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What Happens if Water Gets in Your Engine?

What Happens if Water Gets in Your EngineWe all know what happens if you put water in the gas tank of your car: nothing good. But what happens if water gets in your engine?

“It will cause it to rust,” said Phil Reed, consumer advice editor at “The metal parts are going to rust quicker than normal.” Reed said that is because when water is added to a vehicle’s oil it lowers its boiling point, which can lead to internal damage. “It can cause the pistons to start sticking,” he said. “You’ll get cylinder wall damage. It can really damage an engine.”

If water gets into your engine, it’s bad news. The most common way this happens is by driving through a deep puddle of water. But if the water reaches the spark plugs, it could cause catastrophic failure.

The first sign that you may have water in your engine is the car will start to run roughly or stall altogether. If this happens, you should immediately pull over and turn off the engine. If you keep driving, there’s a good chance you’ll damage your engine and it could be very expensive to repair.

What Happens if Water Gets in Your Engine and it Becomes Hydrolocked?

hydrolocked engine

This car is definitely hydrolocked!

You know those commercials where the truck is plowing thru the creek? Yes well, don’t do it! Unless you are completely sure about the depth of the creek or how deep the water in an underpass is for that matter. Very bad things can happen. Worst of all, the engine may become hydrolocked. And one of the more common causes is often beyond your control. Flooding.

A hydrolocked engine is essentially a dead engine; not a snowballs chance in hell it is going to start. There is fluid in the cylinders, pistons are frozen, dead. If the motor hydrolocks at anything higher than idling speed, chances are that the damage will be more than it’s worth to fix.

Your only real hope is that the engine stalls while idling and you immediately get to a repair shop for a hydrolock engine repair. Having the repair’s done ASAP is critical. It must be done before internal engine parts begin to corrode or pit which essentially makes them worthless.

So, what happens if water gets in your engine is never a good thing. And unfortunately, all to often it is a catastrophic thing.


What Does It Mean to Hydrolock Your Motor?

The Dangers of Driving Your Car Through Flood Water

And FYI – The 12 Worst Car Tips Mechanics Have Ever Heard

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