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Puddles in the road. Photo by Thugusstavo Santana, Pexels.

Safeguarding your car from water puddle damage

Stormy weather can present a number of hazards for the motorist. Here’s how to overcome them.

While our cities may be looking lush and green after the summer rains, the stormy weather has a far less positive impact on our cars.

Slippery roads and dangerous driving conditions are the most obvious hazards after a downpour, but few motorists realise that the puddles remaining on the roads can cause significant damage to their cars, affecting a number of different components. For example, water entering the electronic components can cause the engine to stall (posing a danger to any driver forced to stop in the middle of traffic), while a flood of water can also affect a car’s air cleaner, resulting in damage to the engine. Another danger is presented when water is sucked into the engine, causing a hydro lock. The resulting damage to the inner working of the engine is very costly to repair. Other components which may be affected include the engine control unit , as wipers that become blocked by leaves and twigs may allow water to enter these components – again causing the car to stall.

Drive slowly over puddles and increase following distance when driving in the rain. Photo by Jan Karan, Pexels.

To prevent expensive repairs and minimise danger in stormy weather, drivers should:

  • Undertake regular maintenance, such as cleaning cowl panels and water draining systems.
  • Drive slowly over puddles in order to avoid aquaplaning and flooding the engine with water.
  • Avoid low lying bridges, as fast flowing water can easily wash cars away.
  • Keep a look out for potholes which damage vehicle rims, tyres and alignment.
  • Remember to keep headlights on to increase visibility. Consider switching on the hazard lights if conditions are especially poor.
  • Drive slowly and increase following distance when driving in the rain.