2000 Honda civic ran through puddle. What next?

Someone ran me into a curb and a puddle last night and my car stalled just at the end of the puddle. I pushed it and let it sit for two hours and it tried to crank but wouldn’t.

This morning at 8 I cranked it and it started up and immediately shut off. It’s still trying but not turning over. I’ve dried the plug wires, connections, and battery terminals. I even took the distributor cap off and it looked dry. I’ve not lost any oil since and the oil looks fine. I have a Cold Air Intake on it and removed the pipe from the engine and it looks dry as a bone. Does this sound like hudrolock? Either way what can Ido next? Thanks! -john (the poor banjo player)

I tried again and it started but took a long time. When it did it ran rough for about 5 seconds then shut down again.

How deep was this puddle?

At the point where I hit the curb about 6".

Some water may have been drawn into the air cleaner, throttle body, and beyond… not enough to hydro lock but sufficient to short out sensors or spark plugs.

At least open up and dry out the air cleaner and the throttle body and its sensors and remove the spark plugs. Crank the engine and see if any water is thrown out.

Crank sensor, fuses, fuel pump, I don’t know. Check for spark and fuel pressure I guess. I don’t think 6" would be deep enough to cause hydrolock and I believe if the starter motor turns the engine over, its not locked up.

I agree that 6" of water shouldn’t be enough to cause hydrolock, but…then again there is the issue of exactly where the OP’s aftermarket Cold Air Intake is located.

If the OP decided to reengineer his car and placed the new intake in a lower postion than the stock intake, or if the intake isn’t protected by plastic shields in the exact same way that the standard intake was protected, then I think that it is possible for this modification to have led to hydrolocking of the engine.

A couple of days ago, somebody posted pics of dumb car modifications, and one of those pics showed a Mazda with a K & N filter-intake sticking out of the bottom end of the car’s front bumper. Something similarly low-placed on the OP’s car could have led to water being sucked into the engine.

OP: What can you tell us about the placement of that Cold Air intake?

Hey John the Banjo Player … sorry to hear you are having this difficulty. I had a VW Rabbit years ago and every time I ran over a deep puddle like that the engine would quit. It might take 4-6 hours before it would start again, sometimes longer. One time it took several days. Turned out to be a tiny crack in the ignition coil. So something getting wet in your ignition system is my first guess. Do you have a dry warm place to put the car, open the hood, remove the spark plugs, open the distributor cap and dry it all off for a couple days. If so, try that.

No go? First thing is to read out all the engine diagnostic codes. Before you can fix it, You have to figure out if the problem is spark, fuel, or compression.

Also, if the engine splash guard is missing the alternator could be full of water.

How big was the puddle? My 94 Accord would stall out, but restarted eventually. One time it sat underneath a rain gutter and it wouldn’t start the next day. Water had foiled the distributor.

If indeed a large puddle you would want to drain the engine oil because it may be hydrolocked.

Hopefully the OP has drained the oil or resolved the problem in other ways during the 40 days since the OP posted his query.


WHY are you opening up a dead-and-buried thread?

I just checked, and OP hasn’t been active on this website since July 20th

With all due respect, it can’t serve any useful purpose to get us all worked up, for nothing

Should be dried out by now, yes?

Relatively speaking, reviving a 40 day old thread on an issue that is likely resolved by now is–I guess–relatively minor. In another forum which I frequent, many of the questions involve issues such as “which county in NJ has the most job opportunities for my profession?” or “how high are the rents in Buttzville?”, or similar types of timely queries. At least once a week, a new forum member will revive a thread that is anywhere from 2 years to 9 years old, giving employment or housing advice to somebody who surely decided long ago where to apply for jobs or where to live.

Although reviving “dead threads” is puzzling to me, I believe that this is a case of a new member who has an opinion on one particular topic, and after doing a search for that topic, decides to re-open a long-dead discussion in order to contribute his/her opinion, even though that opinion is almost surely no longer needed or wanted.