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July 13, 2018

Here's How You Go Through Floods Safely

At 800 millimeters, some SUVs and pickup trucks have impressive water wading capabilities right off the bat. And while that gives you an extra layer of protection when tackling flash floods, these vehicles aren’t impervious.

As heavy rains hit the Metro once more, here are some things to keep in mind in case you find yourself having to drive through floods.

It’s not recommended to drive through anything you cannot see or walk through or is deeper than the center of your wheels. Even if your vehicle is capable of going through 800 millimeters (around waist deep waters), it’s best to stick to around 500 millimeters or around knee deep waters (around 200 millimeters for passenger cars) just to give you and your car some breathing room; a must especially for roads you’re not familiar with. Alternatively, stop and observe if others can drive through the flood safely. If they can’t, wait it out.

If you really have to go through a flooded road, aim for the “crown” of the road, or near it, as the water is at its shallowest there. Use high revs and a low gear, first or “L” depending on the type of transmission. Keep a constant speed and don’t take your foot off the accelerator, otherwise water may flood the engine through the exhaust pipe.

Ease into the water at no more than 3 km/h and increase to a maximum of 6 km/h. This will create a “bow wave” in front of the vehicle and a depression in water level around the engine bay. This reduces the chance of water entering the engine via the air filter and/or damage electrical components. Drive too fast and the bow wave will come back at you and this will push water into the engine bay causing extensive damage.

Proceed one vehicle at a time so you will not be forced to stop in the middle if the vehicle in front stalls. Also ensure no vehicles are coming the other way, as the wake it creates may drown your vehicle, especially if it’s moving at unreasonable speeds.

Once out of the water, apply the brakes gently to dry them. “Ride” the brake with your left foot if you are familiar with this technique. Release when you feel the brake starts to “bite.” If the car hesitates (palya), it’s wise to pull over to a safe place and let the engine run at idle for 10 minutes or so to dry things out. Also, make it a point to inspect and ensure that no debris is stuck in areas like the grille, suspension, and propeller shaft.

Also, keep this in mind when you drive in the wet: 150 millimeters of water (ankle deep) will reach the bottom of some passenger cars while 300 millimeters (halfway between the ankles and knees) can start to make it float. Also, 600 millimeters can sweep most vehicles, even SUVs and pickups away in flowing water. It’s not the speed of the flow, but the force and volume, so don’t take risks.

1 comment:

  1. How You Go Through Floods Safely?

    Avoid it as much as you can if we are already talking about floods that is knee level. You should already know where are the deepest parts in your regular route. Go to nearest mall instead and park your vehicle there if they have multi level parking. Watch movies, dine or just chill out in coffee shops while waiting for the flood to subside. Twitter is your friend during flood season.


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