Q: Car stalled in high water

asked by on March 24, 2016

My car got stuck in high water and stalled out. The battery turns on, but the car won't start.

Hopefully, its just the starter that is faulty. If the engine did suck in water it may be hydro-locked. You may remove the spark plugs and turn the engine over by hand to remove the water. Worst case scenario is that the engine could have been damaged trying to compress the water. Higher engine RPM’s can suck in water and may cause bent rods or a cracked block. The engine needs to be inspected and water evacuated from the cylinders. Then the mechanical condition of the engine needs to be assessed. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, who will be able to get water out of the combustion chambers and access the mechanical condition of the engine. Depending on your insurance coverage you may be able to get them to cover any recommended repairs.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

My car is having trouble turning over and when it does it can only go 20 mph max but I can't go uphill. What could be the issue?

It sounds like you may have a catalytic converter that may be clogged or failing. There are a number of reasons that may cause the catalytic converter to fail. They include: O2 sensor, fuel injectors, spark plugs, EGR valve system,...

When replacing a crank shaft part will the work send the timing chain off track?

Claimed by Kevin Gainer

I have OBD codes P0025 and P0015

Hi, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to provide you some insight on these trouble codes. Code P0025 relates to the camshaft position sensor detecting that exhaust camshaft is in an incorrect position. This affects ignition timing which can...

Replaced the air conditioning line twice due to rust

Hello. I would suggest that you get the A/C lines replaced again. Next time the A/C is recharged make sure they completely flush the system by adding fluid back into it, as crazy as it sounds. It's possible to flush it...

Poor fuel mileage

Hi There, There are a number of things that can cause poor fuel mileage. A faulty camshaft position sensor is one of them. The camshaft position sensor is a magnetic sensor that monitors camshaft speed to regulate ignition timing and...

Does replacing power steering hoses cause any other issues to arise?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. That's an interesting point you bring up. In short, yes; sometimes when you replace one component another issue will arise because it was masked by the damage on the other part you replaced. This...

Voltage Regulator

The voltage regulator on your car is integral to the alternator. If you have diagnosed your charging or electrical failure as due just to the voltage regulator, you should request GM part number 15926088. See also GM TSB (technical service...

Car keeps dying and when you try to start it back up it acts like there is no power to the starter

Hello, and thank you for writing in. When diagnosing this type of no-start, there are several things you will want to test first to make sure the basic charging system is working to supply the starter with power. When driving,...

Code P0340

Hi There, Your vehicle should have two camshaft position sensors. If only one of them was replaced, it may not have been the faulty one. Secondly, you may also want to have the wiring and connections to the camshaft sensors...

Related articles

How Long Should a Car Battery Last?
Eventually your car battery will become worn out and need to be replaced. Most car batteries should last about six years if well taken care of.
Can a Car Battery Freeze?
Cold temperatures can make it hard to start your car, and extreme cold can freeze a battery. Use a battery heater to make your car reliable in winter.
How Long Does a Battery Cable Last?
Transferring Transferring the current from the battery to the starter and alternator is the job of the battery cables. Every time you try to start your car, the battery cables will have to deliver the power needed to fire off...