Electrics and water do not mix

water-damage-pcbThe summer has drawn out now, autumn/winter is starting to set in and the weather is getting darker, duller and damper, which causes all kinds of issues for drivers and car owners.

This is usually the time when you find out that your windscreen wipers need to be replaced because of cracked wiper blades that you are unable to clean your windscreen from the spray off the road fully, headlight bulbs need replacing after seldom use and they then suddenly blow due to higher usage and cars failing to start as the temperature gets lower, this means the batteries are zapped of their energy which will then result in the car failing to start.

Despite the pretty colours of the leaves on the trees and the nice sunsets, autumn is actually a time to make sure your car is in the best road-worthy condition it can be, winter checks are best to be done at this time to avoid any potential huge bills you may incur with your car, if a few simple checks are not done.

Being an electronics remanufacturing company we see our fair share of electronic units throughout the year that have been water damaged and it is usually around this time of the year we see an increase in units that have been affected.
As we all know and are taught at a young age is that, water and electronics do not mix and this is the same with electronic automotive components, even if they seem to be encased in a sealed metal box, much like an ECU and pump from the block simply because of water seizing them together which then means we are unable to fully test or remanufacture. When this happens, the ABS will look very similar to these.

Instrumentcluster Ford Focus PCB

Instrumentcluster Ford Focus PCB

Sometimes it is pretty clear-cut when we get a unit, especially when we go to open it and water literally comes out of the unit as you can see. Unfortunately placing these units in a bowl of rice does not help, once the unit becomes water damaged, there is very little you can do with the unit as 99% of the time the important components on the PCB, such as processors and the EEPROM get damaged beyond repair and would result in needing a new replacement unit. Unfortunately preventing the units from water damage themselves is difficult for the average DIY mechanic, however as car owners we can all take steps to help keep the cars in the best condition as possible to avoid these issues.

Instrumentcluster Ford Focus PCB

ECU PCB Damage

What we do suggest when conducting the usual checks on your own vehicles, such as tyres, water & coolant levels and general home maitanence is to just make sure that there are no leaves, dirt or debris from the road, which could cause blockages where water and that your car is in a road worthy condition.