Heavy rain and flooding
What happens if the car stalls?

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Real off-road vehicles and amphibious vehicles can handle large amounts of water relatively well. For most other cars, flooding poses a serious risk.

In addition to flooded basements, submerged cars are one of the most expensive types of damage caused by flooding and heavy rain. If the vehicle is not brought to safety in time, there is a risk of damage to the engine, electronics or interior. And this is often expensive.

Once the water level has reached the dashboard, the vehicle is usually a total loss. The cost of replacing the airbags and other electronic components usually exceeds the value of the vehicle. In other cases, the driver may get off lightly.

Better to have it checked in the workshop

If the water only reaches the bumper and the interior remains dry, the risk of damage is low. Nevertheless, the steering, brakes, wheel bearings and drive shafts should be checked in the workshop and repaired if necessary. If the water spills over the door sill into the interior, it becomes more complicated. Often, at least the floor coverings and insulation mats have to be replaced.

Depending on the vehicle concept, electronic components may also be affected. There is also a risk of damage to the exhaust system. The costs for repairs and draining can quickly rise to five-figure sums – not every car is worth it. In addition, even the most thorough cleaning measures are often only cosmetic – the driver must expect future malfunctions in the car.

Do not drive to the workshop yourself

No matter how high the water has risen, the journey to the workshop should not be made under your own power, but on a trailer or with a tow rope. This is because water in the engine causes the oil film to break and can lead to major engine damage after just a few revolutions of the crankshaft. It is also advisable to disconnect the battery to prevent a possible short circuit.

Even if the water level drops, drivers should remain cautious. Do not drive through water holes or flooded areas. Even at low speed and with a low water level, the bow wave can cause water hammer. This causes water to enter the engine's intake tract and can destroy it.

Real off-road vehicles with a higher intake opening are an exception; SUVs, on the other hand, get their oxygen just above the road surface like normal cars. And therefore, in case of doubt, below the water surface. Electric cars are also less sensitive because they do not take in outside air. Nevertheless, caution is advised. How deep the water can be for driving through is stated in the operating manual.


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