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It rained yesterday and water was running onto and across the street I was driving down. I watched a couple others drive through it. I turned around. It was about 6-8" deep. How deep of water can you drive a Volt through slowly and still be safe? Is there any risk to the electrical system?
 

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GM published a video demonstrating 12" with no problems during Volt gen 1 development. The high voltage systems are fully weather sealed and both sides are isolated from the car's structure.

It's often hard to tell how deep the water really is, so I have trouble recommending driving into flooding, but the Volt should do at least as well as most other cars and better than many.
 

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I've had water well above the bottom of the door seals with no problems.
I was in EV mode...so no worries about the ICE sucking up water.

Not something I'd recommend, But we were in a bad spot and it was only going to get worse.

Drove through like a champ, definitely didn't feel floaty.
 

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Ideally, the electrical drive system allows you to drive 100% under water. But not the gas engine range extender! Maybe you can do it in the Chevy Bolt EV.
 

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If you can't clearly see through the water to the bottom, DON'T DRIVE THROUGH IT...EVER!

I lost a good friend who tried that across a side road in what looked like a few inches of muddy water but the culvert had actually washed away leaving a big hidden pit. His car sank front first and was trapped by the water pressure and he drowned.

it's not worth it, find another route or don't go if you can't see the road surface.

On the other hand, if the water is clear and you can see what you are getting into... hell go for it!
(Creek below was shale bottom and about 11" deep)

 

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Anything deeper than mid-axle and you risk water ingress into wheel bearings and transmission seals. Not cheap things to repair.
 

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If you had to ask, it's probably not a good idea to try it.
 

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While it passed this test run, I would not try it.

 

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I was going to mention wheel bearings too. Like any other car, get water in your wheel bearings, and you've got some costly repairs. They're water resistant, not designed for submersion!

I'd turn around too!
 

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The thing that people don't understand is that 6" of fast, rushing water is drastically different than 6" of stagnant water.
A small car can begin to be pushed by as little as 6" of rushing water. Not to mention, it could be deeper than it appears.
If you have to ask, don't try it. People die every year from trying to ford water that is too deep.
 

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I don´t think there is any problem with the water damaging the electrical components under typical situations. The real danger is the same for all vehicles and that is hydrodynamic forces sweeping the vehicle off the road or the lack of visibility hiding a dangerous condition under the water.

Here´s what I do, if the road is flooded and there is an alternate route, take the alternate. If you have no choice but to press ahead, test the crossing by first walking it. If the water is deeper than your hub or if it feels like its moving fast enough to sweep you off your feet, turn around and find a safe place to wait it out. Its amazing how a few inches of water can sweep even a 6,000 pound truck off the road.
 

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The road may no longer exist under that water...

After the fact photo...
 
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