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How to Wreck An AMG Engine in 5 Seconds

Flooding roadways pose a serious challenge for motorists.

by on May.26, 2011

Driving through a flooded road can be a dangerous -- and costly -- mistake.

The storm lasted no more than an hour.  The sky had turned green, the tornado sirens sending folks racing for shelter.  But in the end, the only thing that reached the ground was a torrential downpour that quickly overwhelmed sewers, creating deep ponds of water over many busy streets.

The driver of the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG paused for a couple moments wondering whether to turn back, but after watching a half-dozen other cars splash through the deep water that had formed on Dearborn’s Village Road he decided to give it a chance.

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Cautiously, he pulled ahead, his right wheel riding the curb, but a car going the other direction sent a wake splashing towards the German sports car which gave an unhealthy hiccup and came to a sudden stop.

The engine of the $150,000 SL, it turns out, had just hydrolocked.  Short for hydrostatic locking, that occurs when an engine designed to compress an air-fuel mixture suddenly takes a gulp of water which, as any physics student can tell you, cannot compress.