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Discussion Starter #1
As many may know, Southern California was slammed with terrible rains the past week. Well while driving in this weather a few days ago, it started coming down in gallons per square inch and leaving a store in Burbank CA I was "forced" to drive through areas to get home that were completely flooded and traffic had nowhere else to go but through some flooded areas. There was no way to turn around or back out....so I had to drive through two lakes where the water was clearly higher than the bumper and was totally over my hood as I pushed my way through praying that the intake would not clog up or the car stall.

Got through them fine and other than the brakes having problems while wet, and the fogs filled with water since they were completely submerged, the car seems to be alright. But aside from taking the air filters apart to inspect them, which were dry thank god....should I dig in to inspect anything else to see if there is water damage?

I am very glad I did not have dinan intakes or any other CAI as it certainly wouldn't have made it.

While this is not a picture pf the area I was at, it was easily deeper than this as the water level was at the kidneys:

 

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you are very lucky you didn't hydrolock your engine, and I'm sorry but what you did was very dumb. why not park the car and take a cab, or take an alternative route, i highly doubt that was the only way to get home or you couldn't turn around even if that meant blocking traffic for 2 hours.

If the water was over the hood how did it not get inside the car? I guess you could change the oils to be safe and keep an eye on the electronics/sensors and pray they are OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes I am aware how dumb this was, I was at the time as well. It was one of those moments that you just went through with it because it was chaos.
In any case, I will swap oil just to be safe and the electrical seems fine so far. Been driving plenty since.
The water level was not over the hood, but displacing all that water caused water to flow over the hood quite a bit while the water level was the height of the kidneys.
 

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Diff. fluid and wheel bearings would be my big two.
 

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I would change all the fluids, especially diff, engine and tranny, might as well do power steering while your at it.

You are very very lucky you didnt hydrolock the engine. If the water was at kidney level, then it is very lucky you didnt suck any water in, as the stock intakes, take air from behind the front bumper, which is right under the kidneys.

My friends laugh at me when i avoid driving through 2-3" deep puddles, but ive seen the carnage water does when it gets in lol.
 

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The E39 M5 is like a tank. Glad the car is ok. Surprised the air filters are dry! Maybe since you were "pushing" your way through, there was a dry air pocket by the 2 intake openings just behind the bumper.

Change the fluids, except coolant. Also get a good car wash.
 

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This happened to my E36 once. Eventually I got to a point where I had to floor it and get off the throttle to not suck water through as water poured in sheets over my hood, my windows, and over my convertible top (which was NOT waterproof!).

On the way home I got a CEL. O2 sensor. I imagine the water shorted it and blew it, or helped corrode it. Not a big issue, and that was the only damage resulting from it. Except my front moulding came off, but I found it about 200 yards down-river when I came back in my truck.

I think if nothing happened immediately, your best bet may be to hose the car off, try to clean the undercarraige (rainwater and floods carry tons of dirt and minerals you dont want building up under your car) and if you feel comfortable I would also spray down under the hood. Just try to get all the mucky water off and clean it with some hosewater and if the car drives the same then, I think you are ok.
 

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My buddy's dad hydrolocked his beast driving through a puddle. I avoid water at all costs. Especially with the Dinan intakes.
 

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Wow absolutely unbelievable.... I would have parked on the side of the street and hitched a ride from one of the other idiots driving thru that mess or called a cab... Water had to have gotten into your cab correct?!... Btw what is the VIN on your car??...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No water in the cab and the intake and filters (stock not after market) were dry.
 

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Glad that your beast is still alive:wroom: I would also say that changing all the fluids is important, they might be fine but you never know.

And you've to understand that your M5 simply isn't a Corvette :cheers: hiha
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Cleaned up fine today and drove around for a bit keeping me happy this xmas afternoon:




Driving thru that "puddle" is causing the splitter to pull away off the bumper so when I return after new years, I will have to remove the bumper and re-mount it.
 

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Immediately change transmission and diff fluid because their open air breathers are near axle level. If wheel bearings fail, they will become noisy and you can replace them. Bearing inspection is impossible.

I'd probably do engine oil as a precaution. P/S fluid, brake fluid and coolant aren't quite so vulnerable.

The lemmings comment is right on....I did it in Fla, but I was in a rental driving by various safe elevation points where I could have parked lol.
 

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This is quite a testimony as to how BMW has engineered this car in its stock condition. My son hydrolocked his Nissan Maxima driving through a marked flash flood area (warning signs in place year around) in Texas a couple years ago in that amount of water and hydrolocked his engine, so I learned from his experience to not do that in a vehicle.

What speed were you driving? I have heard a slower speed is better if you ever have to drive through deep water.

That is good advice to change the oil, diff, and trans fluid. I would do that ASAP in any vehicle, lifted or not, after driving through water deep enough to touch those components.
 

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This is quite a testimony as to how BMW has engineered this car in its stock condition. My son hydrolocked his Nissan Maxima driving through a marked flash flood area (warning signs in place year around) in Texas a couple years ago in that amount of water and hydrolocked his engine, so I learned from his experience to not do that in a vehicle.
you really think bmw engineered the car to plow through lakes? come on now ... the op got extremely lucky this has nothing to do with the car or the "greatness" of being an m5.
 

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I would say that alot of [immediate] issues were avoided, as a direct result of how well sealed the engine bay is in the E39s. That is to say BMW didn't design their cars to be amphibious; but, they also didn't overlook the fact that extenuating circumstances may force one to travel through extraordinary conditions.

Had the under panels not been there, or been in poor shape and I'd venture a guess that this post would be entirely different. I will say i'm semi-surprised that nothing worse happened with the brake/intake ducts allowing more moisture than usual through.
 

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air intake location

BMW probably didn't engineer the beast for aquatic duty. When MI had the great flood of '09, I took the wife's Subaru. First, because much cheaper to replace a soggy engine in that. Second, because the air intake is up at the top of the engine, just under the hood, as opposed to the beast's bumper location.

As a side note, I do have the brake duct mods, and I can see why the lawyers didn't let that get through on US cars. When driving in a downpour, you really do lose some brake function until the pads can dry out.

ssomed
 
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