Water in the Car Engine. Symptoms and Ways to Fix a Hydrolocked Motor

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Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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The smallest of problems can stop an engine from working. This can happen immediately or gradually. Either way, engine trouble is not something you want to deal with. 

One of the major causes of engine trouble is hydrolocking. When fluid enters the combustion chamber of an engine, it could cause the car to stop immediately. Water in the engine of a car can be very devastating as repairs may be very costly. You can find so many causes of a hydrolocked engine.

Continue reading as we discuss what is hydrolocking, what causes a hydrolocked engine and how to avoid this problem. Also, we will discuss the measures you can take and easy hydrolock fix ideas.

What Is Hydrolocking?

Hydrolocking, also known as the hydrostatic lock, is a term that refers to water inside an engine

What happens if water gets in your engine? If water is sucked into the engine, you will get the hydrauliced engine or broken engine. The pistons of an engine contain gas and fuel. The combustion chamber works because gas is compressible. This is not the same for water. A combination of water and fuel is incompressible.

When a huge amount of water fills the combustion chamber, the pistons will stop moving, rendering the engine non-functional. When there is water in the cylinder, you will hear a cracking sound that indicates the pistons have stopped moving, resulting in permanent damage to your engine. 

When the engine is hydrolocked, you may attempt to call a mechanic to fix the problem. However, be attentive to the major damages and components of the car, your car may have the symptoms and signs of a seized engine too.

Unfortunately, the cost of repairing an engine may eat away at your wallet. It is nearly pointless to waste your precious cash. Instead, you can sell your car to a junk car buyer. Consider Junkcarsus, a trustworthy buyer that pays top dollar for old, broken, wrecked, non-running and totaled junk cars.

What Happens If Water Gets in Your Engine?

If water enters an engine, you can expect minimal to severe damage. This is dependent on the amount of fluid that enters the combustion cylinders. The more water you have, the harder it will be for the pistons to compress the mixture of fuel, water, and air. That is because the water reduces the air intake. There are two scenarios:

1. The car was moving at a low RPM or idle

If this is the case, there will be little to no damage. However, you should take your car to a mechanic to remove water and prevent corrosion. Sometimes small amounts of water are removed through the exhaust.

2. The car was moving at a high RPM 

If this should happen, expect severe damage to your engine. This may damage different parts of your engine, rendering your car totaled. Removing water will not be helpful. Problems you can face include:

  • A broken connecting rod
  • Damage to the crank
  • Bend in the valves
  • Broken piston rings
  • A breach in the head

Any Other Causes of Hydrolocking?

A hydrolock can occur when any liquid enters your engine. There are so many ways in which water can enter your engine. In most cases driving through puddles at high speed is the cause. So it is better to avoid puddles as much as possible. Any damage to the engine itself will make it easier for water to enter the combustion cylinders. Other causes include:

  • Driving through a flood
  • Driving through puddles
  • Parking a car in a flood
  • A damaged gasket
  • Damaged diesel pumps
  • Oil or water leaks in the combustion chamber

What Are the Common Hydrolock Symptoms?

The symptoms of a hydrolocked engine depend on the amount of water in the cylinders. The common hydrolock symptoms are:

1. Small amount of water

If there is a small amount of water, the engine will make a rough sound. In most cases, the water will leave the engine through the exhaust. The engine will continue running.

2. A large amount of water

When a lot of water enters the engine, you will hear a crashing or knocking sound. This sound happens as water starts filling the cylinders.

This lasts a few seconds before the engine goes off completely. When this happens you will hear a loud thud. The engine will fail to turn over at this point.

How Much Hydrolocking Damages an Engine?

Water in a car engine can be very damaging. In many cases, it may require the entire engine to be replaced. The amount of damage that an engine faces all depends on certain factors. One of these factors is the speed at which the car was moving when hydrolock symptoms started.

At high RPMs, the damage to the engine is usually severe. This causes a large amount of water to enter the engine at once. It can result in a broken rod, damage to the pistons, or a bent valve. If any of these happen, the engine will stop working immediately. At low RPMs, only a small amount of water enters the engine. This water should be removed immediately. If that is not done, the engine will rust, causing trouble later on.

How to Fix a Hydrolocked Engine

Are you wondering how to fix a hydrolocked engine? Let’s see the hydrolocked engine fix ideas and how to repair a flooded engine.

Well, whether a hydro lock can be fixed depends on how much water entered the engine and how long it has been there. You can have a hydro lock fix by yourself if you have a small amount of water in your engine. This will happen if you were moving at a slow RPM. You can remove the water by removing the spark plush. After this, you have to start the engine. At this stage, you should notice water coming out from one or more cylinders. 

Remember that this is only effective if you replace the spark plugs. If you cannot get a new one, let the spark plush dry completely before placing them back in the engine. Also, keep in mind the cylinders should be completely dry. So wipe them to get rid of all the moisture.

If hydrolock happens at high RPMs, the chances are that the cylinders contain a lot of water. In this case, there is no hope of trying to revive the engine. The best you can do is move your car to a salvage yard or sell it to a junk car buyer.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Hydrolocked Motor?

The amount you spend when fixing a hydrolocked car will all depend on the extent of damage caused. If your car starts making hydrolocked engine sounds, do not waste time. Call a mechanic to check it out immediately.

Waiting only causes more damage to the engine, which may mean you having to pay more money for repairs or a full replacement. On average the cost of fixing a hydrolocked motor can range from $2,500 to $10,000.

What to Do If Your Hydrolocked Car Become Totaled

The repair costs for a hydro-locked vehicle are too high. You are better off earning extra cash in exchange for your totaled car. Earn high pay when you sell your totaled vehicle to Junkcarsus. As a trustworthy junk car buyer, we can offer you quick cash for your vehicle. With a lot of experience in the business, we always offer the best deals to our customers.

Selling your junk car is a very simple process. All you have to do is contact us and tell us about the car you want to sell. Get an instant offer once you get in touch. You can expect the very best deals on the market.

Once you accept our offer, we will schedule a pickup and pay you cash on the spot. We offer free junk car removal services. Also, our agents will take care of all the paperwork on your behalf. The benefits of using our company include:

  • Top dollar
  • Free paperwork
  • Free towing
  • Same-day services

If you are in urgent need of cash, Junkcarsus can offer you same-day services. We buy vans, trucks, and SUVs in any condition. Even totaled vehicles can fetch you a significant amount of cash. Call us today and get quick cash for your car. We buy cars in many parts of the US, so call us right away!

How to Prevent Hydrolocking Your Car

Since hydrolocking can lead to your vehicle being totaled, it is something you want to avoid. It is better than trying to figure out how to get water out of an engine. The best way to avoid a flooded engine is by staying on top of maintenance. Also, make sure you are vigilant as recognizing the signs of water damage to an engine can be a huge difference. It is also helpful if you can stay clear of puddles.

Keep your car safe if you live in areas likely to have storms. And whenever you wash your engine, be careful so that water doesn’t enter it. Do not wait until the water in the car engine symptoms get worse before you call a mechanic.

Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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