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Driving through Water

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by NewcastleJustin, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. NewcastleJustin

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    This may be a question for Tesla directly - thought I'd ask the community anyway.

    What are the ramifications of driving through water? I live in an area where I occasionally have to drive through water across the road. Of course I am not talking about full blown flood water, but are there any risks (to the car) associated with driving through relatively static water that is say 20cm or so deep?

    Thanks
    Justin
     
  2. Blue heaven

    Blue heaven Member

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    The motor and battery are a sealed unit..BUT.... I do believe that Tesla won't warranty flood water damage, also if water is across the road there's a chance that unsighted potholes have developed, the undoing of even the best ICE vehicles, best to avoid anything above the floorpan.
    also probably don't try this:

    The most spectacular river crossing by car. 4x4 off road - YouTube
     
  3. NewcastleJustin

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    Makes sense thanks Blue heaven.
     
  4. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    20cm is already above floor board height........ I would not do that in an ICE unless it was a 4WD. So, in a Tesla? No way!!
     
  5. BenT

    BenT Member

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    Before driving through water be sure to engage lotus submarine mode.
    image.jpeg
     
  6. Mark E

    Mark E Member

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    So long as you are sensible and it's not running water plus you know no potholes then put the suspension on very high and crawl through very slowly. This was me following a bunch of cars on the Commonara parkway a couple of weeks ago. There was an ICE stuck who probably went too fast through. ICE electrics don't like water either....

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  7. danielp

    danielp Member

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    There are many parts that are properly sealed and those that aren't. For example, on top of the inverter there is a breathing hole which will most likely let water in, and it has no where to escape..

    20cm sounds ok at a guess, but personally I'd try to avoid that.

    Check out this thread: Repairing a Flooded Tesla Model S : HOW-TO
    Repairing a Flooded Tesla Model S : HOW-TO
     
  8. Keiron

    Keiron Member

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    Might I suggest we contact the brains trust at Tesla and see if we can get a clear answer. I will start with the service centre in Melbourne but I am certain they will refer the question on to head office.
     
  9. alexeiw123

    alexeiw123 Member

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  10. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    If I recall correctly I believe the official answer from Tesla was that the fording depth for the Tesla was zero. as in not a single puddle. Now we all know this is a bit extreme, but it's certainly the easy answer from them.
     
  11. Candleflame

    Candleflame Member

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    Afaik this is all based on reports from floodings during the hurricans in the USA where electric vehicles have shown to not do so well if the batteries were submerged...
     
  12. Kayto

    Kayto Member

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    Justin, I occasionally drive through water (creek crossing). I got the air suspension option because it goes up a bit higher than standard suspension. But I think it only puts the clearance up to around 16cm, given the style of the car.
    I don't know exactly how much water I've been through, but I would never try more than 15cm. I would wait until the water goes down. Maybe a deep puddle in a pothole is ok, but I don't want to leave my car in a creek!
    Driving through water can be very dangerous and should be avoided when possible.
    The car doesn't seem to mind water splashing up underneath it.
     
  13. NewcastleJustin

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    Thanks Kayto and everyone else. It seems like the best option is to approach with caution and only go through very shallow water. Cheers.
     
  14. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

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    Well, last time it rained in LA I was forced through a flooded road. Unknown to me sometime earlier I had struck road debris that cracked the battery pack... you can see how this ends...

    So... beware. $22,000 for a brand new battery pack
     
  15. sbanks

    sbanks Member

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    Just curious....What did Tesla say about the cracked battery pack? I thought they warranted against anything except willful misconduct.
     
  16. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    This is one area where EVs can and probably will be improved. While not as good at handling flood waters as an ICE currently, I could see some EVs (ones specifically designed for offroad use) eventually being better than ICE at handling flood waters, possibly still driveable when completely submerged (be sure to wear your diving equipment).
     
  17. paulp

    paulp Member

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    None of my cordless powertools or battery operated products (phone) seem to work after full submersion, although electric submarines seem to handle it just fine. Maybe the secret is dont wet the batteries or motor;)
     
  18. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    This. There's no fundamental reason an EV can't be designed to be operated completely submerged - it just adds cost/weight and isn't useful for most people.

    GM demonstrated the Volt running through a 12" (30 cm) deep water trough without issues during development - there are videos on YouTube which I may try to find when I'm back at a computer.

    However, given what I've read on the flooded Tesla threads, I don't think the current Tesla cars are terribly resilient in these situations - I'd be hesitant with anything over an inch or two of standing water.
     
  19. Mark E

    Mark E Member

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    To be blunt here, you are running a risk driving any modern luxury vehicle through standing ( and especially moving) water. You can't see what is under it in the way of holes and erosion and risk damage that way. If the water is above the sills of the car then you risk getting water inside the cabin and you would be surprised and dismayed to see the amount of electronics and vulnerable parts are at or just above floor level.

    if your car gets flooded they are often written off by insurers, this is due to the ongoing issues with corrosion that will plague you. Seat motors, circuit boards, switch gear, connectors and even the wiring are not immune - especially if the water is salty.

    Its not like your old 1970s or 1980s ICE in the cabin.
     

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