Protect your car from flood damage: Tips to drive through waterlogged streets – Times of India


We’re about to say goodbye to monsoon rains but even so, there are many parts of the country that are still being battered by rains enough to cause water-logged streets and flooding. Sure, you can stay in out of the rain but what about the car? For example, Bengaluru is currently facing problems of streets filled with water and hence traffic congestion as well. If the parking tends to get waterlogged or if you need to drive through a flooded street, there are some steps you can take to protect your car as much as possible. Here’s a little checklist to keep in mind.
– If you’re anticipating rain and are aware your parking area gets waterlogged, reduce the risk of water entering your car by switching your parking spot to higher ground, if possible. This is especially necessary if it is a sedan or a hatchback because it’ll sit closer to the ground. Cover it, in case it’s an open ground parking, to protect against elements like hail.
– Double-check rolling up the windows. Forgetting to roll up even a single window by however much can cause havoc as the rain loves to destroy the fabric or leather upholstery and electronic components
– So, there are times when you can’t help it and end up seeing your car filled with brown filthy rainwater. It isn’t uncommon. But if you see the car submerged to the tyres or if the exhaust pipe is underwater, do not try to start the engine. Doing so could let water in the engine through the air intake or the exhaust. If the water enters the cylinders, it can damage the pistons and valves. Not to mention, this repair will not be cheap. Wait for the water to recede completely.
– The same stands true if the car is stalled on a flooded street. Do not try to start the engine when the car is submerged even up to half the tyre or the exhaust.
It needs to be noted that most insurance policies do not cover damage by natural disasters, which includes rain.
– If you must drive through a flooded street, the first tip is – Don’t. As much as possible, avoid driving through flood water unless entirely necessary. Metal, electronics, engines, and exhausts do not like water as much. Stay home, change the route, unless of course, really necessary.
– And if it is necessary, assess the depth of the water, and look for an elevated area to drive over, if there’s any.
– Keep your car in the first gear and take it slow. If you hit the water at higher speeds, the air intake can suck in the water, plus the car can also aquaplane (lose traction and lose control).
– Whilst slowly moving through flood water, keep the engine revving. This will help keep the water out of the exhaust. If you do stall and have to restart the engine, do so immediately. The longer you wait, the water can enter through the exhaust exit. If it’s been a while since the car has stalled and you know the engine is flooded as well, trying to start or to push it out will do more harm than good.
– Once out of the flooded area, dry the brakes. Drive slow and apply break lightly and often to dry the water from the discs and callipers or drum brakes.
– And lastly, while most insurance policies won’t cover flood damage, some companies provide add-on covers for just such a thing. In case you have only third-party liability covered, it would be worth considering a comprehensive car insurance plan.

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