Driving through high water can ruin your car

Driving through high water can ruin your car

Featured on: ABC 6 News – Friday, June 21st 2019
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Every time are closed because of high water, police officers will warn people of the dangers of driving through. People do it anyway. They may not realize they’re not only risking their lives, but also their car.

The owner at Alternative Auto Care in Victorian Village said she worked on one car Friday that had destroyed its engine driving through flood waters.

“We get tunnel vision on, ‘well I have to get here’ or ‘I’m trying to accomplish this’ and plow right into the water and that’s where the problems begin,” said Chris Cozad, the owner of Alternative Auto Care on W. 5th Avenue. “That can be catastrophic because you’re going to end up what we call ‘hydrolocking’ the engine potentially which ruins the engine.”

Cozad said engines power the car with a combination of fuel and air. If water starts going in instead — that can ruin the engine.

“Trying to save yourself 20 minutes of inconvenience can cost you literally thousands of dollars,” she said.

She said the flood waters can also cause problems with the electronics on the car too.

“There’s a lot of electrical sensors and onboard computer modules, some things like that on the car that don’t want to be wet, let along submerged,” she said. “Some of those are quite low to the ground.”

Cozad said she’ll hear from customers they think if they drive slowly through the water it’ll be okay. She said speed doesn’t make a difference. Water getting into your car will do serious damage one way or another.

“People think, ‘oh if I just go slow I’ll be fine’,” she said. “That doesn’t matter because the water is going to get where it’s going to get.”

She said flood waters can also cause major transmission problems. That also can cause hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damage.

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