View Full Version : Flooded engine now won't start

10-31-2014, 11:02 PM
I live in a flood area and when driving home today the road was flooded and I thought it couldn't be that bad so I preceded to cross until I seen the water was coming up to high I put the car in reverse and turned around when the car started jurking and shot a lot of white smoke out the exhaust and died... Btw I have to take this route to get to my house.. I got the car towed and after about 2 hrs it will start but won't stay running.. I'm sure it got a lot of water in thru the intake cause wen I took off the fmic I got like half gallon of water.any ideas to help

11-01-2014, 12:06 AM
Scan for CEL codes. If you're lucky, you might have just shorted a couple sensors or something. If you did manage to suck up enough water though, your engine is toast. Water doesn't compress so you could have easily bent a rod or two if you sucked up enough water.

11-01-2014, 12:10 AM
I don't have any first hand experience with flooded motors (thankfully), but I'd pull the plugs and see how much water (if any) is in the cylinders and probably try to suck it out with a syringe. Pull all the boost hoses off and dump out the intercooler. Might be worth changing the oil as well. Then I'd do a compression test to see if you caused any serious damage.

And yeah, scan for codes too.

11-01-2014, 12:12 AM
Yeah, if you pull the plugs, you can just crank the car (unplug the injectors too so the ECU doesn't spray fuel) to have the pistons shoot the water (if any) out of the combustion chamber.

11-01-2014, 08:27 AM
Will do... Thanks for the help guys

11-01-2014, 12:48 PM
Hydro locked. Used to see a lot of these when I worked for a BMW dealer in Florida. Engine always needed to be replaced.

11-01-2014, 12:53 PM
If it wer to be hydrolocked it wouldn't start at all correct? It will start but won't stay running it shuts off

11-01-2014, 12:56 PM
It being able to fire up is indeed a good sign, have you done the steps I mentioned above? Once you're sure that the motor and intake is clear of water and that it still has good compression you can start to diagnose why it won't stay running.

11-01-2014, 02:12 PM
Yes that is true as water won't compress. I would definitely do as BaseDrifter recommended, and start by pulling the spark plugs. If there is any water in the engine you will want to get it out ASAP. Perhaps the engine is flooded with fuel from the failed starts?

11-01-2014, 02:15 PM
Some decent advice in this link...


Mad Cow
11-01-2014, 03:26 PM
After you get the water out of the cylinders pour a bit of oil (I'm talking no more than a capful) down the spark plug holes too. And of course change the oil and filter ASAP, water in the crankcase is very bad, no matter how little there is.

11-01-2014, 08:38 PM
Got all the water out of the intake system checked the cylinders for water and there was none so I turned it over and fired right up was making some weird noises at first but quickly stoped and now it idles fine haven't Drove it but seems to run fine thankfully... Thanks guys for all the great advice tomorrow morning I will be doing the oil change and take it to get scanned for any error codes.. Thanks again guys y'all are friggin awsome!!

11-01-2014, 09:52 PM
Good news! Sounds like you dodged a bullet.

11-01-2014, 11:13 PM
Yeah, no rod knock sounds is a good sign; those are usually the first things to bent/break when hydrolocking.