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Q: Car parts that get damaged while driving through water

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Driving through flooded streets. What underside car parts are damaged due to the water submersion versus just water spray--such as electronic power steering, hub, brakes, control arms etc?

A: When you drive through water, the electroni...

When you drive through water, the electronic parts should really never get wet because it can damage them. But, with that said, the electronic power-steering systems are sealed pretty well from water. They have got seals all over. Unless, it’s an old car and the seals are all worn out, water exposure is not really going to hurt them for a short period of time.

The main thing with the water submersion that you have to worry about is the differential, the automatic transmission, and the engine. You will want to avoid water sucking into these. Water in those things can absolutely destroy everything.

The wheel bearings will get damaged over a period of time. But if you just throw a little bit of water, the wheel bearings are packed with grease so it won’t hurt them. Unless they are soaked for a long period of time or you drove through a whole bunch of water. Let’s say you have a tall vehicle, and it could make it through the water. If you’re driving for 20-30 minutes in the water, the grease on the bearings is going to get water in, especially if it is the soft water. The soft water is going to start eating the stuff up and you are going to have to re-pack the bearings with grease or put a new bearing in.

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