the unit as excess water could get into it, causing a bridge in the circuit.
It is safe to drive slowly but steady through the flood, with the engine revving continuously. It is essential to keep the engine revved up to avoid water from getting into the engine through the air filter compartment in ripple. So, drive as low as possible with engine speed of 1000rev/min or even less, with occasional engine revs of not more than 1500 to 2000rev/min. This is also very important for Hiace buses with low air filter level.
As much as possible, avoid potholes that will reduce the height of the air filter inlet level thereby allowing water into the engine.
Give the car in front some distance
Give the car in front of you a minimum driving distance of 1.5m to allow for easy escape when the vehicle in front stalls.
Avoid restarting the vehicle if it stops
If and when the vehicle stalls, avoid restarting the engine over and over again as this could lead to greater damage. Ensure the windows are well shut and climb out of the vehicle through the roof, if the water is up to the door level.
• After Driving Through A Flood
Steam the Engine
Ensure that the engine steams for about thirty minutes or more to dry up all traces of water and to ensure that water retained within the disc brakes and calliper are all dried off. This is important especially for areas with acidic tendencies like Lekki, Victoria Island and Ajah, where the salty nature of the sand can make the floodwater acidic.
Steam wash your radiator and condenser
Ensure that you steam wash your radiator and condenser after series of trips through floods. This will ensure that trapped sand and dirt are removed from the radiator and condenser element. Failure to do this could result to overheating.
Air-dry the vehicle
After parking the vehicle, ensure you drain off water trapped inside the vehicle to avoid corrosion of the wire harness and other electrically related modules and actuators.
Avoid buying fuel from fuel stations within flooded a locality
As much as possible, avoid buying fuel from fuel stations within a flooded locality to prevent damage to your engine from polluted fuel, as this could corrode and damage your injector nozzles, fuel pump, valves etc. Such vehicles would experience jerking, engine hunting, poor engine acceleration and, at the extreme, hard starting. The vehicle could also just stall while in motion.
In the event of any of these symptoms mentioned above, please contact your dealer for advise and repair.