Water damage

Hello, I have a 2008 Ford E250 cargo van with the 4.6 V8 (186,000 miles) I drove through several puddles of high standing water last week, The last one did the job so to say. I thought I could make it through but I didn’t. I managed to get the van through the puddle but not without ticking, The electronic throttle control light came on in addition to the check engine light (PO 103 code) The air filter got wet and the engine oil looks like milk chocolate. Did I do major damage, and is this van salvageable? The van will be paid off in January, I plan on keeping the van if there is not that much damage. Also…Will this vehicle be OK if I decide to fix it? Any other forseen problems down the road related to this incident? Please help, Thank You.

Change the oil and filter.

The P0103 code is for the Mass Air Flow sensor. The MAF sensor is a hot wire anemometer. So it was probably damaged from thermal shock when the water came in contact with it. So change the MAF sensor along with the air filter.

Check the tranny fluid to see if that got contaminated with water. If so change the tranny fluid.

Then let the van sit for a few days to let everything dry out.

Then cross your fingers.


+1 for @Tester. Years ago I drove my new Olds 88 through a tunnel while on vacation. Little did I know that at the end of the tunnel was a flooded field after a heavy rain storm. I got by with changing my oil and filter as well as carefully drying out my Mass Airflow Sensor. I believe the MAF was a $550 part in the late 80’s. I drove the car a few more years with no problem.

If the engine isn’t running, be sure to have it tested for water-lock before trying to start again. If water gets drawn into the cylinders through the air intake, it can lodge there and cause the entire engine to lock up. It’s fairly easy to diagnose and fix, but if you try to start the engine when it is water-locked it can do major damage.

and change the oil and filter also

You might consider running the engine for a minute or so after changing the oil and then change the oil and filter yet again to help flush some of that chocolate milk out.
Each time you might consider allowing it to sit for a lengthy time while draining and, knock on wood, a lot of the crud will drain out of the oil galleys. The more of that stuff out, the better.

hi. i would pull the spark plugs out and spin the engine with the starter in case any water got in. then put them back and see how it runs (maybe with a new mass air sensor and no air filter). if it idles smooth with no missfire codes, then proceed with a total fluid change (oil and filter, tranny, rear diff, and even the brake fluid) and a new air filter. then watch for any electrical issue due to water in relays, modules, fuse block, etc. when you spin the motor, if a lot of water comes out, and it idles rough, you could have a bent connecting rod. that means a new or rebuilt or used engine will be needed…