Published on May 19th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Friendly Reminder: Don’t Drive Crossovers Into Water

Crossovers and SUVs have become the default car shape for many buyers, but they’re not for driving through a flood.

One of the many unstoppable industry trends is the move towards the crossover shape. There are many reasons why people like crossovers and SUVs. One that is often cited is that they’re more capable of handling rough roads, curbs, and bad weather. Yes, it’s true these cars have a higher ground clearance than their sedan and hatchback counterparts. However, this does not make them any more rugged or capable.

Proton X50 stuck in flood water

So, if you’re driving around in something like the new Proton X50 (or the new Perodua Ativa) for instance, don’t risk driving through flood water. You may have seen videos of off-roaders wadding through rivers like it was nothing, but don’t get any ideas.

Those off-roaders are often purpose built for rugged terrain. They’re built on tougher ladder frames, usually come with all-terrain tyres, have the right suspension and have high mounted air intake snorkels.

The last of these is especially important. You see, one of the ingredients necessary for an engine to work is air. The engine is constantly taking in fresh air through an intake. If even a little bit of water gets into the engine via the air intake, it’s like the engine will be destroyed.

That’s because unlike air, water cannot be compressed at all. So, when water gets into the engine, the pistons and connecting rods get bent out of shape attempting to compress that water.

BHPetrol_Euro5 Diesel_2021

Even if the flood water isn’t particularly high, it’s not worth the risk. Modern cars are equipped with loads of electronics and computers that control many aspects of the vehicle. All it takes is for a bit of flood water to get into these systems and it can be game over for your car.

Another reason to avoid driving through floodwater is because you just can’t see what you’re driving into. Malaysian roads can have some extremely bad surfacing. We’re constantly plagued by potholes, uneven brickwork, cracks, protruding manhole covers and more. There could even be broken glass or worse in the water.

Proton X50 stuck in flood water

You can see in the photo that even the Nissan Navara behind the Proton X50 has stopped. Even though the Navara is quite capable, the driver probably has decided it’s still not worth the risk. Be like the Nissan Navara driver in this photo – don’t take unnecessary risks!

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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