By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Downpours like today’s and the others we’ve had lately can be bad for your car.

Mark Dooling, manager of the AAA Car Care Center in Clifton Heights, says he’s been seeing a bumper crop of water-damaged electrical and ignition systems or popped off belts. Dooling says this does not happen simply driving in the rain, but going through standing water, which is not a good idea anyway.

“We do see more SUV’s than we do regular cars. People fear going through it in a smaller, lower cars — rightfully so — and they don’t attempt it. They wait for conditions to improve or pick an alternate route, but a lot of these cars that we’re seeing are clearly SUVs and attempted to do more than they were designed to do.”

Dooling says, while the electrical problems may seem to go away as the car dries out, there’s a high probability they’ll return.

“Humidity can start to violate that same package once it’s no longer water-tight, and then you start to get repeated problems without all the water, or having to go through another scene like you had to to cause the problem initially, so repeat failure comes up.”

Dooling says getting in deep enough water can ruin the engine or even cause the car to float.

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