Is this engine cooked?

I’m pretty sure of this but I’m looking for some opinions before I call the junk guy. 1992 Plymouth Voyager (not mine). Person said he drove it though a large puddle and it stalled. He got it running and it ran like crap. He left it run to dry it out and it suddenly stopped. It would not restart after this. I was asked to look at it. Tried to start it and the starter just clicked. Removed the starter and it worked fine on the bench. (battery is new). Put the starter back in and same thing. My thought is the engine is seized. Got a wrench and put it on the crankshaft bolt. Can’t move it either way !! Soooo…

Do I just say junk it, or does anybody think it could be saved by maybe using a bigger wrench and getting the engine to move? Any opinion would be great. Thanks

Pull the sparkplugs and then try turning it over.


Follow Tester’s recommendation. If the engine is hydrolocked removal of the plugs will allow you to turn it maually and the water will come out the plug holes.

If this is the case you may want to vacuum the air passage into the throttle body out with a wet/dry vac before putting new plugs in. You may have puddled water in there. Needless to say, a new air filter will be needed too. New ignition components would be a good idea too while you’re working on it.

Personally, if the cylinders are hydrolocked I’d want to change the oil and filter too.

If you’re still having problems post back. It’s entirely possible that the mass airflow sensor is also damaged, and perhaps a something else like the igniter. This stuff isn’t made to get wet.

The air intake is fairly high in the engine compartment, so this was one very big and deep “puddle”. The only chance the motor is still good is if it is hydrolocked. This means water instead of air was sucked into the engine. Water doesn’t compress and will “lock up” the motor.

Without the plugs in the motor the starter should be able to turn it over. If this event occured a while ago then you could have rust inside the cylinders and that can make the motor continue to stick.

If you do get it to turn over follow the advice others have given, but it is a good possiblity that this motor is done. You have to wonder how high the water was and what other systems on the car were negatively impacted by the water?

Thanks for all the infromation. Today I’ll pull the plugs and see if that helps. I can say this much, yesterday when I had a wrench on the crank pully it seemed really stuck. I could not move it even a fraction of an inch. I’ll keep all infromed.

My DIL several years ago had a car that wouldn’t start. A local mechanic said the motor was shot. We looked on this URL for a good mechanic, who found the air conditioning compressor was frozen. Loosen those belts after you have tried the other suggestions, or take them off and see if that helps.

Hello all. Just to follow up on this… The engine is cooked !! Pulled 3 plugs and one was smashed. If the piston hit the plug, in my humble opinion, she’s cooked. Thanks for all the replies. Boilerman

Sounds like you hydrolocked and broke a connecting rod. Bummer. That busted rod is probably what’s preventing the crank from rotating.

Thanks for letting us know the outcome.