Drive in high water, get ready for high bill

Local

If the threat of fines or drowning won’t stop you from driving on a flooded road, consider what the high water could do to your car.

Jim Moul, the owner of Jim’s Automotive Repair has been a mechanic for 30 years, and he’s witnessed firsthand what just a few inches of water can do. Most modern cars have computers under the driver or passenger floor, and all it takes is a little bit of water to do some damage.

“You’re not going to take your home PC and put it in your flooded basement. It’s not a good idea to do the same with your car,” Moul said.

Water can also break down lubricants, causing wear and tear.

“Something locks up and now you’re on a slippery road with a car that doesn’t want to turn or steer or brake the way it should,” said Moul. “That could become a real issue.”

If you make it through a flooded road with barricades, the ticket you risked getting is nowhere near the cost of repairs.  

“A modern engine in a car, you’re looking at a $5,000 to $10,000 repair bill,” Moul said.

Drivers caught going around barricades face a $250 fine. If emergency responders have to come to your rescue, provide medical care, or your car must be towed, the fine doubles to $500.

You’ll also have to pay for the emergency responders’ expenses, and you’ll get two points on your driving record.

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