View Full Version : Flash flood - car stalled - won't crank now...

08-20-2007, 08:32 AM
Last night i was taking my girlfriend home to her place about 20 minutes away. The rain was VERY heavy and I was taking it slow. We were on the road and I noticed people were having a hell of a time crossing a section 100 years or so in front of me. I turned my car around to go find an alternate route and it stalled - much like when you forget to put the clutch in coming to a stop.

It would not restart. I was in the middle of this road - about 4-5 inches of water was flowing around my car. Damn storm drains weren't doing jack. I put my hazards on and stayed in the car until a guy with a truck came by and pushed me to the business across the street (higher ground).

While I was waiting for a tow I attempted to start it about 3 times.

1st time: I would only get a click. It's a lot like when I had my Taurus SHO and the starter died. It did feel like the car wanted to move forward even though i had the clutch pushed in.

2nd try: I hear it turning over a bit then nothing - I felt a little movement through the drivetrain.

3rd try: Nothing - no sounds or anything (battery was pretty low though)

Now this morning I charged up my battery overnight and it just clicks like the first try. No cranking at all...

So now we come to the "what now" bit. What the hell happened?

My thoughts:
1) Engine is siezed due to water in the cylinders
2) Clutch plate is stuck to the disc
3) I shorted out something

Any help would be appreciated. Please don't call me a dumbass either... flash floods happen. As of right now the car is at my place. I can do any amount of diagnostics that I need to do. I'm going to try and pull the spark plugs today and see if I can turn the engine.

08-20-2007, 09:20 AM
Maybe you shorted out your starter? Sorry to hear about the car man, i hate it when shit like this happens.

dj spiel
08-20-2007, 09:24 AM
imma go with the starter

08-20-2007, 09:37 AM
man idk wood_e, but if you need any more help, let me know...i am in town

08-20-2007, 11:00 AM
Damn, this just happened to my friends jetta. Pull one of your sparkplugs and see is there is water in the cylinder or if there is surface rust...

08-20-2007, 11:43 AM
Alright I pulled the plugs and they didn't look that bad. A few were wet so a little water got in there, but they were m,ostly dry (will post a pic of them tonight). Upon inspection of the oil - YES some water got in there, but not nearly as much as I was thinking.

Another idea - I bet there's some water in my starter... I think I will pull it in the next few days and see what's up.

Also I'm thinking of putting a teaspoon of marvel oil in the combustion chamber via the spark plug hole just in case something is stuck. I didn't notice any evidence of catastrophic failure via my plugs or oil so I might as well try...

08-20-2007, 12:39 PM
If you have water in the cylinders and vehicle will not crank then try turning it over by hand with a big ratchet on the crank gear. If you cant easily, you locked up the motor and bent the rods.

08-20-2007, 01:19 PM
With the plugs out, crank the car. If the starter turns the motor, then you will hear a fast revving start sound, and the water, if any, in your cylinders will be forced out through the spark plug holes. Also, since you found water in your oil, you're going to have to remove the valve cover and pour oil over the head while leaving the drain plug out. Use cheap-o regular oil. You'll have to do this until no more water exits the oil pan with the oil. After everything is back together and you have fresh oil in the motor, do a compression test to make sure that your motor didn't try to compress any water and instead bent a valve. Only way you will know though if the rods are bent is when the motor finally does turn over and idle, you will hear rod knock. Other than that, you'd have to tear down the whole motor to check the rods.
But, if the compression test is a success, then pour about a cap full of oil into each cylinder. And keep trying to crank the motor until it fires up. Make sure you have some carb cleaner and if it doesn't crank on the first couple tries, pull the plugs, clean them, re-install them, and then try again. Repeat these last steps until the car (hopefully) starts.

08-20-2007, 01:49 PM
Now my question is how did water get in the engine in the first place? The air box and suction opening is way up, you will have to almost submerge the whole front to have water get in there.

08-20-2007, 02:12 PM
same thing happened yesterday to my sister who lives in ames. a way to see if it's the starter or not would be to try to turn the engine over by hand. take off your belly pan and get a ratchet on the crank pulley. if it turns over fine by hand you know it's your starter.

sucks man....good luck

08-22-2007, 03:51 PM
Well I pulled the alt and got the worst bit of news...


No clue what to do now..... oh well... better start looking for engines/cars and to maybe part this one out

08-22-2007, 04:04 PM
ouch that's gotta hurt

08-22-2007, 05:41 PM
call your car insurance. It may be covered. Do you have comprehensive coverage?

08-22-2007, 06:17 PM
I will be contacting my insurance tomorrow - juist got the car back to the way it was...

08-22-2007, 06:21 PM
Audi + Water = Bent rods

08-22-2007, 06:57 PM
Oh shit, sorry to see that Wood_e, some of us have been having terrible luck with our cars. If the insurance totals it then its time for a 1.8t 99.5 or 98.5.

08-23-2007, 07:59 AM
oh well you've got 2 a4's right? it's about time you got knocked back down to size ;)

08-23-2007, 08:03 AM
I wish i had 2 of them...

08-23-2007, 09:50 AM
I wish i had 2 of them...

Whats the word from the insurance company?

08-23-2007, 10:06 AM
Whats the word from the insurance company?
yeah let us know!

08-23-2007, 10:27 AM
Damn Wood_e, sorry to see that man. Damn that totally bites. In any case yeah let us know what the insurance says. Good luck man.

08-23-2007, 03:08 PM
Forgot I had liability only insurance... guess that's why it's so cheap.

I'm boned... I'm either dropping in a used engine or parting it out.

08-23-2007, 09:19 PM
ohhh man....that totally blows....sorry to hear that

08-23-2007, 09:34 PM
I just test drove a Sentra today.... how depressing... 40mpg though must be sweet.

08-23-2007, 10:10 PM
damn that sucks. i am in a similar boat (well the block seems to be ok, but either head or the head gasket are done). just pulled the head and my $700+ parts are coming in the morning :(

08-23-2007, 10:45 PM
I just test drove a Sentra today.... how depressing... 40mpg though must be sweet.

Oh please God no. Wood Please don't do it.

Though if you do do it dibs on A8 + tt.

08-24-2007, 07:45 AM
At least it's not a civic

08-24-2007, 08:59 AM
^nothing wrong with a stock civic for a dd in my opinion... I just hate it when something seeming relatively innocuous turns out being something like this. At least you found it relatively quickly.

08-25-2007, 10:36 PM
Drove a 2007 Focus ZX3 today - 2,500 miles on it... 12k.

08-26-2007, 09:22 AM
Drove a 2007 Focus ZX3 today - 2,500 miles on it... 12k.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1-8T-QUATTRO-Leather-Moonroof-Low-Miles-Sedan-Manual-1_W0QQitemZ190107656554QQihZ009QQcategoryZ6003QQss PageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

99.5 !

08-27-2007, 06:37 AM
Well when my dad has his say helping me out ($$$) - thems the breaks.

It's got a warranty until 2013 or 100k... I think that's a good thing to settle on than a used Audi. I'll drive it for a few years then I can go buy that S4 I've wanted for so long.

09-02-2007, 09:54 PM
sent pm for parts.