DarthPuppy
Posts: 728
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2013

Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:21 pm

With the snows we are having in the Midwest, I'm guessing that there will be substantial flooding in the spring.

One of the things that is always in the news for flooding is how cars stall when they try to drive through water that is too deep.

But would that be a problem for an electric car?

I'm not an engineer and certainly haven't tested this (and won't). But I figure the car manufacturers probably have tested it. So does anyone here know the answer?

My non-engineer thoughts:

1. Since there is no ICE, there would be no need for an air intake that would become problematic with high water levels.

2. However, if the inside of the compartments (engine/battery) flood, does electric shock become a problem? If so, then I would guess the manufacturers may have designed in a safety shutdown rather than let the car continue.

Thoughts?
'13 Leaf SL
'18 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV

smkettner
Posts: 7380
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:25 pm

1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV
RAV4 traded in for I-Pace Dec 2018

Stoaty
Posts: 4488
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:50 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 3871
Location: West Los Angeles

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:26 pm

http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012 ... video.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
2011 Leaf with 62,000 miles given to Nephew
2013 Tesla Model S85 with 251 miles rated range at full charge
Leaf Spy Manual
Battery Aging Model Spreadsheet

DarthPuppy
Posts: 728
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2013

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:39 pm

Way cool!!!! Thanks for the informative videos. :D
'13 Leaf SL
'18 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV

garsh
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:27 am
Delivery Date: 05 Apr 2012
Location: Pittsburgh PA

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:06 am

And... real-world, muddy water fording:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRTnoeudTPQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
2012 Black SV, bought 2012-04-04, sold 2019-05-10. 7 bars, 101,850 miles.
Current rides: 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance, 2018 Chevrolet Volt LT

truckstop55
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 9:00 am
Delivery Date: 01 Dec 2013
Leaf Number: 005551

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:54 pm

You’ll be pleased to know that I took the Leaf along a road approx. 80m in length, through at least 2 ft. of water the other day (it’s a well-known local area with fords at each end).

Unbeknownst to me, a Land rover tried the day before and didn’t make it (see link)!

http://www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk/ ... 094104.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I know that it was at least 2ft (possibly 3ft as the story suggests) as there was no visible splash of water being thrown from the wheels as they turned. This means they must have been fully submerged. (16 inch alloys with a profile of 4inches X 2 – making 2 ft. altogether??)

Absolutely bone dry when I came out the other end. I had to go through another pool about a minute later (about 20m long), and this time, I could see plenty of muddy water being thrown up through the air, so this was not as deep.

I was driving against the flow which was moving at about 0.5 to 1m per second.

The amber warning triangle flashed a couple of times (probably because of the extra effort in travelling through), and the traction control light flashed intermittently. I put that down to small debris that sits on the base of the road after deep flooding. There was also an amount of buffeting that I could feel trying to ‘lift’ the front of the vehicle.

What a great piece of engineering!

I had to find out, as some of the main country roads around here can get like this, and there may not be the option of a long detour if I’ve forgotten to charge up!.

I can’t provide you with photo evidence etc., as the windows were kept shut (for obvious reasons), as I needed to concentrate to get through, and keep moving!

I kept it slow and steady in eco mode.

I've only seen your thread today, hence the late reply.

RonDawg
Posts: 3039
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:08 pm

I'm glad you were able to make it across safely, but do note that this could have ended very badly for you. Water that deep, and moving at 1 m/sec (about 2-1/2 MPH for us non-metric types) has the power to wash vehicles off the road. That's what that "lifting" feeling was about.

A lot of people die in flash floods in the US, especially in the dry areas that don't get a lot of rainfall, because people underestimate the power of moving water.

This video was shot on U.S. Highway 24 in Colorado last year. The flooding was a direct result of a big wildfire in the mountains during the summer, and then heavy rainfall a few months later. Although the water is moving fast, it's not nearly as deep: http://youtu.be/bBQ4TKOR-9E" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.

truckstop55
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 9:00 am
Delivery Date: 01 Dec 2013
Leaf Number: 005551

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:24 pm

I'm glad you were able to make it across safely, but do note that this could have ended very badly for you.

Thanks for your concern, (and the video), but it was nowhere near the speed of the video. It was not a life-threatening situation, only a potentially embarrassing (and expensive?) one. I could have provided a poor estimate of flow rate, but I'm convinced that the vehicle would have held with the brake on. The water was deeper than shown (see link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89oOJnWZ_Ls" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
), but I went through much more slowly.

Perhaps some of the more science minded contributors can estimate the flow rate needed (making assumptions about contact area etc) to move a 1700kg (including one man) Nissan Leaf with its brakes on!

Levenkay
Gold Member
Posts: 519
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:01 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2018
Leaf Number: 308382
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:12 pm

Besides the danger of becoming swept away, there is also the fact that quite often, road-covering water is so turbid that you can't see anything past the first inch or so of depth. Probably in the OP's situation, the water was surface runoff, but sometimes, unexpected "puddles" have unexpected origins, such as a broken underground water main that's washed away several cubic yards' worth of ground, as in this semi-related video

mkjayakumar
Posts: 1219
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:13 am
Delivery Date: 08 Mar 2012
Location: Plano, TX

Re: Does a Leaf stall when driving through water?

Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:26 pm

in any case, Leaf did admirably well
2011 Leaf, 30K miles, returned after 24 month lease.
Currently leasing 2014 Leaf SV.

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