How To Drive In Deep Water Without Drowning Your Car

How To Drive In Deep Water Without Drowning Your Car

Driving through deep water can be a lot of fun – so long as you don’t make a right mess of it and end up swamping your car like some sort of amateur.

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If you want to drive your car through water like a pro, have a butchers at the following tips. Go on, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re in over your head… Geddit?

Check and double-check the maximum wading depth

Don’t just go out there and dive headfirst into the first river you come across. Before taking your car anywhere near a large body of water, find out what its maximum wading depth is.


This can usually be found in the handbook, and is determined by factors such as where the air intake is and where any sensitive electronics are located.

Prep your vehicle before its watery expedition

Depending on how deep the water you’ll be tackling is, you may have to perform some or all of the following tasks.

If necessary, disconnect any fans that might splash loads of water around the engine compartment. Doing this will also help to reduce damage to the fan blades themselves.

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If you have even the slightest fear that you might get bogged down, make sure that you fit tow ropes to your vehicle’s recovery points so that you can be pulled out if needed.

You might also need to fit a couple of accessories such as a snorkel to ensure that your vehicle is able to breathe.

Scout the route on foot

Looking before you leap is always a good idea, especially if you’re planning on driving your car into deep water. If you’re worried you don’t quite have the skills to pay the bills where deep-water driving is concerned, it might be a good idea to check the route out on foot first.

Obviously you will get wet, which would be uncomfortable, but we imagine it’s slightly more comfortable than watching your car drown.

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Take the time to check for any obstacles that might be hidden in the murky waters, and to check how fast the water is flowing. Remember, cars can float, and you wouldn’t want to see your pride and joy carried off downstream.

How to do the actual driving

If you’ve decided you’re bold enough and your vehicle is up to the task of being driven through deep water, here’s how to go about doing it.

Enter the water slowly, in a lower gear so you don’t cause a large splash that might go up over the bonnet and drown your car. This would be bad.

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When you’re in the water, stick to a low gear that will give you traction and stop you from stalling. If you stall or get stuck, you could be in a lot of trouble.

Drive slowly. Doing this should help a bow wave form in front of the car, which will slightly lower the water level at the front and reduce your chances of flooding the car. Follow it and try not to come to a stop. If you stall, try to restart the engine ASAP.

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At the opposite bank, back off the bow wave and allow it to break. Then, depending on how steep the exit is, put your foot down so you can successfully exit without sliding back down.

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Easy as pie.

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