Water And Car Transmission’s Don’t Mix
Every time you watch the news lately, it seems some area is flooding. Texas just went through the worst flooding in recorded history, causing damage will end up costing billions to repair.
But housing and road damage are only a part of the effects of flood waters: They can also create irreparable harm to your car or truck.
The water is bad enough, but flooding isn’t just about water: The rising tides bring silt, sewage, and all kinds of blech! — any one of which can hurt your car. When combined, water in the car’s transmission can create a level of damage that can never be fully repaired.
Naturally, the easiest way to prevent flood damage is to avoid it. If you hear a flood forecast, move your car to higher ground. And avoid driving during flood warnings: There’s no way to tell whether that water ahead is just a puddle or a small lake!
You Might Need A Transmission Fluid Flush
If your car did get caught in a flood, don’t try to start the engine!
That’s because, once it starts, any dirty water in the car’s transmission, engine, or brake system will spread around and get mixed with the fluids. What could have been repaired with a simple oil change may now require a major transmission fluid flush or rebuild.
Automatic transmissions are particularly susceptible to water damage. The clutches in your transmission are hygroscopic — that is, they’ll literally push oil out of the linings to absorb water. Even if the transmission works for a while, it won’t be long before it fails.
Instead, have your car towed to your local Cottman center, and have them check for water contamination. They can change the fluids before they start the engine, and improve the chances of saving your car.
Of course, even if you remember these rules, you still may not be able to get your car back on the road. The water and contaminants can do a real number on the car’s electronics and computer systems. But remembering not to start the engine could give you a chance at saving your car after a flood.