That sudden downpour. Flash floods. Slippery roads. Hydroplaning after a heavy rain. Yes, it’s that time of the year. Here’s what you can do to keep you and your car safe and dry.
1. Park on higher ground.
If you anticipate flooding, protect your car by moving it to a more elevated area. Water can damage electrical parts and cause sudden release of airbags.
2. A Cats and Dogs Situation• Turn the headlights on when you can no longer see anything beyond 100m. Under extreme cases, fog lights will help but turn them off once visibility improves.• It takes longer to stop in rainy weather, so double the usual distance between your car and the one ahead of you.• If you feel that you’ve lost steering control (a.k.a. aquaplaning), hold the steering lightly and gently slow down until your tires regain their grip.• If you get stalled, keep the hood of your car down. It’sharder to start the engine if your electrical parts are soaked.
3. Don’t drive through water, especially moving water.
It only takes half a foot of water to badly damage your car. You may have driven through that street all your life, but when it rains, you’re in for unpleasant surprises. Open manholes, debris, downed power lines, and other nasty stuff washed in by the rain can lie beneath those puddles. Also, water can enter your exhaust and cause stalling. Even the best treads can’t keep you from floating.
4. Hope Floats?
Confident that you’re in some big guy, like an SUV? Did you know that most vehicles start floating in waters six-inch deep? At two feet, even a heavy pickup can be swept away.
If this happens, add more weight to your vehicle by opening the car door to let some water in. Let your passengers in the front and the back do the same to help restore traction.
5. Slow down.
Driving fast is risky, inconsiderate, and COSTLY. You can lose contact with the road or aquaplane, soak pedestrians and cyclists, or even get stopped and fined for reckless driving.
Besides, it takes only a small cup of water to penetrate your engine and damage it, especially when the engine air intake is low at the front.
If you MUST drive through water-logged streets, enter at 1.5-3kph and proceed at 5-6 kph to avoid engine flooding.
6. Drive on low gear.
For an automatic vehicle, maintain first or second gear. Regulate speed with your brakes. Keep that foot on the gas and use your brakes to regulate speed.
7. Stay at the center.
Water always gets shallower at the highest portion of the road.
8. Do the Shallows
No matter how slow you’re going, about half an inch of water is enough for you to lose control of your car. Be smart. Don’t brave water or even puddles that are higher than middle of your tires.
9. Take Turns
No, it’s not about being just “nice.” Yes, it is rude to overtake and splash other vehicles but staying on single file is also smart and safe. Doing so lets the vehicle in front move water out of the way, making for better traction for everyone elsebehind it.
10. Dry Your Brakes
In the clear? No, you’re not yet done. After crossing through water, it is a must to dry those brakes. Drive slowly and brake lightly with slow, light taps.
11. Flooded Car?
Don’t attempt to restart. This can wreak havoc on your engine.
Under the worst cases, you will have to strip the engine and remove the plugs and engines before restarting.
Better yet, hop out, go to higher ground and find some other way to get home. It is not safe to drive your car even if the rains stop and the floods recede.
Also, take note of the water that got in so that you can do proper cleaning and sanitation. In a city environment, flood water can be contaminated with bacteria from drains and sewers, while water from rural areas can contain animal waste and dregs from agricultural chemicals.
Take care of your Hyundai so that it can take care of you.