Street Flooding Keeps Mechanics Busy

Aired 9/3
Aired 9/3
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Updated: 9/05/2013 1:02 pm

You see it with every storm. Some do it because it’s kind of fun, others do it out of convenience. We are talking about driving through the storm runoff but this action can lead to some long lasting consequences for your car.

Brent Stenersen has been a mechanic in the Gate City for 34 years and he has never seen a series of storms quite like this.

“Never in Pocatello like this,” said Brent. “The most I’ve ever seen, I’ve seen a couple of downpours but I’ve never seen the amount of water that we got in the last 10 days. It’s just been crazy.”

The rain is more than a nuisance; it can be very bad for your car.

“Not good for cars, especially for the people driving thought the big puddles,” said Stenersen. “We have three cars in the parking lot right now where water has sucked up through the intake system and basically engines blown up.  It’s blown the pistons right out the bottom. Water doesn’t compress. They are made to compress air, not water.”

In laymen’s terms, it destroys your engine and that is not a cheap thing to replace.

“The jobs we are looking at if you go used, new, rebuilt, anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, $6,000,” said Brent.

As far as warning signs, Brent says there really are none but you’ll know when it’s too late.

“It quits,” said Brent. “You are walking. It’s called tennis shoe mode right now.”

A contributing factor is the placement of the air intake in newer vehicles. It’s usually lower than older cars and that makes it easier for water to get sucked into the engine. Brent says it’s a lesson we are all learning the hard way. Even PPD has had issues with this because of the recent storms.

Of course it’s a good idea to just avoid driving through flooded areas in the first place. They can be deeper than they appear and this could even lead to drowning.

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