Thoughts on Apocalyptic Driving?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by schlem, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. schlem

    schlem Polygeek

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    In Seattle, the Wet has started in ernest, and the TV is full of images of flooded streets, and salmon crossing submerged roads. This is semi-serious inquiry prompted by a curiosity about tested/rated wading depths for the mighty Prius. In the Off-Road world, wading depth is a vehicle-specific datum that tells you your depth limit in fording water.

    Thus, the question:
    IN THEORY, what's the deepest (still) water the Prius can ford, and what kind of problems (if any) does this risk?

    Usual disclaimers: NEVER drive through flood waters, moving water can carry your car into deeper water, I didn't tell you to do it, If you can't see the bottom, it's too deep, water over roadway can hide holes and dropoffs, Wear your seatbelt, spay your pets, if you smoke, quit now; if you don't smoke, don't start.
     
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  2. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    If you figure it out just right, you should be able to bag several Salmon jumping into your car!
    If you drag a net, you could open a restaurant!
     
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  3. OceanEyes

    OceanEyes Active Member

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    Salmon jumping right through the sunroof!

    In all seriousness in my NE area, I take that low riding clearance and electricity potentially mixed with lots of water and opt to keep the Prius in the garage and take the truck - like on my days of travel during Sandy. Interested in seeing how the more experienced handle this - I'm a newbie.
     
  4. schlem

    schlem Polygeek

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    I can see myself doing some combination of mental calculus,, bargaining, denial, self-deception when faced with "doable" wade (6 inches deep? 8 inches? 12 inches?) and a significant detour (2 miles? 4 miles? 20 miles?)

    I doubt if there is an"official" number. I am happy to hear anecdotal tales, too.
    (Don't engineers from Tsutsumi lurk on PC?)
     
  5. dmvp

    dmvp Member

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    Personally, I'd drive through anything that was below the body trim and no more. I'd hate for water to seep into the car through the doors, or for debris to scratch or dent the car.
     
  6. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    build an ark.
     
  7. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Active Member

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    How deep is too deep? I can not imagine it safe to take a Prius into water deeper than about 4 inches.

    We have driven through 8" fresh snow, it worked fine. :)

    Gotta tell a story. We moved here in 2005, the next year, during rain season the river went up pretty high. There were reports of low-lying towns flooding, etc. On my way into town, I came to a stretch where the road was flooded. There was another car parked at the water edge. I got out and looked and I could see an island of pavement about 100 yards ahead. I thought it did not look very deep so I drove ahead to that island. On it I looked ahead and over the next stretch of water-over-pavement I saw a log floating by. So I figured that it was much deeper ahead, I decided to turn back. On my way back I called 911 to report that our road was flooded [I assumed that local LEOs would want to put cones at the next intersection]. The emergency dispatcher, took my name and information that the road was flooded, and asked me what I thought they should do about it. I suggested cones at the next intersection. The dispatcher responded: "Your not from around here are you?".

    I thought it was funny :)
     
  8. Adam Leibovitch

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    They tested this with a gen2 on an episode of top gear. They tried to keep up with a group of country hunters in pick up trucks. They get pretty deep but then the prius died and had to be towed out by a pick up truck.
     
  9. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I'd try to keep the water level below the door sills. The problem with getting water inside the vehicle is that it will seep into any electrical connectors at that level and eventually cause corrosion of the connectors and wiring. This will be a call for the electrical gremlins to start a never ending party in your vehicle.
     
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  10. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Super Moderator
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    Keeping it below the point where the half-shafts join up with the transaxle is probably the best idea. While those should be reasonably sealed, any water getting into the HSD would bring about corrosion long-term and would be the kiss-of-death for the PSD or motor-windings if it wasn't removed quickly via an immediate fluid change (and possible "flush").

    And of course, deeper brings other risks of allowing water through the transmission vent, ingesting water through the intake (hydrolocking the engine), damaging improperly sealed electronics, etc.

    Thus, because the Prius isn't "lifted", I'd suggest keeping the water below the wheel hubs, which is easily satisfied by keeping the water below the door sills.
     
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