When it comes to motoring, few things can match the thrill of off roading & tackling a variety of unpredictable terrains.
Sometimes this can include driving through water. Making a big splash can be fun, however, the worrying truth is that a lot of people simply don’t know how to handle driving through water, and it’s very easy to get yourself into trouble before you know it.
Whether it’s a ford, stream, or even the tides, there are a number of tips you should always bear in mind for how to drive your 4×4 safely in water. In this blog post, we’ll share some of these essential tips to ensure you can tackle water crossings safely and confidently.
1. Take an Alternative Route:
As much as it may be tempting to tackle anything that comes your way, it’s always best to take an alternative route when facing challenging water – especially floodwater. Pay attention to local weather updates and road closure warnings to plan your journey effectively.
2. Check the Water Depth:
Before attempting a water crossing, assess the depth of the water. If the water is deeper than the vehicle’s clearance, avoid crossing as it may cause serious damage to your Mitsubishi 4×4’s engine and electrical components.
3. Let Oncoming Vehicles Pass:
If you encounter other vehicles attempting to cross in the opposite direction, let them pass first. This way, you can observe their success or struggles and gain valuable insights about the crossing conditions.
4. Drive Along the Highest Point of the Road:
Wherever possible, drive along the highest point of the road as it typically offers better traction and reduces the risk of stalling or getting stuck.
5. Don’t Drive Too Fast:
Maintain a slow, steady pace when driving through water. Driving too fast can create a bow wave, pushing water into the engine bay and causing hydrolock – a potentially catastrophic engine failure.
6. Don’t Stop:
Avoid coming to a complete stop while crossing water. The momentum helps in maintaining a steady flow of water around the vehicle, reducing the risk of getting stuck.
7. Dry Your 4x4s Brakes:
After crossing through water, gently apply your brakes a few times to dry them out. Wet brakes may not respond as effectively, so this step is crucial for ensuring your vehicle’s stopping power is restored.
What to Do if You Break Down in Floodwater:
Even with all precautions, sometimes unforeseen circumstances can lead to a breakdown in floodwater. If this happens, follow these steps to stay safe:
- Stay inside the vehicle and call for assistance immediately.
- If water levels are rising, consider moving to the roof of your 4×4, but only if it’s safe to do so.
- Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to your situation.
- If you can do it safely, exit your vehicle and move to higher ground, away from the flooded area, while waiting for help.
Additional Things To Consider:
- Check your vehicle’s air intake location and avoid submerging it in water. A raised air intake kit may be beneficial for water crossings.
- Ensure your Mitsubishi 4×4 is equipped with appropriate off-road tires for enhanced traction and performance.
- Regularly inspect and maintain your vehicle’s mechanical and electrical components to ensure they are in top condition.
- Consider investing in a snorkel, which will help elevate the air intake and allow your vehicle to ford deeper water safely.
Driving through water can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s essential to prioritise safety above all else. By following these tips and using your Mitsubishi 4×4’s capabilities wisely, you can confidently conquer water crossings while preserving your vehicle’s longevity.
For more information regarding the parts required to prepare your Mitsubishi 4×4 for off roading & water crossing, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on +44(1709) 560006. Enter your reg here to find all of the 4×4 parts we stock for your vehicle.
[Disclaimer: Always exercise caution when driving through water and seek professional advice if you are unsure about any aspect of water crossings. Do not attempt water crossings alone, and if in a group move one at a time so others can provide assistance if someone gets stuck. The tips provided in this blog post are for informational purposes only and do not replace professional driving advice or vehicle knowledge.]