about a month ago, we got rain. My son was driving, and went through a rather deep puddle. His car stalled out, and wouldn’t start. we finally got it home, got it to start, but now the engine is tapping hard. We added some mystery oil, and engine honey, and it helped some, but it is still tapping hard. Aside from tearing the engine apart, is there anything we can do to fix the problem? the car ran great before all of this happened.
Do You Have Access To A Time Machine ? You Could Have Given Instructions To Your Son To Never Drive Through A Deep Puddle. The Damage Is Done.
Make, Model, Model-Year, Approximate Miles On It ?
We could help far better if we knew the make, model, year, and engine of the vehicle. Since it’s your son’t vehicle and you’re posting for him, I’ll assume that the vehicle has some years on it and probably has a distributor based ignition system. If I’m wrong, well hey, I tried.
It is possible that the tapping is from water having rendered one of the ignition circuits or connection to the spark plug inoperative, and the ticking is from arcing or such. Okay, that’s the highly optimistic me that you’re getting this from.
It’s likely that your son ingested some water and hydrolocked. Water doesn’t compress well, and it can stop a piston in its tracks during the compression stroke. Usually that comes with some damage. Pistons and the parts they push, connecting rods, wristpins, bushings, bearings and sucj don’t like to be stopped dead in their tracks. “Tapping hard” may be knocking, from damaged to one of these components. Hydrolocking has been known to break a connecting rod.
Sorry, but unless my super-optimistic-but-unrealistic first guess is correct, the engine will need to be torn open (head removed, and perhaps the bottom end opened up) to find out what the damage is.
I have to agree with mountainbike’s less optimistic projection–that the engine sucked in some water and it hydrolocked, causing major internal damage. This is the main reason why one should never attempt to drive through puddles that may be more than a few inches deep.
Unfortunately, using “motor honey” and Marvel Mystery Oil on an engine with internal damage of this type is the automotive equivalent of a doctor attempting to control a patient’s arterial hemmorhaging with a band-aid. It just ain’t gonna work.
Sorry for the bad news, but I see no alternative to tearing this engine down and replacing whatever parts were bent by the probable hydrolocking incident.