A white BMW with several inches of water inside, a car floating in a parking lot, another stranded on a flooded freeway – all casualties of Sunday’s final Pineapple Express that walloped northern California.
The day after the deluge, it was all about the two unfortunate “S’s” of auto repair – stalling and submersion.
If you tried to drive through what you thought was a puddle yesterday and your car stalled, you likely pulled water into your air intake.
“Water doesn’t compress like air and fuel does and when the engine tries it actually can’t do so and things get twisted and bent,” said John Hutchinson of Red Rocket Auto Tech.
The non-grease-monkey translation? Not good.
“Do not try to start it again or get yourself out of it, because all you are going to do is multiply your problems,” Hutchinson explained.
If your car took an unexpected swim, maybe even a float down flooded streets, the other “S” – submersion is your problem.
“You’ve got two primary problems, rust as well as mold,” according to Hutchinson.
In your car’s undercarriage are tons of electronic sensors which don’t like to get wet, but do like to glitch out when you least expect it.
“They don’t show problems right away. Some things they get damaged and you won’t see the ramifications of them for four months, six months or even a year,” Hutchinson told FOX40.
Your best bet? Get towed to a mechanic and brace yourself for bad news.
“I think the most likely scenario is that car is totaled. There’s so many things that are going to happen to that car in the future that it’s most likely going to be a totaled vehicle,” said Hutchinson.