My car has been driven thru standing WATER

engines

#1

i have a 2004 Chevy Malibu. Two nights ago my boyfriend was driving my car down a country road when he came upon water rushing onto the road. He decided to drive through it. Mid-ways my car stalled and wouldn’t go any further. He tried to start the car again but it wouldn’t turn over. We were pushed out of the water. The cars lights,radio,etc still works. We’ve had the starter checked,replaced spark plugs & battery. The air filter was sopping wet!



What to do now??


#2

Sorry but that’s a dumb thing to do, and think your boyfriend may owe you an engine. An engine compresses air as part of the combustion process, but driving through water can cause the engine to ingest water into the combustion chambers. When the pistons try to compress the water, guess what, water doesn’t compress like air. The result is broken or bent internal engine parts, and the engine locks up.

You need to get it to a mechanic, have the plugs taken out and turn the engine over to see if there is water in there. Then check for damage.

Never never never drive a car through deep standing water. Its also a good way to get swept away down stream.


#3

I doubt that anyone here is going to be able to help very much. There are too many possibilities and not near enough info given.
We do not know if the problem is lack of spark, failure of the fuel system to deliver, what computer codes may be present, etc., etc.

About all I can suggest is try sraying some aerosol carb cleaner into the intake and then attempt to start it. If it runs for a few seconds that could help to narrow it down a bit.
At this point it’s throw parts at it or have a shop look it over.

I would advise not driving into high water, period. A very close friend of our family drove their vehicle into water flowing over the roadway and got washed into the ditch. The car spent about 5 hours with water up to the top of the glovebox before it was towed out. The vehicle never ran again and was eventually declared a total. It’s not likely your car is this bad; just pointing this out to show you what could happen to a car and potentially to the lives of the people inside the car.


#4

with the ignition switch in the “ON” position, with a screwdriver we tripped the starter to see if it would turn over, and all it would do was click rapidly.?
when trying to start with the key it does absolutely nothing!?!


#5

I appreciate the posts! and would appreciate any further assistance with this…


#6

A rapid clicking points to a weak battery, bad battery cable connection, faulty starter, or worst of all - a locked up engine due to water being inhaled.

What I would do is remove the spark plugs, place the transmission in neutral, and attempt to rotate the engine by hand (generally with a ratchet/socket on the crankshaft balancer (pulley).
If the engine does not rotate freely then you may have a serious problem.
If the engine does rotate freely try cranking the engine over and note if water is pushed out of the cylinders.

If water is expelled, and after drying the spark plugs, I would suggest changing the oil/filter before driving it anywhere as the engine oil is likely contaminated.


#7

with the air filter being wet does that definetly mean that the engine is hydrolocked?
Also does this mean I’ll have to replace my engine?
couldn’t it just be a sensor?

“What I would do is remove the spark plugs, place the transmission in neutral, and attempt to rotate the engine by hand (generally with a ratchet/socket on the crankshaft balancer (pulley).
If the engine does not rotate freely then you may have a serious problem.”

the car must be in nuetral to do this??,so that may explain why if done in park it still wouldn’t turn?..

Thanks again for the Help! =)


#8

“What I would do is remove the spark plugs, place the transmission in neutral, and attempt to rotate the engine by hand (generally with a ratchet/socket on the crankshaft balancer (pulley).
If the engine does not rotate freely then you may have a serious problem.”

the car must be in nuetral to do this??,so that may explain why if done in park it still wouldn’t turn?..


#9

If its an automatic, it doesn’t matter if its in park or neutral-same result. You need to see if there is water in there or not with the plugs out and try to expel the water.


#10

[b] with the air filter being wet does that definetly mean that the engine is hydrolocked? {/b]

Not certain, but there is a very good chance. With a lot of luck the wet air cleaner blocked off the air, but that is something of a long shot.

Also does this mean I’ll have to replace my engine? Maybe, maybe not. It depends.

couldn’t it just be a sensor? Very wishful thinking.


#11

how long ago did this happen? two nights ago… friday night? time is of the essence if water got into the engine. in all likely hood rust has formed inside the engine by now, and you are probably totalling the car out by now.

to turn the engine over if your car is a stick, then it must be in neutral. if it is an automatic then it doesn’t matter.

the wet air filter means that water was sucked up into the engine.

in all likely hood this means water entered the engine.

if water entered the engine, you likely have a large, expensive repair.
have you changed the oil? have you removed the spark plugs? have you turned the engine over manually? you need to get this looked at asap.


#12

if it is important to you to get this fixed, get it to a shop asap.

if you want to continue tinkering around… then beware, the time you are taking fiddling with it, and waiting for responses is likely enough time to let the engine seize up from rust.