Q: I drove through a puddle and my car won't start.

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1998 Honda Civic 4 cyl 5 speed. I was driving through a puddle 500 miles away from home and the car started sputtering flashing the CEL. I pushed it into a parking spot and disconnected the battery, then was able to get it started back and drive to a parts store. The diagnostic showed a random misfire and crankshaft position sensor code. I was drying out the connectors and two wires came out of the distributor harness. I tried to clamp them back into the connector but could only get one of them tight. Reconnected the battery and it was running perfect. I drove 500 miles on the interstate back home and went to bed. Next morning it cranked and cranked and cranked but would not start. I purchased and installed a new distributor because the wiring was suspect, and there was no change. Cranks but no start. Should I replace the crankshaft position sensor or is something else causing it to not start? Please help!

My car has 340000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The crankshaft position sensor would cause the vehicle not to start if there was an issue with it. With that being said, there may be a variety of other issues due to the water exposure. Focus on the area that the water splashed up into, as these are the components that are most likely to have been damaged, or lead to another component’s failure. Check the fuse box for any blown fuses as well. If there was an electrical surge, the fuse would be the first to blow in whatever system was effected (assuming the system was protected). You can also test the battery, and listen for the fuel pump to prime with the key in the "On" position. Both of these test are simple steps just to make sure they are not the issue. For more diagnostic help, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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