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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:00   #1
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Default Urgent Advice Needed: Honda Civic stuck in Flash Flood

[Please post in appropriate forum or thread in case a thread already exists]

Hi: I'm posting this after a horror ordeal very late last night in Pune. Flash Flood struck parts of Low Lying area near Bopodi/khadki. Cars stuck - with owners praying for their machines and lives.

How it happened: What appeared to be more than a puddle on the road turned out to be a lot deeper. It was 1 midnight when the water level rose suddenly - and most cars passing through were caught. Water level was waist high. My Honda Civic was amongst the less fortunate. There were about 10-15 other cars.

What we did: I revved the car [my mistake] and tried to push through. It gave up and conked off. I tried restarting 3-4 times. Didn't work. After a horrible 60 mins, we got other car owners out. Then when the water receded a little, we with locals helped each other push the car to safe territory. Total time in water for cars: 60 mins.

Situation now: Water receded in the morning. About 10-15 cars stuck on the road side.

Advice Needed:
  1. I called Honda people: They told me to tow the car to their service center.
  2. What should I & other car owners do ? I saw a lot of mechanics arriving on the scene with conflicting theories. I'm posting this first thing when I reached home. I trust Team-Bhp more :-)
  3. What could be the extent of damage ?
  4. Advice needed on how to deal with such a scenario if if happens again. [flood, car passing through]
  5. I saw quite a few Indica taxis crossing us with ease - water upto their headlight level. How did they manage that ?
Thanks a ton! [Have taken pics, will post soon]
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:19   #2
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If you cranked the engine after it died, you could be looking at water in the engine my friend. Its going to cost you quite a bit. Have it towed to the Honda service center, its your best bet at the moment. I wouldn't trust any roadside mechanic with a Civic.

In future, if the car stalls in water, don't try to restart it

Last edited by suman : 3rd September 2008 at 10:24.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:22   #3
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The best option is to get it checked thoroughly at the service center. May be a few days of drying will be enough to bring it back to normal.
I don't know how one can miss a water level waist high but you say the water level was at headlight so thats manageable by some experienced drivers.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:23   #4
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You should not have started the engine. Has the engine seized or is it not starting?

How deep is the water ?

First, spray electrics with WD40. It might start otherwise get car towed to workshop and notify insurance based on their assessment.

Indica's are diesel so water won't kill it unless it enters the air intake.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:25   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
If you cranked the engine after it died, you could be looking at water in the engine my friend. Its going to cost you quite a bit. Have it towed to the Honda service center, its your best bet at the moment. I wouldn't trust any roadside mechanic with a Civic.
Hopefully I don't think there was time for water to enter the engine because it died off due to exhaust getting filled with water. But get it checked for sure before switching it on.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:28   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
If you cranked the engine after it died, you could be looking at water in the engine my friend. Its going to cost you quite a bit. Have it towed to the Honda service center, its your best bet at the moment. I wouldn't trust any roadside mechanic with a Civic.
As he said no road-side mechanic please. But...
How would water enter the engine? Through air-intake? Shouldn't that be water-tight (but not air-tight obviously)?
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaks View Post
Hopefully I don't think there was time for water to enter the engine because it died off due to exhaust getting filled with water. But get it checked for sure before switching it on.
He tried starting it (cranked it a few times) AFTER it had died - that would have, almost certainly, lead to water entering the engine.......
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:31   #8
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when you drive a car through a flood-like situation, make sure that the flood line is below the upper-line of your tire-rims, this is a sort of approximation, anything higher than that, and you'll have trouble pushing the car, with the amount of load that water exerts.

Keep your tank filled up in the monsoons.

Drive slowly, keeping the revs steady so as to not get water into the exhaust and keeping the engine from stalling.

when the brakes are wet, they lose most of thier efficacy, drive with the handbrake up half-way and as soon as you are out of the water brake hard several times till you feel the brakes functioning again, let the handbrake down.

if you see people and cars having to wade through water above the knees, just don't get into it. better safe than sorry.

keep your windows down a few inches, enough to get air or break them if needed.

have a good look at the engine compartment and see where the vital organs are, alternator, Fuse box, ignition coil, air-intake.

last. Dont crank up the engine if you are under water, just let it as it is till the water receeds.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:35   #9
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It was sudden. I saw Tyre high water which gradually started increasing and before I knew, the car stalled. Out of sudden desperation and panic, I tried starting it again. I know I shouldn't be starting it. But trust me, it was bad. Late midnight, not a soul around, no lights on the road and a large body of water around you. It was freaking panicky. My cellphone had died on me earlier, so I was marooned.

My bad I guess. Later, the cars around me with some roadside mechanics kept cranking their engines until it died. It was crazy. You would expect these guys to know.

This is my first emoticon ever but I can't express myself better >



Thank God I'm here.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:45   #10
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As Honda said, get it towed to Deccan or Grand Honda..where you got the vehicle from.

Just of your peace of mind, check the oil dip-stick, if the oil appears to have a layer of foam (creamy white foam, something similar to the froth on coffee) with it, then the water HAS entered the engine. If it still appears normal, then I dont think there will be much of an engine related damage. If it has entered, the best solution would be to replace the air-filter element, flushing the oil off the engine atleast 3-4 times before you top up, getting the injectors cleaned and check the exhaust system (primarily the muffler) for water logging.

The car not starting would be most likely because the water entered the exhaust.

As for the electronics, as others suggested, get a WD40 treatment to avoid damage.

If water entered your cabin as well then get cabin vacuumed and any leather upholstery treated with anti-fungal treatment.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:45   #11
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Default Help Needed in Towing

Can I use another car to pull my car or should I call the towers to tow it from ahead [by raising the car]. With the power steering gone, I can't possibly steer the car anymore even if another car pulls it.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:55   #12
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@ agentsmith2
for the car: Please get it towed with a towing vehicle. Wait for analysis from deccan Honda workshop, hope electrical/electronic parts are still in working condition.

About Roads: Roads beneath railway bridges in Khadki/Bopodi are best avoided during heavy rains. Is this your first year of car driving in pune?
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Old 3rd September 2008, 11:00   #13
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Sad to hear about the incidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agentsmith2 View Post
Can I use another car to pull my car or should I call the towers to tow it from ahead [by raising the car]. With the power steering gone, I can't possibly steer the car anymore even if another car pulls it.

Yes, you can do it. But as other suggested, better is to use towing veichle only. I am afraid you might damage your front bumper as well
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Old 3rd September 2008, 11:06   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rash_rp View Post
As Honda said, get it towed to Deccan or Grand Honda..where you got the vehicle from.
Grand Honda has shut shop :-( so off to Deccan.

To all Bhpians: Thank you so much. My first post got posted at 9 and by 11 I have a dozen meaningfully helpful replies. This place is awesome!

Off to Deccan. See you guys later.

Shashank
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Old 3rd September 2008, 11:16   #15
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Use tow truck - they have some padding with them. Make them use it properly.

Also don't do anything with the vehicle - get it to authorized service station
and let them take care of it. Flooding is not a small garage job - its best done by authorized service center.

RD
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