Does driving puddles cause car engine damage?

As the rain keeps falling, will driving through puddles damage your car engine and prove an expensive mistake?

Modern cars tend to have air intakes fairly low down at the front of the car. Drive through water deep enough and it will be sucked up into the engine, causing it to seize.

The technical term for this damage is called ‘hydrostatic lock’ – water enters an engine cylinder and during the compression stroke will lock the engine piston in place.

This in turn overloads the connection rod, causing it to deform and cause significant engine damage. It can even destroy the engine altogether.

We would recommend that drivers in ‘normal’ vehicles – i.e. not 4x4’s or anything designed to travel off-road – avoid driving through the very large puddles found on our roads during flooding, which are deep enough to reach the under tray of the car.

Puddles a few inches deep are not something they need to be unduly concerned about. For the specifics of any particular model, we’d recommend consulting the instruction manual or speaking with trusted artisan, but as a rule of thumb, if you’re not sure of the depth of the water, don’t go through it!

We would also caution drivers to be extremely vigilant when driving around large puddles in the road and be wary of pedestrians and other road users around them, especially on-coming traffic.

Posted on June 2019,26  //  Author: Admin