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Car depth-gauge

Tells you when you’re getting into deep warer
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Lots of rain. Flooded roads. In the UK, it’s that time of year. Most cars can safely wade through “a few inches” of water. Carefully.

I’ve never lost a car to flooding, but I’ve come very close. One winter Monday morning, 0500, pitch black and it had been raining for days. I thought “I’ll take the road over the hill”, because it would be less likely to have flooded than the valley road.

I rounded a sharp corner to find the road flooded, in a dip i’d forgotten, and no chance of stopping. The bow-wave over the bonnet was impressive. The car died. I left it where it was, waded through the 18” of water, and squelched home on foot. Got home, called the RAC (Arrive 0900), dried off, and crawled back into bed.

When they finally arrived (and intriguingly, the RAC man wouldn’t walk into the water- I had to wade in and hitch up the tow-rope) we hauled the bedraggled car out and pronounced it dead. I had assumed bent con-rods and bust valves. Took the plugs out, and it actually turned over! Fountains of water from the cylinders. But still assumed it was dead.

Plugs back in. A few coughs and splutters. The damn thing started!

That wee car went on to serve us for a few years after, with no problems at all. Citroen Saxo. It was written off when someone rear-ended it and buckled the chassis.

Anyway. Most cars can wade through a bit of water - some, obviously, more than others. But for many drivers, they have no idea how to drive on a flooded road, or exactly how deep you can go. Added to that, even if you’re driving at a crawl, you can’t tell how deep the water is below the surface.

So, have a depth gauge. Yachting/boating (ultrasonic) depth gauges are inexpensive and easy to fit.

Frankx, Nov 18 2019

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       Just buy a Land Rover ...
8th of 7, Nov 18 2019
  

       I did. It was ok, but no good on the motorway. I may still get another for the winter.
Frankx, Nov 18 2019
  

       //a Land Rover//   

       Utterly impervious to the effects of flooding since the engine would need to be running. Similarly, if the electrics weren't working in the first place....   

       I used to have to drive on a road that flooded to about 12" pretty regularly. For some reason the air filter had an intake that came forward then down behind the fog lamp area, with the entry about 8" off the floor. A few stealthy 10mm holes in the top of the airbox were my modification to the somewhat agricultural diesel engine, added about 12" extra wading depth. It's very satisfying chugging through water past a stranded 6 month old BMW with a driver who is looking at an enormous bill AND is stuck in Northwitch.
bs0u0155, Nov 18 2019
  

       Imagine the humiliation ...   

       He could always just push the BMW in the river, though.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2019
  

       //have a depth gauge.// Would it not be more useful to have a depth gauge on the car in front?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2019
  

       "The car in front is a Toyota" ....   

       Spraycan a Plimsoll line on it in hi-vis yellow. Sorted.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2019
  
      
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