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Mechanic: Heavy Arizona rains can cause car problems

PHOENIX — Cars were splashing through puddles across Maricopa County on Tuesday after a big storm made its way through the area.

The host of KTAR’s “Bumper to Bumper” radio show, Dave Riccio, said most cars probably made it through the rain OK, but some could have an issue.

“The day after a rainstorm, you great squeaky brakes,” he said. “That usually blows off in a matter of time. If a car gets any sort of water in the ignition system, spark plug wires, or anything like that, you’ll have stalling issues and the car might run rough.”

Riccio said if water gets into a car’s compression chamber, it could ruin the pistons and cause the car to hydrolock.

It’s pretty easy to spot a car that has hydrolocked: Look for the one stalled out and is stuck in a flood.

“You know the guy that you see on the 5 o’clock news? The one on top of his car, which is stalled out in the middle of flood waters? Chances are that he hydrolocked his motor,” said Riccio. “So not only is he going to sit on top of that car until the helicopter shows up to rescue him, but he also wrecked his engine.”

He said most newer cars are built well enough that Tuesday’s rain should not pose an issue.