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Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help


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2pac
New User

Nov 26, 2012, 1:27 PM

Post #1 of 16 (1881 views)
Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

Hey,
my family "lost" 2 cars due to hurricane Sandy. Both were parked in our driveway and had about 2-3 feet of water. From what i saw it reached the seats but not glovebox as everything inside was dry. I evacuated so I didn't see where exactly the water hit but I've been working on 1 of the cars which is my moms 2004 Kia Optima LX 6cylinder. My dad tried to start it up right away but thank g-d it didn't as I have read time and time again don't start a flooded car until you inspect critical parts first.
(I should preface by saying i'm a novice with fixing cars just trying to help my folks) There appeared to be no water in the engine or transmission as I checked the dipsticks and no signs of water. the air filter had a little bit of fuel in the tray, so I flushed the engine oil and replaced with 5 quarts. I checked 3 spark plugs (i can't get to other 3, seems difficult) which are a bit old but there was no signs of water in there but there was a smell of gasoline coming from the engine. I'm not sure what caused this as the car was never started after the flood came in . I also jacked the car up to drain water from the muffler. After this and replacing oil and oil filter I tried starting the car. It cranks and feels like it's about to start but doesn't. After I attempt to start, water still drips slightly from muffler and the oil filter would leak oil (I did some reading and o-ring is in place). I feel like I'm really close to getting it to work but now after leaving the car overnight I took out the new oil filter and it has a smell of gasoline and the dipstick does too. Can anyone recommend what I could potentially do? Detailed instructions or links to a diagram would be of more help as I am a novice. We are on a tight budget as is after losing our whole basement due to the storm and I'm aware the car may have long term problems, I just want to get it up and running now to give my mom a few months to get back up on her feet. Surprisingly most of the eletrical components still work, power windows, odometer, it tells me when my door is open, fuel level, all lights and blinkers work, and lock/unlock doors work.

any help would be appreciated!
Thanks


Discretesignals
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Nov 26, 2012, 3:10 PM

Post #2 of 16 (1858 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

You stated the water got up to the seats in the KIA? Flood cars can have numerous electrical problems since connectors, wiring, and modules can have water intrusion. More than likely the PCM got water intrusion since it sits behind the center console. The problem is the salt water will corrode all the electrical connections causing all sorts of weird problems.

Have you contacted you insurance company? More than likely they will total the vehicle.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 26, 2012, 3:11 PM)


Hammer Time
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Nov 26, 2012, 4:52 PM

Post #3 of 16 (1835 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

Even if you could get it running, you really don't want that car any more. The electronic are just going to disintegrate and the problems will never stop. That's why insurance companies always total them. I doubt it will ever run again anyway. Computers don't survive being submerged in any water, especially salt water.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



2pac
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Nov 27, 2012, 12:06 AM

Post #4 of 16 (1820 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

I appreciate the responses guys. unfortunately, we don't have full coverage otherwise i wouldn't have attempted to fix. I understand that the car will be a headache and most likely die quickly but quite frankly we've got so many things we're dealing including a basement that got 5 feet of water in it that we don't have the time or resources right now to buy a used car which i hear are selling for inflated prices due to the new demand. Ideally, i'm looking to spend $100 or so and get a month or two out of the car if i can just to get though these rough times, which is why i'm turning to you guys for advice. my neighbor was able to get his car workin minus a few shorts, but that would be fine by me.

My main problems are this:
1) why would gasoline fuel get in to the air filter and engine if the car was fine before the storm and was never started since? no water got in to either engine or air filter. i changed oil and it seems to have gone in again(please refer to my first post for details)

2) would water in muffler cause the car to not start? if so how do i drain it completely? i tried jacking up the car and only got some out.

3) can the main computer be bad if all electrical components of car seem to work? odometer shows digital miles, fuel level, door open when its open and power windows and locks work.


(This post was edited by 2pac on Nov 27, 2012, 12:07 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 27, 2012, 2:50 AM

Post #5 of 16 (1811 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

Sorry that happened. Even if you got this going it will be a never ending problem. Dirty salt water isn't done wrecking things even if dry now,

T


Hammer Time
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Nov 27, 2012, 5:49 AM

Post #6 of 16 (1800 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

Water in the muffler isn't preventing the car from starting and $100 is not going to get this car running. You could spend more like $1,000 to even get it to fire and that may be only temporary before it eats another $1,000 and then another $1,000.

Computers don't work after being submerged in water and all the wiring fails shortly after.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Nov 27, 2012, 5:49 AM

Post #7 of 16 (1797 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

If the powertrain controller had been submerged in salt water there is no telling what kind of problems it will cause. It could be running the pump and holding an injector(s) open causing a flooding condition. The water could have gotten into a connector and is shorting out circuits. The salinity of salt water makes it a very good conductor.

Water in the muffler probably wouldn't cause a no start because water will get pushed out of the exhaust system when the engine is running.

The powertrain controller normally doesn't have anything to do with the functions of the electrical system such as lighting and other interior accessories. The powertrain controller's main function is to control the operation of the engine and transmission electrical components.

Another thing you have to be aware of is the SIR system. If the SIR controller or other components have been submerged in salty water, there is a chance the system could inadvertently deploy the air bags.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Sidom
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Nov 27, 2012, 8:24 PM

Post #8 of 16 (1777 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

Thats a bad deal, I feel for you. It's a tough spot....

This is a tough one to do online because we really don't know what the deal is with the car and going off previous history with "flood" cars, this really doesn't look good..

I know you're gonna keep trying so what you need to do is get your hands on a cheap code reader and see if you have any kind of communication with the PCM. No communication and you are pretty much done.

Go ask the neighbor to give you a hand and take a quick look at it....


re-tired
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Nov 28, 2012, 12:12 AM

Post #9 of 16 (1758 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

First let me say thank you for evacuatng. I spent about a decade in US Coast Guard aviation. Retrieving the remains of those who rode it out or were just at the wrong place at wrong time was not a pleasent memory. NOW about your car. In the height of the storm and sometime after, a lot of stuff became submerged. underground storage tanks and gas and oil from lawnmowers ,construction equip and such. Grease and battery acid. And sadly remains of desceased humans and animals.I saw it all while hovering over the mess . Imagine taking a swimming pool .Put everything from under your sinks and garage , some rotten food ,couple gallons of gas and oil and lastly a bucket of septic waste. NOW add car ,just up to seats, mix well . Everything rubbber is going to rot in months.l Your brakes have soaked up this mess and are useless.THe smell seems to be everywhere because it IS everywhere. You may get it to run.But in a few months who will want to ride with you?Unsure JUST ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH

(This post was edited by re-tired on Nov 28, 2012, 12:17 AM)


2pac
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Nov 29, 2012, 3:50 PM

Post #10 of 16 (1725 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

I really appreciate all your input. Like I said, I'm not trying to fool you guys in to thinking I'm going to get the car started and it will live it's normal life. We're just so busy cleaning up from this mess and my mom is depressed she can't leave at her own will because she has no car. I just want to get it going for a month or two tops just so we can get the more important things sorted out first and then search for a car.


I'm still confused as to what can cause some gasoline to get in to the air filter and engine and again after i changed oil. I've read about this happening with people driving through floods and pistons getting bent etc, but i never started my car during and since the flood.

Sidom, I do happen to have one of those bluetooth OBDII scanners that i can use with my phone with an app but this is my first time using but when i tried pairing it and connecting it wouldn't connect. the program gave me an error saying make sure engine is on, maybe the ignition. not quite sure. hard for me to work on the car with a dead battery and keep swapping out my battery, but i'm stubborn and for only personal gratification, i'd to like to get it started at the very least.

I do know there are used computers for under $100 on ebay. I happened to run across this link deleted ................. please read rules
which sounds similar to my problem. anyone know if a bad computer can cause the gas to get in to the engine and air filter?


(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Nov 29, 2012, 3:58 PM)


Hammer Time
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Nov 29, 2012, 4:02 PM

Post #11 of 16 (1715 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

You can't simply buy a used computer and plug it in. They are personally programmed including the VIN # of the car. Apparently you just aren't listening or don't believe what you are being told. The car is toast. Just burn your money. You will accomplish just as much.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



2pac
New User

Nov 29, 2012, 4:20 PM

Post #12 of 16 (1709 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

I understand very well what's been told to me and i know full well the car won't give me any usable life. I tend to be stubborn and was hoping i could get mine started like my neighbor did to his. I was not aware that the computer is personally programmed for that unique vehicle with VIN # . Unfortunately i can't post links, apparently, but i was just passing information that i found doing a google search on someone who had similar problems as mine and bought a used computer and it solved his problem .You're the expert, so then if it can't be done...


Hammer Time
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Nov 29, 2012, 4:47 PM

Post #13 of 16 (1701 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

The life expectancy of your starter is probably down to days now.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Nov 29, 2012, 7:11 PM

Post #14 of 16 (1697 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

I would pull the PCM out and open it up. Check for water intrusion. Also inspect the PCM connectors. See how bad it is. Remove the carpet in the vehicle and check all the electrical connectors. Disconnect the battery while you doing that. See how well a KIA computer is sealed.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 29, 2012, 7:38 PM)


Sidom
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Nov 29, 2012, 8:20 PM

Post #15 of 16 (1686 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In

Yea it really doesn't look good......It sounds like you have no communication, this is why you are getting errors......You should pull codes on a known good car with your app to make sure you know how to use it & then try again, but it sounds like the PCM is gone...

Do what DS suggested & open it up......The problem here is,,,, with it being shorted out due to being wet, when the car was cranked over would be enough to fry the PCM. Go grab a couple cans of electrical cleaner......clean it out & dry in real good, go thru the engine compartment, open up all the electrical connecters you can find & clean those out as well.....

You do realize this is an exercise in futility but I get it......I'd do the same thing but just don't let this take up your time for other important stuff.....

I've seen people have success in stuff before when they didn't realize it was an impossible chore.....Once you know it's impossible.....you're done....

Good luck


(This post was edited by Sidom on Nov 29, 2012, 8:21 PM)


re-tired
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Nov 30, 2012, 10:09 AM

Post #16 of 16 (1663 views)
Re: Hurricane Sandy Flooded Mom's 04 Kia Optima. Please help Sign In


In Reply To


I'm still confused as to what can cause some gasoline to get in to the air filter and engine and again after i changed oil. I've read about this happening with people driving through floods and pistons getting bent etc, but i never started my car during and since the flood.

As I stated before . The storm surge has gas and other products mixed in it. This storm water did not gently rise up in your car.It was driven by 75+ mph winds . It was blown thru your grille. Into ducts and the intake system , down open valves . It has soaked into any foam seals, and is in every nook ands cranny. You will never get rid of the gas smell.


LIFE'S SHORT GO FISH






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