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Precautions & Tips while Driving in Flood Water


SK01
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Recently on my way to Hyderabad from Vijayawada, at 5:25 in the morning there was a huge rain. By the time I reached the railway bridge near Prakasham Barrage/Bus complex there was a huge flood water pool. Seeing that I turned to the right thinking there’s another way only to come across bus complex entrance. Upon asking a Innova Crystal owner, he said these floods are pretty common in Vijayawada and we can go through it. At first I was apprehensive, i knew how the damage would be. I did not want to take the risk. But there was no other way.

 

All thanks to @Saran who posted his experience sometime ago with which I thought I can proceed, of-course after seeing smaller cars pass through it successfully.

 

Entering inside was all together a different experience with mixed emotions. I lowered the windows, unlocked the car, switched off the AC, turned on the blinkers and proceeded ahead. The way my Freestyle TDCi performed was simply amazing. Never in that deep water pool, full of pressure I felt afraid or loss of torque.

 

I’m really fortunate enough to have crossed it safely while a Verna stalled there due its low GC. All thanks to my Freestyle’s 190mm GC and punchy TDCi engine. Here are few precautions and tips for newbies who encounters this situation. 

 

 

DISCLAIMER : 

NEVER DO THIS WITH A CAR WHOSE GROUND CLEARANCE IS LESS THAN 180mm.

I’VE READ ARTICLES OF CARS GETTING STALLED ANS SEEN A NEW SEDAN GETTING STALLED THERE BEHIND ME WHICH REALLY WAS SADDENING SIGHT.

 

Precautions:

  1.  Ensure that the depth of water suits your car. Eg: Never drive if the water is reaching or crossing shoulder line of your car (indicator level). This way you can prevent going into depths that covers your grille. 
  2. Before entering yourself, check with other similar cars if they are going well safely. Check your surroundings, switch on your blinkers when in dark. 
  3. Always maintain a safer distance from the bigger vehicles. Best, drive once they cross. 
  4. Remove your seatbelts, unlock your car door (don’t open) lower your windows. (Electrical failure may jam the locking systems of your car door, window and seatbelts which will make escaping a really tough job in case of car breakdown)
  5. Switch off the Air Conditioner for additional torque. 

 

Tips:

  1. Maintain steady momentum and keep moving. Avoid sudden acceleration and braking. Avoid stalling. 
  2. Maintain high revs.
  3. Move in lower gears(1,2,3) depending upon the speed.
  4. Driving  through water puts additional strain on the engine and using the third gear, instead of the first, could lead to the car stalling.
  5. There’ll be a lot of pressure hitting your car, the car won’t move, but never stop the car. Stopping the car leads to water entering into intake and exhaust which leads to engine failure. 
  6. Don’t crank the engine if it stops. Cranking the engine leads to permanent damage of vital parts. Starting with the water putting more pressure on the engine’s connecting rods, which could lead to them breaking. In addition, if water has entered the engine through the intake or the exhaust, it could cause serious engine damage and burn a rather large hole in your pocket when it comes to repairs. 
  7. Pump the brakes stopping the vehicle for some time so that the water doesn't stay decreasing the braking performance. If you feel that the brakes aren't sure footed like before, don't worry, it's because of water. Drive  in medium speed till you feel the brakes are good. Take it to your nearest service centre if the problem continues  even after repeated braking.

 

 

Suggestions are welcome.

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22 hours ago, SK01 said:

Recently on my way to Hyderabad from Vijayawada, at 5:25 in the morning there was a huge rain.

 

Thank you for sharing your experience. 
Video looks scary. 

During our recent monsoon drive, we faced numerous water-crossing. Luckily, all the cars were SUV's. 
We managed without any issues. 

 

22 hours ago, SK01 said:

Suggestions are welcome.

 

Air intake point is the important parameter to consider. 
In some cars it is placed in the lower side, In some cars it is placed higher. 

 

22 hours ago, SK01 said:

I lowered the windows, unlocked the car, switched off the AC, turned on the blinkers and proceeded ahead.

 

These are very import tips ^^ , helpful information. 

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11 minutes ago, Ranger said:

 

These are very import tips ^^ , helpful informatio

Thanks @Ranger.

 

12 minutes ago, Ranger said:

During our recent monsoon drive, we faced numerous water-crossing.

Waiting for the trip report and videos. 

 

13 minutes ago, Ranger said:

In some cars it is placed in the lower side, In some cars it is placed higher. 

I must now check where it is placed in my car. 

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23 hours ago, SK01 said:

 

 

Tips:

  1. Maintain steady momentum and keep moving. Avoid sudden acceleration and braking. Avoid stalling. 
  2. Maintain high revs.
  3. Move in lower gears(1,2,3) depending upon the speed.
  4. Driving  through water puts additional strain on the engine and using the third gear, instead of the first, could lead to the car stalling.
  5. There’ll be a lot of pressure hitting your car, the car won’t move, but never stop the car. Stopping the car leads to water entering into intake and exhaust which leads to engine failure. 
  6. Don’t crank the engine if it stops. Cranking the engine leads to permanent damage of vital parts. Starting with the water putting more pressure on the engine’s connecting rods, which could lead to them breaking. In addition, if water has entered the engine through the intake or the exhaust, it could cause serious engine damage and burn a rather large hole in your pocket when it comes to repairs. 

 

 

Suggestions are welcome.

 

thanks, the video looks scary. what an amazing car. well done. and great tips.

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Totally agree with you @shiva

2 hours ago, shiva said:

We can't predict the dept some times.

Yes. I checked waiting at a safe place many small cars like Alro and WagonR passing and entered. Otherwise I wouldn’t have entered. 

 

2 hours ago, shiva said:

Did water enter into cabin? 

No. The water didn’t enter cabin surprisingly. Dust enters the floor step and is really irritating. Considering this I thought water would enter but it didn’t. Brakes weren’t crisp for few kms and later it was back to its spot on braking nature. It requires pumping in idle position so that the water doesn’t stay and decrease braking performance. 

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Wow.. That must have been a heck of an experience for you. I would be surprised to know how hasn't the water entered into the air filter :D .. But seriously, Kudos to you for taking such step after noticing a few cars like alto pass through this and thank god you weren't tail gating them which is a common mistake most people do during such situations.. Else the story of the car ahead of yours would repeat in your case as well ..

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.. :) 

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1 hour ago, sagar said:

tail gating them which is a common mistake most people do during such situations.

Surprisingly, people there were disciplined. They weren't doing such things. An old Swift passed followed by Alto, WagonR and a DZire. None were indisciplined. Everyone followed the line and maintained decent gap. 

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Lucky You !

 

Good thing : No one was coming from other side.. else the wave generated by those vehicles sometimes became dangerous.

Once alto ( in front of my car ) was doing something similar and there was safari coming on high speed from other side. it completely submerged alto in water wave. 

 

looked funny !!! but dangerous and scary ..cant predict what some stupid ppl may do on roads...

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1 hour ago, Manish Sharma said:

Good thing : No one was coming from other side.. else the wave generated by those vehicles sometimes became dangerous.

Absolutely right. It's a railway bridge so there's a complete wall between the two roads. Nonetheless what you said is completely right.  

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