Q: I drove thru a puddle now car wont start

asked by on June 30, 2016

I drove thru a deep puddle and now my car wont start but i checked the oil and theres no water in the oil im planning to work on the car tomorrow but i dont no where to start

My car has 189000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there:

First off, we glad you’re safe and that your car didn’t shut off while driving through the deep puddle. One of the hardest things to diagnose is electrical issues that are caused by water damage. Sometimes the problem of a car not starting after the engine gets wet occurs when water splashes under the fender well, and finds a way to get trapped in some major electrical component; such as the ECU, starter, spark plug wires or distributor on your 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer.

Anytime I work on a car that involves water damage in any way, the first step is to make sure everything is dried off before diving into diagnostics or repairs. Sometimes the issue is simply condensation in a distributor, causing the engine not to fire. On other occasions, it could be a previously exposed wire shorted out and you blew a fuse.

The best advice I can suggest is to open the hood and blow off everything with compressed air and try to start it again. If you turn the ignition key and don’t get any power to the starter, check the fuse box. However, it is possible that the starter might be broken, as deep water and starters don’t typically work well together. Start with the little things before getting your hands too dirty. If nothing seems to work, it’s best to contact a certified mechanic in your area that will inspect the car, complete a diagnostic check and fix the problem.

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