Reader Question Austin,
I live in Iowa, and in Iowa there are serious thunderstorms. I drove my car through a puddle (really, it was as big as a pond in the road) only to have it shut off and stop. I pushed it out of the puddle, but it still would not start.
Do you think there is water in my intake? If so, will just drying it out be OK or do I need to do something more? Is there anything else that I should have checked out because of the water in the engine area?
I am a medical student, and I don’t have much money. I don’t want to take my car in unless I have to. I would be so grateful if you responded to this email. I really appreciate your time and talents on my behalf.
Hello there Brandon,
Water can do serious damage to a running engine if the engine consumed water through the intake system. Inspect your air filter, and see if it is wet or has signs of having been. If you find a wet air filter, that means that water went into the engine while it was running, and it might have serious problems. You should get it looked at as soon as possible.
If the air filter is dry, I would make sure there is no water on the distributor cap and spark plug wires. Dry off any electrical wires you can get to.
High water can also cause numerous other problems. Water usually gets inside the transmission, inside the brakes, and inside the trunk. You really should consider contacting your insurance company and let them know what happened–flood damage can be very expensive. The longer you leave that water inside, the more damage will be done.