Lots of rain. Flooded roads. In the UK, its that time of
Most cars can safely wade through a few inches of water.
Ive never lost a car to flooding, but Ive come very close.
One winter Monday morning, 0500, pitch black and it had
been raining for days. I thought Ill
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
id 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
wouldnt 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
Plugs back in. A few coughs and splutters. The damn thing
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 youre driving
at a crawl, you cant tell how deep the water is below the
So, have a depth gauge. Yachting/boating (ultrasonic)
depth gauges are inexpensive and easy to fit.