The behind the scenes damage that floods wreak upon your car
While many of us escaped the recent floods, some parts of the UK experienced torrential downpours and it is certain that most of us will be confronted by flooded roads at some point between now and next spring.
While there are many sound safety reasons for not entering deep water, such as the danger of being swept away, aquaplaning and the risk of splashing other vehicles (obscuring their view) or pedestrians, you car might not appreciate it either.
The most obvious danger is water being sucked through the engine air intake. As water cannot compress (unlike air), the result is a ruined engine, because various critical components literally bend under the strain. Yet, there are other considerations, too.
Water can penetrate the rubber gaiters and seals that are designed to protect the wheel bearings and various steering/suspension components. Once inside, the water can be trapped. Corrosion and premature failure of the component results. One of the major reasons why steering racks are discarded as scrap by reconditioning specialists is due to severe rusting, caused, most often, by water penetration. Additionally, many cars have power steering motors that are attached directly to the steering rack beneath the car, rather than being situated within the warm confines of the car’s interior. Needless to say, these systems do not appreciate being dunked.
Therefore, while you may think that a risky manoeuvre paid off, consider that the effects of wading through floodwater can affect your car long afterwards.