Auto repair shops bombarded with flooded vehicles

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Cars and water don’t mix. Proof of that came Monday and Tuesday when street flooding stranded vehicles across Hampton Roads.

Hundreds of cars stalled out, after drivers thought they could make it through high waters. So, many ended up at local repair shops on Wednesday. Robert West of West Service Center said his shop was very busy Tuesday, as were calls for tow trucks.

“We’ve probably done well over 175, we were holding 75 calls at a time, we probably still have fifty to go out and get,” said employee Chris Fisher.

And the problems the water caused were not small ones.

“Anytime you have water that enters the engine compartment, it could be crucial,” West said. “A lot of the cars, the computers are on the floorboards of the vehicles, low-lined areas of the car to where you get water just in through the doors where the doors close, then it shorts out the car and creates problems there.”

West said the mixture of oil and water also causes the loss of oil pressure and for the engine to burn up. He suggests this rule of thumb, if you ever find your self considering driving through water:

“This area below the rim in this area here, you need to stay below that area, anything that gets above the bottom of the car is too deep,” he said.

And remember, if it’s too deep, a new pair of shoes is a lot cheaper than a new engine.

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