Have you ever experienced driving through a flooded road and suddenly your engine stops working? Or have you accidentally driven into a deep puddle and your engine won’t start anymore? You may have a hydrolocked engine, which is a serious problem that needs immediate attention. In this article, we will guide you on how to fix a hydrolocked engine.
What is a Hydrolocked Engine?
A hydrolocked engine happens when water enters the engine’s combustion chamber and disrupts the normal operation of the engine. Water is not compressible, and if it enters the engine, it can cause significant damage to the internal components, such as the pistons, valves, and connecting rods. Hydrolocking can occur if you drive through flooded roads or deep puddles, or if you accidentally leave your car’s windows open during a heavy rainstorm.
Signs of a Hydrolocked Engine
If you suspect that your engine is hydrolocked, here are some of the signs that you can look for:
- Difficulty in starting the engine
- The engine won’t start at all
- The engine sputters or misfires
- White or gray smoke coming from the exhaust
- The oil level is higher than usual, and there may be a milky appearance on the dipstick
- You hear a clicking or grinding sound when you turn the key in the ignition
What to Do When Your Engine is Hydrolocked
If you suspect that your engine is hydrolocked, here are the steps that you can take:
1. Don’t try to start the engine
When you suspect that your engine is hydrolocked, the first thing that you should do is to not try to start the engine. If you try to start the engine, it can cause further damage to the internal components, which can be costly to repair. Instead, you should turn off the ignition and remove the keys from the ignition switch.
2. Remove the spark plugs
The next step is to remove the spark plugs from the engine. The spark plugs are responsible for igniting the fuel-air mixture inside the engine’s combustion chamber. By removing the spark plugs, you can prevent any further damage from occurring to the internal components of the engine.
3. Crank the engine
With the spark plugs removed, you can now crank the engine. By cranking the engine, you can force any water that may be present in the combustion chamber out of the engine. You should crank the engine for a few seconds, and then check if any water is coming out of the spark plug holes.
4. Check the air filter
After cranking the engine, you should check the air filter for any signs of water. If the air filter is wet, you should replace it with a new one. A wet air filter can cause the engine to run poorly, and it can also cause damage to the engine’s internal components.
5. Check the oil level
You should also check the oil level in the engine. If the oil level is higher than usual, and there is a milky appearance on the dipstick, it means that there is water in the oil. You should drain the oil and replace it with a new one. Driving with water in the oil can cause significant damage to the engine’s internal components.
6. Dry the spark plugs
After cranking the engine, you should also dry the spark plugs. You can use a clean cloth to wipe any water that may be present on the spark plugs. Once the spark plugs are dry, you can reinstall them into the engine.
7. Start the engine
After completing all the steps above, you can now try to start the engine. If the engine starts and runs smoothly, then you have successfully fixed your hydrolocked engine. However, if the engine still won’t start, you may need to seek professional help.
Preventing hydrolocking is better than fixing it. Here are some tips to prevent hydrolocking:
- Avoid driving through flooded roads or deep puddles
- Avoid leaving your car’s windows open during a heavy rainstorm
- Avoid driving through fast-moving water
- Avoid driving through water that is higher than the bottom of your car’s doors
- Install a cold air intake system that is designed to prevent hydrolocking
Driving through flooded roads or deep puddles can cause hydrolocking, which is a serious problem that needs immediate attention. If you suspect that your engine is hydrolocked, don’t try to start the engine, and follow the steps outlined in this article to fix it. Prevention is better than fixing, so make sure to follow the tips above to prevent hydrolocking from happening in the first place.