How To Fix A Water Flooded Engine?

An engine that is flooded with water can cause very serious problems to a car. Almost everyone has dropped their phones in water or accidentally splashed some on the phone. The repercussions are very much fatal for the device and in most cases kills the phone. This is due to the electrical components getting corroded as water causes micro sparks inside the phone. In a car engine, the parts are made of metal which can get oxidised and rust due to water. A water flooded engine can kill your vehicle and also compromise your safety. If you are facing this problem, this article is going to be very helpful as it will explain in detail how to fix a water flooded engine.

Damage Inspection:

The first step to solve a problem is addressing the issue and realising the extent of the damage. So for getting the water out of your engine, you need to assess the damage that has been caused to your engine. Even though modern engines have extremely developed systems that prevent water from flowing but any wrong step can hamper the vehicle completely. The most common thing people do is start the engine. Doing this can cause pistons or rods to corrode and cause “hydro locking”.

Inspect the engine and look for a dirty water line and see how high it reached. If the water only reached the lower part of the doors, there is a high chance it did not enter the engine. If it has reached a higher level you should let it dry and then try to start it. A water level higher than the dashboard or at its level may have caused a lot of problems, causing some of the electronic components to fail. If the water level has submerged the car completely, your engine will need work and a lot of water might have already seeped in.

How To Know If Water Has Damaged The Engine?

The most common sign of water damage is a wet air filter and intake. If your car has the same issue, a lot of damage has been caused to the engine. Another sign of water damage is the dipstick showing oil all over the full line or if the oil is looking like a milky mixture, water has seeped inside the crankcase. The water might have already gone inside the engine after a few hours. Look for water inside the steering wheel and the fuel system. Water can go inside the fuel tank as well and if it has you should drain the fuel tank completely and let it dry. Also, make sure to check the cylinder walls.

How To Fix A Water Flooded Engine?

Letting the engine dry is what you have to do first as trying to start the vehicle when the engine is flooded is going to cause even worse problems. After that, you should get to work and remove the positive and negative wires of the battery and also disconnect the battery. Once you have removed the battery move on to dry everything possible using a clean towel. Remove the spark plugs and hand-crank the engine a few times. Now, rotate the crank so the piston reaches the highest level possible for your convenience. A vacuum cleaner can be used to pull out the water or a basic towel works as well.

You could also try another method when you have to disconnect the fuel injectors and crank the engine like in the last method. After some time all the water must have been pushed out of the engine due to torque buildup. You are advised to change the filters and the oil after doing this.

Replace all the filters and spark plugs as they would have already malfunctioned due to water contact. You should also buy a carb cleaner and your carb might even need a replacement if the water was dirty or salty. The transmission is also very sensitive to water and should be drained of water. After removing the water you should change the fluid and the filter. You can use a fluid pump to drain out the water.

How Much Would It Cost To Fix A Water Flooded Engine?

A water flooded engine needs to be fixed at all costs. Without fixing it, you’re compromising your safety and also of others. Your car will be nothing without its engine so ignoring it shouldn’t be an option unless you want to abandon your car and get it totalled.

If you are lucky there wouldn’t be enough water inside the engine and not a lot of damage would have been caused to the vehicle. The water will just dry out and you wouldn’t have to pay much except for a few spark plugs and filters. They will not cost more than $500 in any case. If the extent of the damage is too much, you will have to spend a lot and the cost can easily go higher than $1000. Problems with the transmission will only add up to this amount.


A water flooded engine can kill your car completely and in some cases, you will have to get it totalled. You should talk to your insurance company as soon as possible as the repercussions could be fatal and very taxing on your wallet. You also need to assume the worst as you might even have to sell it to a junkyard. Everything can be fixed with enough time and money but it is not a simple problem. There are thousands of points where everything could go wrong. Secondly, it might not even be worth fixing in some cases.

There are just some problems that are beyond fixing or even if they are it is not worth the time, money or effort. I hope this article helped you know how to fix a water flooded engine. I’d suggest you try to get it fixed at a trusted repair shop but at the same time be prepared for the worst.

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