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Old 04-19-2009, 08:00 AM   #1
narfly
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Car Flooded. what to do

Ok, So yesterday in the rain my power went out and I went outside to smoke and my car is half way under water. Didnt know the street infront of my parents new house flooded so bad. Manage to start it up and get it in the driveway (the engine sounds really werid mostly underwater).

Scooped all the water out of the car and what not. Any tricks for drying the inside of my car out? I went and bought a shopvac this morning but other then that. Any other ideas?
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:11 AM   #2
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Ozone Generator will keep the mold and smell to a minimum.

Don't know about the engine. I probably wouldn't start it without changing the fluids.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:18 AM   #3
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if you suspect that water has entered the engine or intake system then starting it is about the worst thing you can do!!

water doesn't compress like fuel/air!
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:22 AM   #4
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ok....

What type of vehicle?


Take out the air filter box, throw the air filter away. Allow the intake to dry as much as possible(remove throttle if necessary.) Since it wasn't running and stopped, no need to replace spark plugs, fill cylinders w wd40 or oil etc. If it the transmission or diff sat under the water for an extended period of time, the vents could have allowed water into the oil, which would cause problems later.

Your brakes will make noise if you dont clean the pads(minor obviously)

DO NOT CYCLE THE KEY UNTIL EVERYTHING HAS DRIED OUT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. What type of vehicle? Have any modules in the rear tire holder or under the carpet(crash sensors)?

Benzanyte is a odor remover but more importantly a bacteria killer. Pull the seats(unbolt front from frame) and pull up the lower rear seat and take the carpets out. If you have a center console under the dash and so not want to take out the airbox, etc... cut out the carpet in the center behind the box and work it out. It can be stitched back together using hogrings etc later.

Wash out the carpet with water, allow to dry hanging for a few days. Continue to spray the jute(foamy stuff on the back) w the Benzanyte/equivalent. As for the carpet itself, use a carpet cleaner, carpet brush and vacuum.

For the front seat frames... regrease the tracks, make sure the motors are operational. If there is rust use a wire brush to clean it up then spray with some common spray paint.

Apply rubber protector to the door seals/anything electric.

Before reinstalling the carpet, put in new battery or whatever is necessary. If you have lights in the door panels that were out when the car was flooded, unplug the doors. Check all electric functuality before reinstalling interior so you dont have to repeat yourself.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:24 AM   #5
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Pull everything out, unbolt the seats take them out pull the carpet out and lay it out. After it dries it will still be musty, febreeze is your friend. Change your oil, pull your spark plugs and let the engine air out. Leave the hood open for a while. Di electric grease is your friend, all of your electrical connections will need it.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
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Its an 02 Saturn SL2
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #7
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for the smell use cut apples on a cookie sheet and stick them under the seats and in the back window, sounds crazy but i promise after a couple of days the smell will be gone.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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If you engine dies while driving through water:


It may not be over. If water fills the cavity that the air comes through in the airbox, no more air gets into the engine and it will starve/cut off. Secret is not to try to restart it, as Grinchy said.

If, after the storm, you go to crank it and it spins with no compression there is still hope. Take out the air filter, any of the intake track you can. Remove the spark plugs and put a battery charger on the car. Crank it over... If there is water in the cylinders it will hit your neighbors house... beware... lol.

The cylinders require oil on the walls to build compression. Water removes this insulated film.

Spray wd40 in the cylinder bore for 5-10seconds or pump three squirts of oil in each cylinder. Reinstall the used spark plugs. I recommend raising the front of the car if possible since water may be filling the exhaust and prevent smoother starting do to choking the exhaust.

Start cranking. DO NOT LET UP... you will hear the compression start to kick and try to take off... keep going. Put your foot about half way on the accelerator and keep it there. It may die a few times. If you dont keep your foot on the accelerator it wont even idle. All that water in the exhaust needs to be pushed out via exhaust gasses... Its a heavy load on the engine.

Yes, it will make noise, water will hit your neighbor's other house lol.

Keep it going. Damage is already done, you're salvaging it. Soon it will run on its own. After it runs(likely rough), change the spark plugs, you will need to do a couple oil changes to get all the water out of the engine(you will have a ticking noise since the water is washing the system instead of lubricating it), change the air filter and air mass meter(if equiped; water will damage the metering wire and give false air/fuel readings.)

It doesn't hurt after the vehicle is running to get a compression and leak down to verify the head gasket wasn't damaged. If there is still a bit of a rough idle after all this and the vehicle has been driven a few hundred miles, compression and rebound is equal etc... there may be a rod w a slight bend in it.

Hope this helps or offers food for thought for some.

I have saved countless BMW engines through the years using these techniques. Just cuz it sounds toasted doesn't mean it is.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narfly View Post
Its an 02 Saturn SL2
throw that POS in the trash and buy a better car.

remove seats and carpet and wash them with laundry soap, this will kill bacteria (that generates odor) and make everything looks as new.

you can drain fluids from the engine, but if water got inside the intake tract, remove the spark plugs and let it sit for a few days so most of the water evaporates, then crank it , still with the spark plugs removed, to clear any remaining water.

Watevver you do, don't rush things, you will regret it, just take your time and make that car driveable again.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaligoneTx View Post
If you engine dies while driving through water:


It may not be over. If water fills the cavity that the air comes through in the airbox, no more air gets into the engine and it will starve/cut off. Secret is not to try to restart it, as Grinchy said.

If, after the storm, you go to crank it and it spins with no compression there is still hope. Take out the air filter, any of the intake track you can. Remove the spark plugs and put a battery charger on the car. Crank it over... If there is water in the cylinders it will hit your neighbors house... beware... lol.

The cylinders require oil on the walls to build compression. Water removes this insulated film.

Spray wd40 in the cylinder bore for 5-10seconds or pump three squirts of oil in each cylinder. Reinstall the used spark plugs. I recommend raising the front of the car if possible since water may be filling the exhaust and prevent smoother starting do to choking the exhaust.

Start cranking. DO NOT LET UP... you will hear the compression start to kick and try to take off... keep going. Put your foot about half way on the accelerator and keep it there. It may die a few times. If you dont keep your foot on the accelerator it wont even idle. All that water in the exhaust needs to be pushed out via exhaust gasses... Its a heavy load on the engine.

Yes, it will make noise, water will hit your neighbor's other house lol.

Keep it going. Damage is already done, you're salvaging it. Soon it will run on its own. After it runs(likely rough), change the spark plugs, you will need to do a couple oil changes to get all the water out of the engine(you will have a ticking noise since the water is washing the system instead of lubricating it), change the air filter and air mass meter(if equiped; water will damage the metering wire and give false air/fuel readings.)

It doesn't hurt after the vehicle is running to get a compression and leak down to verify the head gasket wasn't damaged. If there is still a bit of a rough idle after all this and the vehicle has been driven a few hundred miles, compression and rebound is equal etc... there may be a rod w a slight bend in it.

Hope this helps or offers food for thought for some.

I have saved countless BMW engines through the years using these techniques. Just cuz it sounds toasted doesn't mean it is.
Good write up
Even using that system I think we still bent a rod on a CR-V!!
there was so much water in the bore I guess it just couldn't get out quick enough.
If I had to do it again I would remove the plugs, turn the engine over manually to blow out any water, then introduce WD40 and a light oil and spin the engine on the starter as you say before replacing the plugs.

The bent rod was only fractionally out and was detectable only by a very very slight viabration at idle which I took to be water traces in the intake/recirculatory system but 200 miles later cruising at about 75 it let go with style
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaligoneTx View Post
ok....

What type of vehicle?


Take out the air filter box, throw the air filter away. Allow the intake to dry as much as possible(remove throttle if necessary.) Since it wasn't running and stopped, no need to replace spark plugs, fill cylinders w wd40 or oil etc. If it the transmission or diff sat under the water for an extended period of time, the vents could have allowed water into the oil, which would cause problems later.

Your brakes will make noise if you dont clean the pads(minor obviously)

DO NOT CYCLE THE KEY UNTIL EVERYTHING HAS DRIED OUT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. What type of vehicle? Have any modules in the rear tire holder or under the carpet(crash sensors)?

Benzanyte is a odor remover but more importantly a bacteria killer. Pull the seats(unbolt front from frame) and pull up the lower rear seat and take the carpets out. If you have a center console under the dash and so not want to take out the airbox, etc... cut out the carpet in the center behind the box and work it out. It can be stitched back together using hogrings etc later.

Wash out the carpet with water, allow to dry hanging for a few days. Continue to spray the jute(foamy stuff on the back) w the Benzanyte/equivalent. As for the carpet itself, use a carpet cleaner, carpet brush and vacuum.

For the front seat frames... regrease the tracks, make sure the motors are operational. If there is rust use a wire brush to clean it up then spray with some common spray paint.

Apply rubber protector to the door seals/anything electric.

Before reinstalling the carpet, put in new battery or whatever is necessary. If you have lights in the door panels that were out when the car was flooded, unplug the doors. Check all electric functuality before reinstalling interior so you dont have to repeat yourself.
what he said. that's what you're going to get if you take it to the dealership. if you don't feel like doing all of that, spray it with some lyseol and slap a f/s sign on it.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:48 PM   #12
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All the above opinions are good, but IF U have full coverage take it to a shop and call insurance, we do flood jobs all the time
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:51 PM   #13
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Best thing to get the carpet all dry is have a body shop take out all of the seats and take out the entire carpet in the car. Should be 1 or 2 pieces, take it to the detail place and get them to shampoo the carpet and let airdry.

Works everytime!
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:47 PM   #14
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:18 PM   #15
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my wifes friend called and said i drove thru alittle water and it wont start if i could come look at it......it was sitting in water to windshield when the water went down i took the airfilter box and hose off and like 2 gallons of water poured out of hose and throttle body...........
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:44 PM   #16
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turn it into an obstical at a sk8 park.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:46 PM   #17
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i guess you dont have full coverage?
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:58 PM   #18
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That sucks narfly. Looks like there's some good info in in this thread so far.

I got stuck in that also, but got a truck and never hit any deep water.

My z28 got flooded during Ike, about 4 feet of water. Of course, it was salt water also. Insurance paid me, no questions asked.

Hope you had good insurance.
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:00 PM   #19
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Nope no full coverage. dryed the out of it tho. taking the seats out and had some fans and a shopvac and didnt take the carpet out completely but peeled back quite a bit and got everything i could get. Thank goodness it was nice and sunny today.

As far as the engine. still a work in progress
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