Car shut off while driving through water

Last May I had the distributor replaced in my Nissan Xterra. Since it was replaced my car has shut off while I am driving three different times, separated by weeks to months, and only in heavy rain storms. When the car does shutoff it takes up to 15 minutes until it will start up again.

In each case, once the car restarted it did not shutoff again. I recently noticed a correlation to heavy rain because I did not have any problems all summer long I live in Oregon where it never rains in the summer and then last week in a heavy rainstorm the car shutoff while I was waiting at a red light. Any ideas? There are several possible problems. I would look for a trusted local mechanic. It should not take long to find the problem. After months of experimenting, it turned out to be the ignition coil was cracked, allowing water splashed up from the road to get on the high voltage part of the circuit, shorting it out.

Engine would come to a complete stop, and waiting minutes, it would go again as if nothing happened. Water — even a small amount — can easily short out and halt the engine if there is any break in the insulation of any high voltage component, e. The waiting works because the water evaporates and dries out the high voltage circuit, from the warmth of the engine.

Car shuts off in heavy rain.

Can a Car Be Dried Out After Stalling in Water?

JosephEMeehan July 6,am 2. Can you speculate on some of the possible problems? I assume something electrical?

Tester July 6,am 4.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. I have a Pontiac G6. Yesterday our streets flooded from the rain. While driving my kids too school at am I drove through a large puddle of water that I didn't see. As soon as I got out of the puddle my car shut off.

I got a boost but my car still wouldn't crank up. Everything in my car still comes on. I ended up having my car towed home. What could be wrong? How deep was the water? It is most likely an electrical problem with waterlogged or even shorted out electronics. However, if the water was pulled into the engine, you could have significant problems because water in not compressible and ingested water can cause significant damage to the moving parts inside the engine.

I'm assuming what you say the car wouldn't crank that means that the starter motor isn't trying to turn the engine over? It could be something as simple as the starter solenoid is still full of water. Knowing how deep the puddle was would help a lot. Very hard to tell what's happened. If the intake got submerged under the water, you may have a water-locked engine.

If the electronics got submerged, wait for a few days for them to dry completely. Then, test again. If it doesn't work, go through a logical checklist; Starter motor, starter motor relay, starter motor fuse. Battery terminals, grounding to the bodywork, all engine bay electronic connectors, etc.

Keep going. Also, check your fuelling lines, too. That might have had water back-flushed through the return lines to the fuel tank or something else along those lines.

If the water was very deep and got sucked into the intake, then its possible that it can destroy the engine. Water is incompressible and if it makes it into the cylinder while running it can blow gaskets, or bend or brake your piston rods. Ok it took me a while to figure this out about my Honda Odyssey but I ran through a water puddle. The car shut down and would not start so I thought I burned the starter out so I replaced it.

Still, all lights would work but it would not engage the starter. I started looking around the engine and saw on the ground cable it was grounded to the body which made it possible for all the lights to work, but the starter would not engage. I followed the ground cable from the battery down to where it is grounded on the bottom of the engine and tada, there it was I reattached the cable and woooop, there it is, it started. Road service came to help and spent about minutes jump starting my car constantly to blow moisture out of it.

Lots of smoke etc from memory but once it finally started it was fine again. I had a similar problem once on an older GM product where I ran through some high water.

It ended up being the catalytic converter. The inside honeycomb of the converter seized shut when the cold water hit the extremely hot metal. A shade-tree mechanic solved my problem while a certified mechanic could not.It is quite common to see that your car stalls in high water during the rainy season.

Many people misinterpret that they can drive through the water without any damage. However, it is not possible for all, as the ignition components would become wet and prevent the spark. The problem would be much severe, if the car is older. The car stalls in high water, making it difficult to start, as the air intake may suck water into the engine and hydro-lock the motor. As the water fills the cylinder, it is impossible for the pistons to compress the water.

You can start your car after it stalls in high waterby removing the spark plugs and discharging the water from the cylinders.

You can then re-install the spark plugs. You can then try to start the engine. If you cannot start the engine, you need to try some other way to get it started. It is advisable to check first whether the engine would spin. You can access the crank nut by removing the fan. If it is not possible to turn it by your hand, it is then an indication of severe engine damage.

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The problem may be due to the possible lock up of the starter. It is important not to overlook any electrical related issues, while diagnosing the engine. If the engine damage is due to the inability of water compression, you can then try pumping oil to achieve some compression. You can start your car after it stalls in high water by turning the engine over a few times after removing all the spark plugs out.

Sometimes, you may have to change the plug fuel and oil. If you do not want to spend money to start your car, you can try ethamax, which is an all-purpose fuel treatment. You can remove water out of the fuel tank by your own and try to start your car. If you find it difficult to do this job, you can get the help of a mechanic.

car shut off while driving through water

If the car does not start, due to the presence of water in the battery terminals, there is no other option but to buy a new battery then. You can cover the terminals in waterproof grease. If your distributor cap is wet or cracked, you have to replace it with a new one. Generally, the distributor cap would be cracked, when you try to drive through a puddle.

You can then start your car easily. May 20, - Posted by mikej Uncategorized. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Welcome to my blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people find answers to their car problems. Hopefully you find my blog resourceful!

Mechanic Sanctuary Just another WordPress.Get yourself a can of ignition wire dryer, and spray down the wire harnesses, and anywhere you see an electrical plug leading to an accessory or connecting to another plug. Spray out any fuse blocks you have under the hood. You may have water in a connection somewhere that's preventing a good start, or providing the spark.

Did you drive through a puddle deep enough to ingest water into the engine? Does the engine not even turn? If so, just for kicks, you may want to pull the spark plugs, and try turning the engine over a bit - just to try to cycle out any water you have locked up in your engine. If there's water in a cylinder with the valves closed, this will effectively lock the engine, since there's no place for the water to go as you try to turn the engine. If the engine is turning over, then I doubt you have this problem, though.

The other end of the sparkplug wired you where they are connected.

car shut off while driving through water

Angel could be right it could be a wet distributor cap. Thats why we need yr. Update: chevy cavalier. Answer Save. How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer. Kyle J Lv 5. Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.Actually, nothing makes you feel as heart pounding as your car shuts off while driving in traffic suddenly.

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If your car starts giving you annoying troubles like this, here are somethings you can do to get back rolling again. When your car shuts off while driving on the road randomly, the first thing you should check is your car fuel tank.

car shut off while driving through water

An empty fuel tank happens to most of us. Of course, you can not drive a car with no fuel. Thus, looking at the fuel gauge may definitely save you from standing on the roads for hours and hours. In case this situation continues happening to your car, you may need to go to a car repair to check your fuel gauge because it may give you the false reading.

An error alternator is one of the most expected reasons make your car stop in the middle of the road.

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So if there is a problem with the car alternator, it loses the ability to charge the electrical system, which actually causes the power drain. Yes, even when you are driving? The power may deplete gradually until you are keeping the vehicle running at idle. Therefore, you may have to charge it up before the battery dies again.

Normally, this can cause an unexpected shutdown, putting you in a strenuous situation on the roads. No doubt, with the arrival of latest technology and cars, chances of any fault and errors have minimized.

But, what if we say that even the sensors in the modern cars can confuse you by transmitting the wrong information? Another reason that makes your car shuts off while driving is issues with the fuel pump. If there is something clogging in the pump or filter, it will make your car turns off while driving on the roads suddenly. So, it is always mandatory to check and clean the fuel pump, filter before driving a long distance.

Your car shuts off while driving suddenly may cause from the ignition switch. When the ignition switch is frazzled, this will lead to a loss or power to your engine due to vibration such as hitting a round patch of street. The loss of power causes the engine of your car to die suddenly while you are driving on the road. Imagine one day you are driving on the road and your car turns off in a sudden.

At that time, your top priorities should be the safety for you and other people driving on the road. What you should do in this case are to calm down yourself and not to panic. Then follow 4 steps below:.

car shut off while driving through water

The first thing to do when you discover your shuts off while driving is not to panic and then guiding your car to the side of the street. Although at that time, your car is losing brakes and steering power, you are still possible to pull over and take your car into a stop.

Doing this action will be more difficult if you are panicking, thus keep your head cold and do it with all your concentration. Notice: Parking your vehicle out of the way of other people in order to provide you more space if you are not able to restart your car immediately.

After parking your car on a side of the road, the next step is find out a way to restart your car. Check out 5 reasons making your car shuts off mentioned above and find a suitable solution to make your car restart again.

If your car can run again, it is so amazing. In case you cannot start your car, it is time to announce other drivers about your situation to ensure the safety to all people on the road. By turning on your emergency flashers, other people will know you are in trouble and will evade you and your car.

You can easily see an emergency car towing a broken car on a highway everyday.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up.

Last night there was a huge thunderstorm. During a massive downpour where I could barely see out of my window, I ended up driving onto a flooded street, by the time I realized how deep the water was I was already halfway through it.

It felt like my care was a little sluggish, but I don't know if that was an issue with the actual engine performance or pushing through all that water. It never died and after getting to the other side performed like normal besides some wet brakes. I was only about two miles from home and was able to make it home without a problem. Today the car starts up fine and runs as normal, but I wanted to at least go get the oil changed. Afterwards, I went to change the air filter and noticed there is some standing water at the bottom of the air intake box where all the debris is usually sitting and my air filter was wet.

I have no noticeable performance issues, no error codes, but am worried there may be permanent damage and would like any advice as to what to do next?

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Should I get the transmission fluid changed? It is a 98 Cavalier and I really need this car to last me another 2 or 3 years. Any advice is appreciated. The first thing will be to replace the air filter, after that yes, you can get the transmission fluid checked - it is most likely ok As you have since driven the vehicle then the brakes should be working fine otherwise you would have noticed.

A similar question here with a longer answer. The effect of hitting deep water hard. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered.

Drove through high water, what to do now? Ask Question. Asked 2 years, 1 month ago. Active 2 years, 1 month ago. Viewed 35k times. Consider yourself lucky. If there was water at the air intake box, and the air filter was wet, you were near a hydrolock occurring. Hydrolock is when the water enters the engine, and being incompressible, destroys it.

It's people trying to restart the car and sucking in more and more water that I have seen destroy most engines. Active Oldest Votes. Keep an eye on it but it sounds like you were lucky. Solar Mike Solar Mike Based on a family member driving our car into a lake: Change the air filter as that is cheap and now soaked with tons of dust and crap. Check all of your fluids, although the brake fluid and power steering reservoirs are pretty high up and safe, if you have a leak, they could not contain a significant amount of dirty water, they may be due for changing anyways.

Fixing A Vehicle That Turns Off For No Reason

Engine and transmission oil have a lower entry point because of the dipstick and dipstick tubes, so you want to check them for water, if none exists, you are good but if you are due for a service interval, you're not doing yourself any harm changing it. Check that all electrical stuff that is encased like the under the hood fuse box is dry. If it is wet, disconnect the battery, remove fuses and dry the area.

Repeat for any other areas like a relay box, etc. Afterwards, I would recommend going to a self wash and using a "low-pressure spot-free" rinse to wash any other crap away.

It's not needed but may help you identify areas that take on water and should be checked.Before you know it, you find yourself running the risk of a flooded engine.

There are a few things you can do to avoid a flooded engine. The first, and most obvious, is to shut off the ignition, but only if it is absolutely safe to do so. All it takes is 12 inches of moving water to push your vehicle off the road. Regardless of whether you decide to back up or keep pushing forward, make sure you do so at a slow, steady speed.

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Driving quickly through standing water is a great way to generate a wave of liquid under your car that can enter into your engine bay and wreak havoc. Although it takes a fair amount of water to cause hydrolock, remember that even small amounts of moisture inside your motor can cause it to stall. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States.

Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time.

I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. Your email address will not be published.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Related Articles. Keegan March 9, By Benjamin Hunting August 19, How to Read an Oil Dipstick April 10, Can a Car Battery Be Recharged? April 8, Pro Tips for Strut Installation April 7,


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