With poor visibility and hidden terrain, driving through flooded roads isn’t exactly the perennial definition of fun. And even though the Chevy Colorado has been thoroughly tested for water intrusion, a useful strategy for navigating flooded environments, like those that were recently seen in parts of Thailand, is a must. Not only can the right methodology make the difference between getting across safely, and becoming stranded, it can also be the determining factor in preventing damage to a vehicle. So, here are Chevy’s tips on driving through flooded roads.
- Never drive through anything you cannot see or walk through, or anything that is deeper than the center of your wheels.
Flood water hides what is underneath. So, if you have to drive through a flooded stretch, make sure the road is still underneath the water and not washed away. Also be cautious of unfamiliar roads that may have dips too deep for fording. As an additional safety measure, stop and observe if others can drive through it safely.
- If you have to go through a flooded road, aim for the “crown” of the road.
The crown is the highest portion of the road, so aim for it or near it as the water is at its shallowest here.
- Use high revs and a low gear – first or “L” depending on the type of transmission in your vehicle.
- Keep a constant speed, and do not take your foot off the accelerator. A decelerating engine may induct water through the exhaust pipe and damage the catalytic converter.
- Drive very slowly so as not to allow the air filter in front of the vehicle to ingest water into the engine. In both cases, damage will be severe and repairs costly.
- Ease into the water at no more than 3 km/h (2 mph), and increase to 6km/h (4 mph) in the water.
This will create a bow wave in front of the vehicle and a depression in water level around the engine bay, reducing the chance of water induction via the air filter as well as reducing potential damage to the vehicle’s electrical system and electronic components. Speeds higher than this will just push water into the engine bay through the front grille.
- Proceed one vehicle at a time so you will not be forced to stop in the middle if the vehicle in front stalls.
In addition, ensure no vehicles are coming the other way, as the wake it creates may drown your vehicle, especially if it is moving at higher speeds.
What else would you recommend to those navigating through flooded terrain? Sound off in the comments below.