Water incursion GMC Envoy

At age 67 I purchased my new 2003 GMC Envoy, counting on it being my last car. I have had my moments with the car (Truck actually) but on the whole I have been satisfied with it. Now at almost 75 and the Truck at 7 and 92,000 miles I was confident with the Good Lord willing, that I might approach my mothers age (she is now 99 and still walking without a walker, she says those are for old people) but alas I have doubts about my truck lasting through my driving lifetime.

Bear with me as I go thru the story. I have never taken the truck through an automated car wash because I found that the rear end of SUV?s don?t get washed very well. The dealer washes it with the oil change and I hand wash it other times. My son was going to visit with us on April 24. I was rushed the day of his arrival, so I relented and ran it through an automated premium card wash the which included a carriage under wash. My son?s visit went well except once he did ask, ?How is the truck working??

I said, ?Fine?, but I think that was the kiss of death because he has a Honda MDX.

Continuing, I said, ?Quite well actually except for the Check Engine Soon light which has been a pox on the truck ever since we bought it?. We traveled about 300 miles during his visit including the round trips to the airport. He left, on April 28, with the truck still running fine.

On April 30, while backing out of a parking space, the engine stalled. I restarted it, but it ran rough like one cylinder was not firing. Called the dealer and he said ?Bring it in tomorrow morning?.

They diagnosed it with ?water incursion in the engine? and it would cost me $1,000 plus to repair it. I didn?t think about the car wash until later when I was mulling over this ?water incursion? while gazing upon the returned parts. One part was a huge rubber thing which the dealer said had failed. He also noted that it was a good thing I brought the truck in right away; else, they might have needed to replace the entire engine as was necessary for another customer who brought it in too late. My guess is that?s why they got me into the shop so quick, of course making a cool $1000 was a good incentive as well.

I heard of head cylinder gaskets leaking, allowing cooling water into the engine. But ?water excursion? allowing external water into the engine was unheard of by me. I further wondered if the automatic car wash had anything to do with the ?water incursion?, and if it did, this seems like a design defect that needs a recall. A truck should be able to deal with ?water incursion? in the engine compartment without ruining the engine. Except of course, if the truck was in a flood, or it went through very deep water. Neither of which happened.

Any thoughts about “water incursion”? Should I give up on the idea of this is going to be my last vehicle (excepting my golf cart as we live in a golf cart community) and buy a new truck? Or should I ignore it and tell my son to stay away?

You don’t have to give up on it but has everything been repaired? sooner better than later. If you have never had the coolant flushed they should do that with he repair, and do not be afraid to switch to a universal type coolant. I think you have a few years left where repairs will be cheaper than new vehicle payments. Investing in depreciation or repairs more or less. Keep up on routine maintenance as shown in the manual.

I’d sure like to know what that huge rubber thing was supposed to seal. Any ideas? I know that if you DRIVE into deep water and your engine sucks in water and is ruined, your comprehensive insurance will pay for a fix (or often “total” it). My guess is that your $1000 truly fixed it, whatever it was. I wouldn’t condemn a 92K Envoy for the need of a $1000 repair, but I’d sure stay away from undercarriage washes at that car wash.

I have no idea where that huge rubber thing is on the car. I can’t see it from above, and I am not too interested in crawling underneath the car at my age. Yes I did get it fixed.

Have you done a coolant and spark plug change? Those along with regular filters are important.

The plugs were part of the $1,000 repair along with oil change and gas filter. I am a little nervous about changing the fuel filter because the last time it was done, the connection broke lose 45 days later. A big truck stopped my wife on the highway an said lady, you’re spilling gas all over the road. The Envoy was towed back to the dealer who said he didn’t do anything wrong, and I called GM who said nothing is wrong with part, the usual deny deny deny! I am sure glad it didn’t break while in my garage.

The first thing that strikes me is that it is reported to be “water incursion” and not coolant in the engine. I can’t see how water gets in the engine unless it is under water.

Myself, I would need to inspect all to give an answer here.

It wasn’t engine coolant water, and the engine wasn’t underwater. The outside water got past the AIP Gasket and into the #4 coil.