Automobiles & Bikes

Lamborghini driver crosses a flooded street

Video filmed by Travis Hammond for Ben Reilly

“That vehicle is built for speed, that is something you would not use in this kind of water,” said Officer Emilio Ramirez, from the San Diego Police Department.

Officer Ramirez was referring to the white Lamborghini video, posted on social media on Jan 5, which crossed a San Diego intersection with flooded water almost as high as it’s windshield.

Other San Diego race-cars and their drivers, weren’t so lucky.

“My buddy hydrolocked his engine going through a puddle,” said Juan, a Chula Vistan, who builds Volkswagens that can allegedly go heads-up against the $200,000 Lamborghini Gallardo, but only on dry days.

“Juan,” whose name has been changed to protect his street credibility, and his buddy, built a fast 2001 Volkswagen GTi with all of the high performance modifications.  Unlike the Lambo, the VW’s 1.8 engine fell prey to the flooded streets.  When driving the car, they drove through a big puddle, then the engine seized.

The water wasn’t nearly as deep as the Lamborghini’s in the video.  The reason why the VW hydrolocked was because it sported an aftermarket cold air-intake pipe which dropped down by the bumper (low).  This modification is popular for the street-racers, because the pipe sucks in cooler and more air, as opposed to the restrictive, factory airbox, located within the hot engine compartment.

“It’s gonna be a costly repair, the first thing they have to do is take off the head, because now they have water that is trapped inside there, and that has to be removed,” Officer Ramirez said.

Removing the water inside the head is one thing that can be remedied, but the Volkswagen fix wasn’t so easy: the water fouled up the air and fuel mixture, making the head lock up, bending internal parts and seizing the complete motor mechanism.

Flood, Flooded, Gallardo, Jan. 5, Lamborghini, Mike Madriaga, Mission Valley, Reader, San Diego, SDReader, Viral Video, YouTube

The original article ran on the print and digital edition of the San Diego Reader magazine on Jan. 9, 2016.

But, Juan had a work-around for that: “We swapped out the [after-market] intake and installed his factory air box back, got it a bit wet and added a little bit of debris in it before putting it back in,” Juan said. “The insurance company came to see it, looked at my written report on [the] damage, and he got paid for a complete used engine including labor and fluids needed.”

The reason why the Lamborghini was able to pass through the deep water and not bog down due to hydrolock, was partially because the 500 horsepower mid-motor is behind the seats, and it’s air intake is located higher up by the quarter window.

“For people that are trying to, or looking at attempting to [cross water], first they need to know where their air-intake is, and most important of all, how deep the water is,” Officer Ramirez said, “… don’t attempt it, don’t try it, go find another route, it’s safer that way, don’t put yourself in harm’s way.”


Author: Mike Madriaga