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I thought that high water and the Prius warranted a post. We had heavy rain here in Ft. Lauderdale a couple of days ago. When I left work and reached the parking lot, the car stood in water at a level that had risen to the beginning of the wheel rim. I was able to exit the flooded parking lot without harm, and left a small wake in my path.

The real water awaited me at home. It was dark and water depth was hard to judge, but once I was in it, I noticed that I was plowing water and watching it burble above hood level. The car ran normally after I parked above water level. As well, the floorboards were completely dry.

The next day I inspected the car once again. Everything was dry, but flotsam (pine needles and other organic debris) had collected in the engine compartment, wheel wells, and undercarriage. When I started the car, some debris must have collected around the ICE; whatever was down there smoldered and produced a woodsmoke odor. Some high-pressure water in the engine compartment (avoided the inverter and relay boxes), wheel wells, and undercarriage, removed the debris, and everything seems fine. I did also notice some oxidation of the disc brakes, which burned off as I drove.

Having not seen a post related to flooding, I welcome your obvservations and experiences. As well, has anybody else had oxidation of the brake discs? Rather unsightly. Happy motoring
 

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Disc brake oxidation

Both my Prius's discs and my roommate's Mazda 6's discs (4-wheel) oxidize after a good rain or car washing. As far as he knew, it was normal.
 

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I have had oxydation just from sitting a few days here near Houston, Texas (high humidity). But a quick drive usually disposes of that problem.

The key in your situation is to continue to drive the car out of the high water (which you did). If you shut the car off (or, on the Prius, if the ICE turns off), that can allow the water to back up the tail pipe towards the engine. While operating, the pressure of the exhaust keeps the water from the engine block.

Good to hear about the watertight compartment--anyone know if the Prius floats like the old bugs were rumored to do?
 
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