New car or used car, beware of floods & very wet weather

Published on 25th January, 2018

When buying your shiny new or used car, navigating it through flooded roads was probably the last thing you had on your mind. Driving a car through floods isn’t something they cover on your driving test either, but a third of flood related deaths are in vehicles. A sobering thought.

With some roads and lines being perilously close to rivers and the sea in our beautiful land, and a leading climate change advisor warning that yearly floods are now likely in the UK, maybe flood safety is something Welsh drivers should think about. Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd January 2018 saw firefighters called to rescue stranded drivers across Wales – and their cars, new or used, won’t be respected by the floodwater that will have played havoc with their electrics and ruined their upholstery.

New car, used car, you still need to prepare!

So how should drivers prepare for inclement weather conditions? Like any other time of year, drivers should be aware and check local road conditions before starting a journey.

It’s not only on a journey, either. Cars can get swept away by flood water even if they are parked, so If you are warned about flooding in your area, move your car to higher ground. Even if the water isn’t that high, it can play havoc with your electrics – motorists who have driven through flood water often find their airbags go off without warning some time later.

Here’s some advice from the AA on driving in wet weather:

Handling heavy rain

  • Turn your headlights on – the Highway Code says you must use them when visibility is seriously reduced (less than 100m)
  • Use fog lights if you like, but switch them off when visibility improves.
  • Leave twice as much space between you and the car in front – it takes longer to stop in the wet.
  • If your steering feels light due to aquaplaning, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
  • If you break down don't prop the bonnet open while you wait. Rain-soaked electrics can make it harder to start the engine.

Floods and standing water:

Drivers should be aware that flash flooding can occur unexpectedly, due to heavy rain, blocked drains, burst water mains, tides or burst river banks, and wherever possible drivers should avoid crossing water if they can. It might look like a little bit, but most cars are swept away by less than two feet of water. Here’s what the AA recommend:

  • Try to avoid standing water if you can.
  • Don't drive into flood water that’s moving or more than 10cm (4 inches) deep. Let approaching cars pass first.
  • Drive slowly and steadily so you don’t make a bow wave.
  • Test your brakes as soon as you can afterwards.
  • Fast-moving water is very powerful – take care or your car could be swept away.

General advice for driving in wet conditions:

  • Only buy vehicles from a reputable dealer. ‘Dodgy Dave’ round the corner may save you a few pennies in the short term, but that winter breakdown could cost you big time – how much will it cost you if you have time off work when your car is off the road? A main dealer is a sure bet, because their standards will be regularly checked, they have spent years earning their reputation and each individual customer matters. ‘Dodgy Dave’ may not care after your car leaves his forecourt, the ‘in-warranty’ repairs may not be done with durability in mind, and a day outside that warranty, he won’t want to know.
  • It’s generally known that cars are more prone to breakdowns in Winter, most commonly due to battery issues. Water and electrics don’t mix, so invest in breakdown cover – it could save you money in the long run. (Every new Renault we sell comes with 4 years roadside assistance.)
  • Keep your car regularly serviced, in line with manufacturer recommendations. They know their cars, so listen to what they say!
  • Don’t be tempted to use hot water to clear your windscreen. The sudden change in temperature can cause the screen to crack. A broken windscreen is even more inconvenient when it’s snowing or raining.
  • Adjust your speed according to road conditions – you may be tempted to hit the puddles and make a big splash, or skid on ice to impress your friends. Don’t. An egg cupful of water in your engine will wreck it, and a skid can easily cause you to lose control.
  • Lastly, be a responsible motorist. It sounds simple, but don’t run out of petrol and make sure you have good tread on your tyres. Ask us for a free tyre check anytime.

At Leyshon Flint, whether you choose a new or used car, we want our customers to stay with us for life, so even if you broke all the rules above and your car needs urgent repairs as a result, we can help you spread the cost with our payment assist scheme (subject to status). However, prevention is better than cure – we want our drivers to enjoy years of happy motoring. We hope our tips help!

At Leyshon Flint, whether you choose a new or used car, we want our customers to stay with us for life, so even if you broke all the rules above and your car needs urgent repairs as a result, we can help you spread the cost with our payment assist scheme (subject to status). However, prevention is better than cure – we want our drivers to enjoy years of happy motoring. We hope our tips help!

Stay safe and enjoy the ride.

Leyshon Flint & Sons makes every effort to ensure all prices and vehicle details on this website are correct. However, as these are used cars, the standard specification can sometimes differ from that shown. Please satisfy yourself that a vehicle has a specific feature that is important to you before purchasing, our showroom sales staff will be happy to assist you. Prices, offers and details of vehicles are subject to change without notification.
*Road Tax Costs: Please note, road tax prices are quoted for used vehicles. A higher road tax charge may apply to brand new vehicles in their first year. Please see the Governments web site for more information.

All calls will be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Leyshon Flint & Sons, Penyfai Service Station Tondu Road, Bridgend, Wales, CF31 4LL Tel: 08458508996

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