How to drive a car with an iMT gearbox through flood waters

How to drive a car with an iMT gearbox through flood waters


I’m familiar with the required techniques for a manual but my recently purchased Kia Sonet has an iMT gearbox.

BHPian roadheat recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


I am from Bombay & have recently purchased the Kia Sonet iMT Petrol. However, this will be my first monsoon with the iMT.

Familiar with the flooding that happens in Mumbai, we all have waded through the floods in our manual transmission cars (always keeping the clutch down & accelerating while idle, to prevent water from getting into the engine).

How do you do this in an iMT? Is it possible to drive an iMT through floods? You do not have a clutch pedal, so do you just accelerate in neutral when you are idling?

iMT owners please suggest if you have experienced driving an iMT in floods before.


Here’s what BHPian windrider had to say about the matter:

This is where a lot of people mistakenly believe that water entering through the exhaust pipe is what causes the engine to stall. 9 times out of 10, it is the water that enters through the vehicle’s air intake that makes its way into the engine and leads to engine hydrolock.

Most cars have their air intake placed just behind the grill or the space behind one of the headlights. Some have it placed even lower behind the bumper. It doesn’t matter if your car is an automatic or a manual, if water gets into your air box, it’s game over.

Anyway, if you are forced to drive through a flooded street, I guess you will have to plan a few metres in advance in what gear you need to be in. Apart from that, the only other way I see is, as you said, put it in neutral and rev the engine. Attaching a video by Scotty Kilmer. I was shocked by just how a few inches of water that might seem safe can total your car.

Here’s what BHPian dhanushs had to say about the matter:

The reason why they say to accelerate is to keep the exhaust pressure higher than the water pressure so that the exhaust isn’t choked and the vehicle shuts off. The bigger concern would be water entering through the intake.

An even bigger concern would be the reliability of your electrical components after water wading.

I would strongly suggest that even though you have a high GC vehicle, AVOID water whenever possible. It’s not possible to gauge the depth of the water, or the splash, or the bow wave in traffic, so, if a car finds it difficult, then you should treat the Kia Sonet similarly.

If you really need to pass through, then possibly wait for the traffic to calm down, then drive at a constant rpm/speed in a lower gear keeping the rpms high, and speed low, so that minor bumps or potholes shouldn’t make a difference.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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