Back to all

H20 No! (Driving Through Standing Water)

February 20, 2022

In a year marked by unusually heavy flooding in North America, drivers are very aware of the possibility they may find themselves driving where water has come over the road.  It can be a daunting and frightening situation.  Flooding waters can move quickly and unpredictably, so you have to keep your wits about you when you encounter that situation.

Here a sample of one vehicle manufacturer's guidelines on what to do.  First, the vehicle is designed to go through some water, but you must be careful.  Never attempt to drive through water deeper than the bottom of your tires.

You can get out of your vehicle to check the depth of the water, but you can never be sure that you aren't going to drive into a spot where the road has washed away.  You can't see below the surface of the water, and suddenly you could find yourself in a place where the road drops off unexpectedly.  In swift moving storm runoff, your vehicle could literally be floating away with the current, putting your life and those of your passengers in mortal danger. 

Never go more than 5mph/8 km/hr when you drive through standing water.  That minimizes the waves you create.  If you DO find yourself in water that is touching your drivetrain components, that water can damage them.  And if you get water in your engine, it can lock up in seconds and stall.  The potential damage can be catastrophic.

You may have found yourself driving in water deep enough to reach your drivetrain components, and it's essential that you have a technician check the fluids to make sure they haven't been contaminated.  That includes engine oil, transmission and axle.  Driving with fluids contaminated with water can severely damage those components. 

The bottom line is to avoid driving through water at all if you possibly can.  Check your vehicle's owner's manual to see if there are specific guidelines for driving YOUR vehicle in standing water.  It's information that could save your life.

TLC Custom Exhaust Brakes & Tires
1735 N Main St
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
248-541-8300
http://www.tlcautocareroyaloak.com

Need Service?

More articles from TLC Auto Care

What is a TPS? (Throttle Position Sensor)

February 18, 2024

You know you have an accelerator pedal; step on it and your vehicle is supposed to go. But did you know there is a part in your vehicle that keeps track of where the throttle is? It's called the Throttle Position Sensor, or TPS. The TPS is a sensor that helps your vehicle figure out the right mi... More

Straight Ahead (Wheel Alignment)

February 11, 2024

If every road was straight and smooth, we wouldn't have to worry much about wheel alignment. But they're not, so we do. Hitting potholes or driving on rough pavement can knock your vehicle out of alignment and you'll notice it in one of several ways. Your steering wheel may not be centered when ... More

Don't Blow a Gasket! (Valve Cover Gasket Replacement)

February 4, 2024

When you head out to your vehicle after it's been parked and notice oil leaking underneath it, that's something to have looked at right away. Oil leaks mean your oil level is probably low and running a vehicle in that condition can lead to expensive repairs. While there are many reasons oil leak... More