Main IndexAuto Repair Home Search Posts SEARCH
POSTS
Who's Online WHO'S
ONLINE
Log in LOG
IN









Search Auto Parts

flooded road and car trouble


  Email This Post



longshot69
Novice

Jun 17, 2013, 5:59 PM

Post #1 of 16 (2009 views)
flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Hello, I was just trapped in a flash flood out in the middle of nowhere and had to drive through about a 2 - 3 feet of water, but only for a minute or two.

Well, about a mile down the road the engine started chugging and lost power, and the check engine light came on. I was in the middle of nowhere and as usual my cell phone was dead again, lol. I had no choice but to drive it home.

It runs rough and acts like it is "missing" or something. sometimes when you give it gas it doesn't do anything at all, then all the sudden it's like it catches itself and starts running normal for a few min, then it loses power again.

Anyway, I got it home and the car still starts but it idles rough. The first thing I did was check the oil. Thankfully it was still oil and not milk, the oil looks just fine. My air filter, however, was dry on top, and soaked on bottom.

The car never had white smoke from the exhaust either. The car is a 2004 Mazda Tribute SUV with a 3.0 V6 and is 2WD.

I think the oil still being oil is a good sign and I don't believe the engine is hydrolocked, but I'm obviously not a mechanic here.

If I let it sit and dry out for a few days, do you think it will go back to running normal after it dries out, or from the symptoms above, do you think I might have serious engine problems?

Note, this car does not have a distributer cap or plug wires, if that matters.


(This post was edited by longshot69 on Jun 17, 2013, 6:02 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 17, 2013, 6:07 PM

Post #2 of 16 (2003 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

You don't ever want to do that again. One big swallow of water and you can trash the whole engine in a heartbeat. You can also easily ruin any number of modules too. All you can do now is get it dried out thoroughly, replace the air filter and see what you end up with. Don't try to run it until it's good and dry.



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

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
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jun 17, 2013, 6:32 PM

Post #3 of 16 (1985 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Even though it doesn't have wires and a distributor the coil over plug design can still have trouble when exposed to water. Sometimes they don't perfectly seal the spark plug tubes and water goes right down into the tubes and causes the spark to jump to the tube wall instead of going through the spark plug.

You may have to pull a couple of front coils off and see if there is water intrusion. Hot coils can be thermal shocked from cold water causing them to fail also.

Another bad thing is if you were driving it with a dead miss due to an ignition problem, you could have toasted the catalyst or shortened its life.





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 Jun 17, 2013, 6:33 PM)


longshot69
Novice

Jun 17, 2013, 8:41 PM

Post #4 of 16 (1947 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Thanks. I will go out in the morning and pull the front three coil packs and see if there is water/moisture in them. I won't be able to reach the back three, as I would have to take apart a lot of stuff that I am not sure I can get back together properly.

The oil on the stick looked normal and the oil level was normal as well. To be on the safe side, I think I will also change the oil tomorrow, just to make sure no water got in there. I should be able to tell for sure when I drain it.

I sure hope it's just some electrical stuff that needs to dry out. I am tempted to take it to auto zone just to see what error codes it is throwing, but I guess I should check some things on my own first. I certainly don't want to be driving it anywhere if water did indeed get in the engine, after all.

So if I find no water in the oil or in the coil tubes, is it possible that I could take a hair dryer outside and speed up the drying process somehow? I'm not sure what to dry off though, outside of the obvious fuses and such.


(This post was edited by longshot69 on Jun 17, 2013, 8:54 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 18, 2013, 12:24 AM

Post #5 of 16 (1930 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

longshot69 : OK - you got trapped or whatever in 2-3 feet of water. Already great thoughts on possible troubles just adding some that could show up later. It's always a problem with deep water to something.

Avoid water over just the rubber of a tire and only if absolutely sure and know surprises happen too.

Electrical takes a hit. Motors anywhere really don't do being submerged, starters or anything. Plug in connectors generally greased still can suck in water. Warm hot parts suddenly chilled will suck water in.

Perhaps nothing right away but even brake calipers, bearings. boots for driveshafts, steering dust boots and on and on, can easily suck in water and fail later.

How long exposed isn't any dependable factor unless left for hours or days. The high voltage anythings are of a plastic that even light shock of cool/cold water will crack them, destroy then unseen by eye.

Tend to immediate items first and watch, listen for other possible failures that may or may not show up later as said. Like a watch, things are mostly just water resistant not water proof,

T



longshot69
Novice

Jun 18, 2013, 11:35 AM

Post #6 of 16 (1903 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Update - went out this morning and pulled all 3 front coil packs and the plugs, dry as a bone so I put them back in. The oil seems fine, no water in it that I could tell.

Car is still running rough, sounds like a vacuum problem , like it is sucking air or something when I give it gas.

I might try to get it to auto zone later to see what error codes it is throwing. Kind of stumped as to what to do now.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 18, 2013, 12:07 PM

Post #7 of 16 (1898 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Dry now is inconclusive. Again, the shock of cool water on especially electrical things can cause cracks in the hard plastic of coils or about anything that took a dunk.

You said THREE feet of water possible so this is open book on what took a hit,

T



longshot69
Novice

Jun 18, 2013, 12:19 PM

Post #8 of 16 (1893 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Sorry for all the questions, i'm trying to learn as I go. I appreciate all the help guys :)

Is there a way to check the individual coil over plug packs that sit over the spark plugs?

I did a search and saw that I might be able to go out after dark with a spray bottle of water and mist the coil packs to see if there was arcing or a light show, although this isn't a reliable way to test them, I hear that "sometimes" it can indicate a bad coil pack.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 18, 2013, 12:54 PM

Post #9 of 16 (1887 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Items - any - that carry high voltage sometimes you can see arching of spark when wet if you have a view of the item(s.) and it's dark enough. Some use a little salt in the spray water as it conducts electricity better than most tap water.

That's a viable test but works better for problems that ONLY happen when damp then work well dry to isolate. Try it anyway.

I wouldn't wait too long or try too hard cranking, running this while not running well as you are no doubt trashing junk into exhaust which will harm and complicate figuring things out - sensors could be destroyed or converters just in trying things too much let alone starter so don't wail on it either,

T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 18, 2013, 3:32 PM

Post #10 of 16 (1875 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

You should be trying to determine what, specifically is actually happening. If you truly have a misfire, then you need to determine which cylinders before looking for a cause.

If you truly have a vacuum issue, then that is a whole different direction to go so these things needs to be determined first.



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

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.



longshot69
Novice

Jun 18, 2013, 3:48 PM

Post #11 of 16 (1871 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Update - I got a friend to come over with a scan tool and read some codes for me.

At first it was throwing 2 codes, First code was a misfire in cyl #5 but after testing and runing it for a bit this seemed to fix itself, as it has no misfires now.

The second code is still active and won't go away, it is
p0446 mod$10 - Evap Emission Control System, Vent Circuit Malfunction.

My bud says this is a generic code and could relate to many different things, from a broken vent solenoid to the actual PCM itself :(

The good news is that I called my insurance company and they are going to cover it under flood damage, so I just have a hundred dollar deductible.

Going to take it in the shop tomorrow and see what they want to do.

When I find out what happened to the car I will reply back on this thread to show how much damage just a few seconds of flood water can do to a perfectly running and well maintained vehicle...


(This post was edited by longshot69 on Jun 18, 2013, 3:59 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 18, 2013, 4:03 PM

Post #12 of 16 (1863 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Those vapor systems are under the car and would definitely suffer when submerged under 2 feet of water.



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

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.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 18, 2013, 4:53 PM

Post #13 of 16 (1852 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In


In Reply To
When I find out what happened to the car I will reply back on this thread to show how much damage just a few seconds of flood water can do to a perfectly running and well maintained vehicle...


Would appreciate you reporting the findings. "A few seconds under water" is still too much. It's not a boat or submarine and those don't like water in the wrong places either. Hope not but try just dropping a common cell phone in a puddle or something - done!

You said you got caught in this and can relate to that. It's universally advised never to drive vehicles thru water if not just to save the vehicle but yourself.

Back a few post I mentioned the really just water resistant other things like bearings, brake and steering items and more can take normal splashes but if submerged can lose the sealing out water quickly. Those things can wait months to show up.

Since you have insurance involved and IMO good make sure you catch as many possible other problems that may show up related to this unfortunate car wash it didn't need!

Good luck,

T



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jun 18, 2013, 5:00 PM

Post #14 of 16 (1848 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

"Dad!! Are we there yet?!"







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


longshot69
Novice

Jul 11, 2013, 10:04 AM

Post #15 of 16 (1758 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

Okies, well I finally got some info and It turns out I got pretty lucky, all things considered.

I had 2 sensors bad and that was it. Mass Air Flow and Idle Air Control.

My only problem now is my insurance is trying to fight the claim, even though it's pretty obvious it is water damage. How else would two sensors go bad at the same time, less then a quarter mile down the road after getting stuck in flood water?

I know they do whatever they can to avoid paying for stuff, but this is beyond ignorant... Regardless its going to cost me $100 if insurance kicks in, or about $600 if not.

Anyway thanks all for the help, issue solved :)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 11, 2013, 11:40 AM

Post #16 of 16 (1752 views)
Re: flooded road and car trouble Sign In

I wouldn't expect that to be flood damage either.



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

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.







  Email This Post
 
 


Feed Button




Search for (options) Privacy Sitemap