Driving through water can be an intimidating experience for novices and experts alike. In this video, we show you the simple tips to help you get through a water crossing safely.

Remember these simple steps

Walk it first – Unless you can clearly see the depth and what’s underneath, hop out and use a stick to check and even walk it.

Water crossing preparation – If it’s a deep crossing, you’ll need a snorkel on the car. Other accessories such as a cover or radiator blind (car bra) can also be fitted – in this Ranger we’re within the water wading depth and safe to cross without any accessories.

This Ford Ranger has a water-wading capability of 800mm, which should be more than plenty to keep you dry.

Driving across water – If you have lockers, now is the time to engage them. Even if the surface beneath the water isn’t very slippery, you’ll want all the traction available to you.

Select the correct gear for the crossing. On many vehicles, this will be low-range second gear, which should provide enough speed to build up a decent bow wave in front of the vehicle without it splashing all over the bonnet and up the windscreen.

When you get home – If you’ve been driving through deep water, you’ll need to make sure it hasn’t made its way into critical vehicle components. When you get back home, lift up the bonnet and have a quick look in fuse boxes and around other electrical items. Check your radiator and cooling fan for any signs of damage. Pull out the engine and transmission dipsticks to make sure the oil isn’t cloudy and grey, which will signify water ingress.

To learn more about the Ranger, click here 


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Practical Motoring

The team of journalists at Practical Motoring bring decades of automotive and machinery industry experience. From car and motorbike journalists to mechanical expertise, we like to use tools of the trade both behind the computer and in the workshop.


  1. Only walk in first IF you are a good swimmer. It may be deeper than you think [which is what you are trying to assess]. The police complain if they have to find & fish out your body from downstream.

  2. Friend of mine was driving his BMW X5 on the Gold Coast and whent through water the gearbox intake is on the bottom of the gearbox, water ingressed, car only a few month old. BMW refused warranty claim stating car is to be only driven on highways, goldCoadt Highayhad 8 inches of rain over it in a dip. Dealer said they did not repair gearboxes, and cost of a new one would be $35,000. Would never buy anything again from BMW at the time we were shooting covers for the car magazines.
    ‘BMW”s Ow what a lemon’

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