Flooded Jeep Cherokee



I got my car stalled in 3 feet of water. Pushed it out same day let it sit over night. tried to start it next day and it wouldn’t. Took it to my mechanic he got it “running” again but it will not start up on the first try but will on the second and when the car runs it is at a high RPM and shifts around 4 thousand. My mechanic said to drive it a couple of days to see if the problem corrects itself. I don’t want to make a small problem a bigger one. Advice please…


The fact the engine is running probably rules out hydrolock. How high is the idle RPM? Was the PCM (engine computer) exposed to water?

Speaking from experience, the interior should be stripped down to the bare metal (i.e. remove seats, carpet and padding) and all the wiring/connections under the car should be dried out. If the carpet and padding is not removed, any moisture present will lead to mold/mildew and corrosion of the wiring.

Ed B.


Idle RPM is normal. I don’t know if the computer was exposed to water. How can I check?


I hate to say this, but you are likely to have problems with this car for some time. You might get it running fine and next month it may be something else. a few weeks later you might start smelling some really interesting smells. Next year you might find some new problems.

Good Luck


Where exactly is three feet of water on this rig? Is it above the hood? Did any get in to the interior?

I’ve driven my 4x4’s through water that was probably about that deep-- they’re in theory designed for it, but that doesn’t mean that water won’t get places it’s not supposed to especially if this is an older one (and especially if the unibody has been tweaked at all-- a common Cherokee problem). I would say it would be an excellent idea to change the oil, transmission fluid and differential oil and hope it just dries out. I would probably not drive it much with the transmission acting up, but letting it just idle for a while might help.


Three Feet…The rear end, fuel tank, transmission, most of the engine were underwater. Good Luck…


just drove it on the highway and when I stoped the car and put it in N it did idle high at 1.5 RPM. I also noticed that the power steering was not working 100% at low speeds. I turned the car off and started it again and idle and power steering back to normal.


there is probably water in the steering fluid, or the belt is just slimy from exposure