Wrecked engines...

  Quickbeam 11:04 26 Jun 2007

Just been talking to a garage owner I know, he's had 11 cars towed in this morning that have been driven through deep water.

Apparently as a liquid cannot be compressed, as little as an egg-cupful getting in through the air filter housing can bend con-rods, break cranks, blow heads off etc. Then I remembered, we were all probably told this at school.

  johndrew 11:32 26 Jun 2007

It`s called hydraulic loading and it`s a pity that some people don`t think a little before they drive, sometimes at speed, into water. The depth doesn`t need to be at the air filter level when stationary to gain entry; creating a bow wave will do that.

  Cymro. 11:57 26 Jun 2007

There was a problem like this one on the telly some years ago. They were referring in

particular to diesel engines and an air breather pipe that is too low down in the engine

bay and so sucks in air, and water if it is deep enough and so leading to the problem mentioned above.

  wiz-king 13:26 26 Jun 2007

Never had this trouble with the old Minis and 1100s - they stopped long before the water came more than 2" deep!

  josie mayhem 13:32 26 Jun 2007

Also if you don't keep steady even presure on the accelarator peddle, then there's a good likley hood of water entering your engine via the exhaurst pipe!

  johndrew 13:46 26 Jun 2007

I would rather that happen to me if it had too as the back pressure would simply stall the engine rather than ingest the water.

  josie mayhem 14:14 26 Jun 2007

The problem being if you stall in a flood with this happening to you, once your car is stopped then the water gets into the main part of the car and at the electrics... Last person I know who done this ended with a insurance right off due to electrical damage!

  Pine Man 15:07 26 Jun 2007

Not true Josie, water cannot reach your engine via the exhaust. When the engine is running, no matter how slow, the exhaust pressure will keep water out of the exhaust pipe. When the engine is stopped water will get into the exhaust pipe only to be expelled when the engine starts.

  TopCat® 15:49 26 Jun 2007

If the water is deep enough it can in some instances get into the engine via the oil level dipstick hole in the block. This is situated at a much lower position but, if you're lucky, can have an dipstick support extension tube fitted.

The crankcase pressure in the block will help stop this if the engine is running, but if not then water can enter into some engines. Finding the oil in the engine has turned a gooey, whitish mess usually means water ingress.

Some transmissions also have breathers mounted on top of gearboxes and rear axles, so there's something else that can allow oil contamination by running in deep water. TC.

  johndrew 16:17 26 Jun 2007

Ah yes!! With the distributor right at the front and nothing to stop the rain they were far from all weather cars. Even standing overnight with a heavy dew could make early morning starting interesting!!!

  johndrew 16:23 26 Jun 2007

There is a chance that with the engine stopped and an exhaust valve open that water could enter a cylinder but this would stall the starter motor and be unlikely to damage any of the rotating assembly.

In this situation I think TopCat® has the most likely difficulty to be overcome; water and oil make a right mess and are difficult to clean out properly.

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