With the amount of flooding all around the country right now, I thought I would post an article on how to drive your Land Rover in flooded conditions.
To be fair, a lot of the tips can be applied to any car, but as you well know, a Land Rover (or any 4×4) is at an advantage. The main point to remember is if you have any doubts about your ability (or your cars ability) to make it safely through the flooded section, then find a different route!
Lets have a little look at a few hints and tips I have compiled about driving your Land Rover through water.
Tips on driving your Land Rover through water
- Wading depth: Generally it is advised to limit the wading depth of a standard Land Rover to just below the top rim of the wheel. (that’s the edge of the wheel rim, NOT the wheel arch!)
- You should only drive through water if you know how deep it is. Use common sense, if normal cars are travelling through, then you will be ok in your Land Rover.
- You can use road features to determine how deep the water is. Take a look at the water level against road signs, other cars, post boxes. Again, use your common sense.
- If you commit to driving a section of flooded road and feel it’s getting a bit deep, then reverse out and seek another route.
- Older Land Rovers (Series, Defenders, Discoverys etc) will have a wading plug that needs to be fitted to the gearbox bellhousing and timing case. Keep them in the car and fit as required, or leave them in all the time, but occasionally remove them to allow any dirt/oil/water to come out.
- Enter the water slowly, and then accelerate up to 3 or 4mph. This will allow a bow wave to form in front of the Land Rover, and lower the water level immediately behind the front bumper (engine bay/fan area). Aim to keep the bow wave about 1 metre in front of the Land Rover.
- If you have a bit of old carpet handy or piece of plastic, carry it in your land rover to make a wading blanket. Place it over the front grill when wading deeper water, and this will help stop the water from passing through the radiator and onto the fan.
- You can select low range if you want, this will give you more control. Low ratio 2nd gear is usually about right.
- Try not to drive through fast flowing water. The flood water can pick the car up and move it about. There are ways of getting around this, but it is beyond the scope of this article.
- Keep a steady speed, and don’t drive quickly. Driving fast could make the tyres aquaplane, reducing your control. In addition, driving fast through water will just drive water up into the engine bay and could stop the engine – particularly on a petrol engined Land Rover.
- After making it through the flooded road, you can dry your brakes by carefully pressing on the brake pedal while maintaining a slow speed.
Got any more suggestions? Add them in the comments below!