Venturing into unknown water bodies is dangerous, and a Mahindra Thar owner found this out first hand after trying to drive through a massive pond, and getting royally stuck. Finally, a Isuzu V-Cross pick up truck had to be summoned to pull the Thar out of the difficult position. At the same time, a vintage Jeep was seen driving around the Thar in the same water, with over 6 people aboard. While the vintage Jeep made driving through the water so easy, the Thar’s struggles prompts one to wonder what went wrong. A lot really. Modern day cars, with their ECUs aren’t design to wade through more than say 500-600 mm of water, and in some cases up to 800 mm of water with a snorkel in tow. As for the Thar CRDe, Mahindra recommends wading through water that’s no taller than half of the vehicle’s wheels. In case of te stuck Thar, it did venture a lot deeper, and not surprisingly got stuck. Watch the video for yourself.
The Thar CRDe that got stuck had customized interiors, with a music system and a sub-woofer. With water entering the vehicle, and nearly flooding it, the music system and the sub-woofer are said to have conked out. This is another reason why cars that go off road are quite basic, with as little electronic bits as possible, especially when it comes to creature comforts such as power windows, music systems and electric locks. These features are likely to stop working when hit by moisture, and in some cases, can prove to be very dangerous. So, if you intend to use your SUV for off roading, make sure that the electronics are high enough or better still, avoid crossing deeper water bodies.
The other big risk of course is hydrolocking. If water enter the intake of the vehicle through the air filter, it could hydrolock the engine, or in other words bend the piston and result in serious engine damage. Hydrolocking will strand the vehicle, and this is the last thing you want when going off the beaten path. This is also a main reason why it’s advisable to go off road with sufficient back-up just in case the vehicle is immobilized due to mechanical/electrical failure or a crash. This is anoter reason why car manufacturers – even makers of off road oriented vehicles such as the Mahindra Thar, Maruti Gypsy and the Force Gurkha – have severe warranty limitations on vehicles that are used for off-roading.
As for the vintage Jeep running rings around the Mahindra Thar in the pond, it has to with the vehicle featuring a much simpler design with minimal electronics. The original off road machine – such a Jeep does not come with any fancy features and electronics, and in case of this particular pond, was taking a route without any nasty surprises under the water that caught the Thar driver on the wrong foot, leading to the breakdown.