Don't drown your car: flash flooding tips

AAA advises motorists to avoid driving through standing water. Drivers who encounter flooding on the roadway should turn around.

If a vehicle is driven through standing water, a driver risks flooding the engine, warping brake rotors, loss of power steering, or a short in the electrical components of the car, all of which can be costly to repair.

"If you don't know how deep the water is, then don't drive through it," said AAA Tire & Auto Center Manager Bruce Baldwin. "The best plan is to park your car on the highest ground possible and take shelter."

For motorists whose vehicles were parked in an area that became flooded, do not try to start the engine. Starting an engine, or restarting a stalled engine, allows more water to enter and cause further damage, said Sarah Iacovone, AAA regional insurance manager.

According to Iacovone, "a flooded vehicle falls under comprehensive coverage, which you may not be required to carry." Repair costs can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars

3 Flood Facts

  • As little as 1 foot of water can "float" most vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles -- including SUVs and pickups.
  • Never attempt to start a vehicle that's underwater.

Source: AAA

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