A guide to saving your wheels from a watery grave With the recent downpour of the nastiest rains that Chennai has ever seen in close to 10 decades is surely a lesson to everyone that Mother nature is NOT to be messed with. The monsoon followed by subsequent flooding has overwhelmed lives and it sure has had some unspeakable consequences. Let’s all take this as a strict warning to stop polluting and promote greenery over the greed for money. The heavens don’t intend on giving up soon and we should all take care of ourselves and the others around and of course, the things that we love- our vehicles. Here is a small article that lists a couple of safety measures for both man and machines ensuring that no damage is done:
Always be prepared:
Life has no certainty, but we can do our best to be prepared for the worst. Moisture does not go well with metal. In fact, if you’re located near the coast, you best be prepared. The salt-laden breeze can be devastating to your engine. Things can get worse when the rains cause flooding and water logging. Its imperative that you have an emergency kit in your car. A little food, some water, a glass breaker and a flashlight. These things might be lifesavers when you least expect it.
Decongesting roads can be done, and your car can be safe as well. Just leave the car parked. The risk of running the car and it getting stuck in water is always there. But, what’s more risky is that there might be potholes and there’s just no saying when your car might get stuck in one. The best thing to do is to stay at home and avoid going out till the condition seems okay.
Beware of aquaplaning:
A thin film of water on the road; what harm could it possibly do? But, that moisture is sufficient enough to lift the car’s tyres of the toad if you happen to move at high speed. Aquaplaning can be very dangerous as it could lead to momentary loss of control over the car’s steering. This could result in the car spinning in an unintended direction or even off the road.
Exhaust pipe trouble:
This might have happened to a lot of readers. While you’re out there stuck up in traffic and the water somehow manages to find its way to the exhaust pipe and choke it, the apparent drowning of the pipe is followed by burbling sounds. In such a situation, make sure you keep engine revs higher than normal and do not stall the engine till you are on higher ground. This ensures that water does not enter the engine. Once you’ve managed your way out of there and reach a safe spot where the water level is lower than the exhaust pipe, move along slowly and use your left foot to tap the brake pedal repeatedly in order to squeeze water out and get the brakes to function properly again. This simple technique, can save your car’s engine and thereby your wallet.
Bonnet level= Danger!!
If the water level goes up as high as the bonnet of your car, it is best that you turn off the car as the air-intake is just below the bonnet and will suck in water and damage your engine extensively. Try and open the door to get out, or if you have waited for too long and can’t open the doors anymore, get out through the window. In case the electrical systems have failed, move to the back seat – lie down on the seat and kick out a window to get out. If the electrical systems are working, make sure you shut the windows to give the interiors a chance to stay dry. If possible, open the bonnet and disconnect the battery before you leave to keep the ECU from getting shot out.
It is an unfortunate situation and as difficult as it may be, you have to put your safety first and walk out, instead of persisting and believing that you will make it through. Follow the steps above in order to limit water damage as much as possible – to the mechanical and electrical parts at least. The interiors are likely to take a beating, but then it’s easier to change seat covers and carpets than an engine block. Always remember to stay safe and choose to cut your losses instead of persevering in a difficult situation and harming yourself in the process too.
Saving your Car:
In case your car is completely immersed in water, these following steps should help:
– Don’t Start your car.
– Tow your car over to a workshop or a service pit.
– Drain the engine oil completely and replace the car’s air filter and oil filter with a new one.
– Remove engine intake manifold and clean the water entry.
– Fill with new engine oil and jack the car’s wheels and while doing so, do NOT start your car. Instead, just hand rotate the wheel that helps crank the engine.
– The process enables oil circulation and mixes with the water (if any) inside the engine.
– Follow this technique for at least 15-20 minutes and then flush out the engine oil. – Fill the oil again and repeat the aforementioned technique and clean all plugs, remove the starter and clean it as well. Once dry, refit it.
– Now, fill fresh engine oil and start the engine. Let the car run for 1 to 2 minutes.
– The technique mentioned above should cost you around 7 thousand rupees. However, it can save your car’s engine and save you from major expenses.
Stay home, Stay safe.