The flood that occurred in Emilia Romagna it makes us reflect on the problems of flooding of the streets and or garages where they remain involved vehicles, cars, motorcycles and vans all damaged by water and mud. What can we do to limit damage to vehicles? What precautions can we take to protect cars, motorcycles and vans?
Precautions and tips to protect your car from water
In the event of a flood, to protect cars, but also motorcycles and vans, it is important to take the following precautions:
- Avoid driving on flooded roads | If you encounter a flooded road, it is best to avoid driving on it. The water can hide obstacles or be deeper than it appears, jeopardizing the safety of the vehicle and those on board. It is preferable to look for alternative routes or wait for conditions to improve.
- Park the car in a safe place | If you are in a flood prone area, it is advisable to park your car on higher ground or in secure garages above ground level. Avoid leaving your car in areas prone to flooding, such as near rivers or rainwater collection points.
- Safe distance from riverbeds and streams | Avoid parking your car too close to rivers or streams. During floods, these can flood rapidly and threaten the integrity of the vehicle.
- Avoid starting the car in flooded areas | If you are stuck in a flooded area, it is best to avoid starting your car. Water could enter the air intake system or engine, causing serious damage. Also, if water exceeds the car’s drain level, it could enter the cabin, making the car unsafe to drive.
- If the car has been submerged, do not attempt to start it | If the car has been completely submerged in water, do not attempt to start it. First of all, it is important to contact a professional or mechanic to evaluate the damage and take the necessary measures.
- Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage | Before a flood occurs, it is advisable to check your car insurance coverage. Some insurance policies may not cover flood damage, so make sure you are adequately protected against this type of event.
Remember that personal safety is always the top priority during a flood. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, follow the directions of local authorities and seek safe haven.
Most major car damage can occur with just a few inches of water. In fact an immersion of the medium of is enough just 30 centimeters to risk water infiltrating the intake.
Water in the enginedamage
Between the most frequent damages in case of flood, water infiltration into the engine is the most expensive. The presence of the liquid inside the combustion chambers, it would not only lead to rust and impurities on components with very tight tolerances, but if the engine were running, the incompressibility of the water would also irreparably damage valves, connecting rods and pistons.
For this it is recommended to do a check the intake manifolds before starting the engine. For this operation it will be necessary open the engine compartment and remove the plastic pipe leading to the air filter(usually anchored with bolts) and check inside. If there is water, it will be necessary to disassemble part of the engine to establish the extent of the damage.
In some cases the damage suffered could compromise the engine to such an extent that cannot be recovered. To ensure that the operation is carried out correctly, it is advisable to contact specialized workshopsbut pay attention to the prices, could exceed the value of the car itself.
Water in oil
If the collector check does not show excessive humidity, an oil sample could prove that there is water in the system. In fact, if the oil were to be diluted, it would mean that other impurities could also be in the sump and be introduced into the oil pumping system. The same goes for the presence of water in petrol.
Therewater damages the electrical system
Contacts and connectors, as well as control units and batteries, are sensitive to water. In particular if active at the moment of contact with the liquid, these electrical components they could overload and burn the terminals; or the rust could damage the connectors not guaranteeing its normal functioning.
If the water level in which the vehicle is immersed, passes the bottom line of the doorThere are there is a good chance that the infiltrations will damage the materials used in the cabin. Mats, seats and plastics are sensitive to humidity. So drying them properly after a steam wash would be ideal to bring them back to their original state as much as possible.
Plus the interiors are full of buttons and electronic components poorly protected from the elements by designso water can cause massive damage here too.
Bodywork and floods
In critical situations such as those in Emilia Romagna, large objects and rubble were transported by the current at impressive speeds and unfortunately also damaged the bodywork or windows of the cars themselves. We have also witnessed videos being published of the vehicle itself being dragged away.
Under such circumstances, there is little that can be done. Taking photos and collecting testimonials for insurance, it remains the only action that can be taken to recover the costs inflicted by bad weather
But unfortunately, severe floods can form in just 15 minutes from the onset of precipitationso often there is little that can be done to avoid extensive damage to the vehicles. On the other hand, however, great care can be taken to restore what can be restored later.
For regarding the risks with water for electric and hybrid cars we recommend reading a dedicated article ELECTRIC CAR RISKS with floods and high water.
Read also more information on the topic of flood damage, compensation and liability.
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