The Met Office released a statement that February 2020 was the wettest ever recorded in Britain, with Atlantic Storms Ciara and Dennis depositing vast amounts of rainfall across the country. A UK average of 202.1mm of rain fell during the month, surpassing the February 1990 record of 193.4mm.

With flooding so widespread concerns arise about how to protect your vehicle from permanent water damage. Here are some vital tips to ensure car safety to spare you that sinking feeling.

 

1. Seal it up

Before you get on the roads during a storm be sure to close all of your vehicle’s windows and doors tightly. Remember the sunroof as well. 

 

2. Avoid flooded routes
Make it a top priority to avoid a flooded route. Take the alternative route, even if it is longer. Attempt to cross a flooded road only as a last resort.

 

3. Pause and take measure
Avoid any large puddles or standing water because you never know how deep it might be. Even a relatively shallow one could splash up and do damage to your vehicle’s undercarriage if you speed through it. The worst case scenario would entail submerging your entire car in water.

But if you decide to go through the puddle take a moment to get out of your vehicle and inspect the level of water. There may be a water depth gauge at the side of the road if you are crossing at a ford so use it to make a more informed decision.
While you’re at it, scan the area for other hazards as well including floating debris or downed power lines.

 

4. Water depth assessment

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For standing water the rule of thumb is that if it is above six inches deep, avoid driving through it. For moving water the level of threat increases if it is above four inches. It could easily sweep a car and land you in troubled waters.

 

5. Take care when passing other vehicles
First of all, drive slowly. Avoid overtaking other vehicles or crossing against other drivers that could cause you to stray off your trajectory. Furthermore, it is important to avoid driving alongside larger vehicles on the road as they can create waves that will push the water higher than anticipated.

 

6. Take the high road
One of the most effective ways to avoid damage is to get your vehicle onto higher ground. This will be in the middle, as most roads are designed to let water drain off the sides. Be as observant as possible to spot hidden dips, such as potholes, that can catch you off-guard.

 

7. Keep your car revving

Experts recommend trying to keep the revs up (accelerating up to 4-5mph) once in the water to avoid water being sucked back into the exhaust. For manual cars, try slipping the clutch as keeping the revs high could make you go too fast.

 

8. What if the car stalls
The common mistake most people make when their vehicle stalls is that they panic and leave the car. It is important to try and start your car straight away, as the longer you wait, the further the water will creep up your exhaust system.

 

9. Dry your brakes
Even when driving at a steady speed through water, it is possible to get your brakes wet. Make sure to brake slowly and allow your tires to grip the road. As extra precaution, take the time out to dry them.

10.  What to do if your car stops
Be warned that flood damage can have a devastating impact on your vehicle. If your car is surrounded by water and comes to a halt try and climb out safely and lock the doors. If you plan on leaving the car there, do consider disconnecting your battery to prevent damage to sensitive computerized and electronic components.

Furthermore, to make sure you have the right coverage to protect your vehicle it’s a good idea to review your car insurance policy.

 

If you have been or know someone who has been affected by the recent floods, please get in touch to see if we can help you too. Please contact Leah on 07990 037821.