Unless your vehicle is amphibious, steer clear of deep puddles

Beware of deep puddles on the road and avoid a swamped engine. That's the advice of the Automotive Information Council (AIC) of Southfield, Mich. Simply, the engine can stall out and leave you by the side of the road.

Do not attempt to cross a puddle if the water is higher than the bottom of the wheel rims, the AIC warns. Shift into low gear and go through slowly.

If you drive a diesel auto, do not drive through standing water more than 8 inches deep or cross a deep puddle at more than 5 miles an hour. Water can be sucked into the engine through the diesel engine's air intake and result in immediate and possibly extensive damage.

If you cross a deep puddle and the car stalls out, says the council, try to coast to the side of the road and wait for the engine to dry out before trying to restart the car. If you are familiar with your car's ignition system, you can take a dry cloth and wipe off the spark plugs, wires, and other parts.

Remember that after moving through water or after driving through a heavy storm, your car's brakes may have lost stopping power.

When traffic permits, pump the brakes a few times lightly to dry the brake linings. Allow extra stopping distance until you are sure the brakes are back to full performance.

Even if the water on the road isn't deep, adjust the driving speed to avoid a spinout, the AIC concludes.

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