Watching cars fail going through water

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The Basket

Senior Master Sergeant
3,712
1,882
Jun 27, 2007
This is the automotive equivalent of throwing your laptop in a swimming pool.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
Modern cars have a sealed battery, so the electrolyte won't dilute, so being submerged in fresh water won't hurt the system.
Salt water, though, will short the system quickly.

What's happening, is these cars are sucking water up into their engine's intake.
Most newer vehicles have their intake mounted up front and often times, low near the wheel well, in order to get cooler air - which does not work well when crossing flooded roads.
 

stona

Major
9,365
3,074
Mar 28, 2009
I live a few hundred yards from this ford at Sarehole Mill.

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When it's been raining the grandkids always ask us to drive by (not through!) the ford so that they can count the cars stuck in and around it. That van has a local area code in its telephone number, WTF. Sometimes cars get washed downstream and end up against or under the bridge just visible in the right of the first photo.

DeOkIZvXUAAtyrg.jpg


I have no idea what makes people think they can drive through when it's flooded. There have been signs warning people not to cross for the last few years and yet still they try.

I don't use it, even when it has six inches of water flowing over the concrete!
 

Thumpalumpacus

1st Lieutenant
7,228
10,495
Feb 5, 2021
Tejas
We have numerous "low-water crossings" (they should be called "high-water crossings", dammit) in the area, and when the rain is severe I'm stranded out here in the sticks. Because of our geography, they can fill up very fast. All of them have traffic-yellow depth gauges, and I've seen them carrying 4' of water.

Our local mantra is "turn around, don't drown."
 

pbehn

Colonel
12,238
8,927
Oct 30, 2013
I went into a ford very slowly in the Lake District, it snapped all the fasteners on plastic fitting underneath. Ploughing into deep water like that is asking for trouble, water is forced into places it would never normally reach. Great to watch though like people falling off doing wheelies or spinning off showing off their "car control".
 

stona

Major
9,365
3,074
Mar 28, 2009
Not buying kitchen from that guy.

The car under bridge looks fatal and that no lie.

Good old English weather. Where summer only means warmer rain.
The driver of the car was rescued by the fire brigade while the car was stuck in the Ford. It was then washed off and got stuck under the bridge. Looks like a write off.
A Mini got washed under the bridge a few years ago and eventually got wedged on some stepping stones further down stream. A Mini FFS!
 

pbehn

Colonel
12,238
8,927
Oct 30, 2013
The driver of the car was rescued by the fire brigade while the car was stuck in the Ford. It was then washed off and got stuck under the bridge. Looks like a write off.
A Mini got washed under the bridge a few years ago and eventually got wedged on some stepping stones further down stream. A Mini FFS!
Have you seen a new Mini parked next to an old one? A new one weighs 1,376Kg an old one was 587Kg, they are HUGE.
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
5,070
8,385
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Over 20 years ago I got home from work and a friend told me he no longer needed my hangar to work on his airplane and I could move mine back in. I drove over to the airport in my 1978 Celica rather than my 1988 4X4 truck because the car was already out of the garage. Big mistake!

It started raining after I got to the airport and I got soaking wet moving the airplane inside. But I had a pair of dark blue coveralls in the hangar, put them on, and headed home. The rain was really coming down but I thought little of it until I got to a stretch of road with flood warning signs and, sure enough, water covered the road. It was not deep but when I stopped for a traffic light I did not keep the engine revved up and water came up the tailpipe; the engine quit.

I ran over to the nearest place with a phone, Sears, and called a friend to come help me tow my car home. When I ran back to the car it was no longer surrounded by water. I ran over to it splashing through the water in the ditch. Uh, the ditch was 6 feet deep and full of water! I swam across the ditch, amazingly enough not losing my car keys, started the car and pulled it up the street and onto a higher shoulder of the road. Then I went running back down the way I had come. During my swim I saw there was car nose down in that deep ditch, a Honda. Up to his neck in the water and trying to push his car out was the owner. Other people ran up and we tried to pull the car out of the ditch. Two men joined the owner with water up to their necks and I grabbed the Left rear wheel. We could barely rock the car. Then I saw that the driver's door was open and the water was up to the top of the instrument panel. "Folks, there is two thousand pounds of water in this car! We are not moving it!" One of the guys up to his neck in the ditch said he had a 4X4 and a tow strap but he had just run out of gas. Then a Toyota 4X4 truck, same model that I should have been diving, drove up and they got the tow strap and towed the car out. Soaking wet for the 2nd time in 30 min, I walked back up in the intersection to await my friend so I could tell him to go home. Nearby a family of four wearing yellow rain slickers was standing outside a Toyota van that had hid a deep puddle and quit when the water filled up the below-deck compartment that held the battery. Across the street was the guy with the out-of gas-4X4. All in all, I thought we were a merry little group of soaking wet individuals, heedless of hazards, laughing at danger, willing to help complete strangers, and acting like utter idiots.

Suddenly every type of emergency equipment in current manufacture appeared on the scene while I stood in the road, trying to keep from being run over and not fall in the ditch again. My friend arrived to find a sea of blinking red, blue, and yellow lights, wondering what in the world I had been doing to create a catastrophe of this size. I told him all was Okay and he pointed out dark blue coveralls were a poor color scheme to be standing in the dark in the road in the rain.

I asked the 4X4 driver if he needed gas and told him I would get him some. I drove home, showered off, changed clothes again, and headed back to the disaster scene. Someone was pouring gas in the 4X4 when I got there so I went home. I could not believe that it was only 1930; I figured it had to be almost midnight.
 

stona

Major
9,365
3,074
Mar 28, 2009
The driver of the car was rescued by the fire brigade while the car was stuck in the Ford. It was then washed off and got stuck under the bridge. Looks like a write off.
A Mini got washed under the bridge a few years ago and eventually got wedged on some stepping stones further down stream. A Mini FFS!
Well all newer cars are MUCH bigger than they used to be. I sat in a restored Ford Anglia recently and it was about a quarter the size I remembered it being when I was a kid and my dad had one! A combination of me being quite a bit bigger and a very small car methinks.

The Fuhrerin had a couple of 'new' Minis before she gave up on the unfeasibly heavy clutch. I thought they were terrible cars, though her red and black Cooper looked nice. The clutches felt like the one I remember from an old Massey tractor that I drove as a kid, though Mini/BMW assured us that this was normal. She swopped to an Audi A1.

I wouldn't drive through a ford in either :)
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
5,070
8,385
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Back in October 2015 my Mom and I were watching FNC one Sunday, showing flooding in our old home town of Columbia SC. We watched as two men in a pickup drove into the water at a freeway interchange very near where we used to live. In a very few minutes they were floating, having climbed into the back of the truck to try to stay out of the water. Could not believe anyone was that dumb. When you can't see anything but water in an area that used to have roads and clear and distinct variations in the terrain, why in the world would you just drive right on in?
 

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