Please dont be what I think it is!!

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Hello, and thank you in advance for your help.
A few days ago, me, my husband, and our 7 yr old were driving along, and he (the husband) thought that it would be fun to go drive through this big puddle in the middle of a parking lot. So he does, and everyone laughed, and so he decides to do it again, this time backing up and hitting the puddle at about 50. Anyway, car stalls in the middle of the puddle (I made him get out and push us out) The puddle was about a foot or so deep, maybe a bit more. It will not start now, all that happens is the engine clicks. It doesnt even try to turn over. That was about 4 days ago and the same thing still happens. This is going to be expensive to fix, isnt it?

Thanks for your input.

Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

Hi, not nesecerilly expensive, it sounds to me like you just made the electrics pretty wet, I had the same thing happen to me a while ago (only I wasn't expecting the puddle!)..I could do with some more info, ie; make and model, year etc, but I'd without doubt just suggest that you take of the distributor cap and dry it out, also I'd dry the plug leads too..bassically, anything electrical meeds to be dried of!

posted by  Cliffy

Hey,

Sorry, didnt realize that I didnt put that in. It is a 94 Nissan Altima. We got the car towed home and have left it sit for 4 days now. Shouldnt it be dry? I have been reading and have come across "hydrolock" which has frightened me a bit. I guess it what happens when you live with a 30 yr old child! :screwy:

posted by  Novaleigh

lol...Hydrolock is more of an issue where water is able to enter the engine more redilly, the car you mention is fuel injected (Multi point) so it wont have a carb, if it did have a carb, water would be able to enter more freely ie; through the air filter box ect. I'm almost certain that your car wont have let any water in, however, if it still wont start I'd have it looked at by a Mechanic, the clicking you describe is more evident when the Started motor's inop, if the started motor got wet...like it tends to when you speed through a puddle :banghead: I suggest making sure all the wires are dry...just dont touch the solenoid with anything metalic lol

Good luck

posted by  Cliffy

Thank you very much. I was sooo scared about that. We are going to take it to a mechanic when the weekend is over if it still doesnt start, I just wanted to educate myself as not to get ripped off. :cussing:

Thanks again for your help.

Nova

PS, this may sound stupid, but what is the solenoid? :doh:

posted by  Novaleigh

Reality check on the information. A carbureted engine has an air filter assembly, a carb and an intake manifold. A fuel injected engine has an air filter assembly, a throttle body body and an intake manifold. How exactly is the throttle body going to stop water ingress if the carburetor won't? Not a very well thought out answer. On to the problem.


Well I know from your description that the car has been driven through a puddle and now goes click. Because of the fact that it was run through what seem to be a fairly deep puddle, as Cliffy said it could be hydraulically locked. The first thing to do is use a socket and large ratchet to try and turn the engine over. If it doesn't turn, the next step is to remove the sparkplugs and try it again. If it's hydro locked this will push the water out of the cylinders. While you have the plugs out, go ahead and spin the engine over with the starter. Then put the plugs back in and start it up.

If the engine turns freely when you first try moving it with the ratchet, come back, let us know and we'll go to chapter two.

posted by  vwhobo

It's not a stupid question..infact I had the feeling you'd ask, the following link shows the exact workings of the starter motor in detail...Although the link isn't a specific starter motor one, it should help you no end! if ya need it simplified, just ask..hell, even I found that link hard to understand lol

http://www.indiacar.com/index2.asp?pagename=http://www.indiacar.com/infoban k/battery1_od.htm

posted by  Cliffy

Ok, I wont try to prove you wrong...cos you aint lol...I was just trying to point out that an older engine is a hell of a lot more likely to let water in than a newer engine...that's all :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Well I know from your description that the car has been driven through a puddle and now goes click. Because of the fact that it was run through what seem to be a fairly deep puddle, as Cliffy said it could be hydraulically locked. The first thing to do is use a socket and large ratchet to try and turn the engine over. If it doesn't turn, the next step is to remove the sparkplugs and try it again. If it's hydro locked this will push the water out of the cylinders. While you have the plugs out, go ahead and spin the engine over with the starter. Then put the plugs back in and start it up.

If the engine turns freely when you first try moving it with the ratchet, come back, let us know and we'll go to chapter two.[/QUOTE]


Well, I have let everything (the plugs and the distributer cap, wires etc) dry and it still wont start. Other then that, I dont think that I am going to try to fix it myself. It is not my car and I dont like "fixing" other peoples stuff when I dont really know what I am doing. But I wanted to be informed before I went to the mechanic. They have a really bad rep for ripping people off in this city. However, if there is something really simple I could do, I could give it a shot. I just dont want to triple the price of the mechanic, cause I tried to fix it myself. :oops:
-Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

At this point I'm not even sure what it is you want. Letting the car sit and dry won't get the water out of the combustion chambers, if that's even the problem. Fill a mayonaise jar half way with water, put the lid on tight and put it on your kitchen counter. How long will that take to dry out? It's the same thing.

I really sounds like you want someone to tell you what's wrong. Well I can't see or touch your car through my computer. Anything we say here is just an educated guess at best. You're not going to gain any knowledge here that will help you when dealing with the shop you take it to because we can only guess at what's wrong.

Bottom line is if you are unable or unwilling to repair your car then you have no choice but to take it to a shop and trust their judgement. And there is certainly nothing we can do to change that.

posted by  vwhobo

Basically what I would like to know is, givin the info that I have given, what is your educated guess on the chances of it being hydrolocked? What I have read about it sounds scary. I am just pissed off at my husbands stupidity and would like to get an idea of how much this is going to cost to fix. BTW, there doesnt seem to be any water in the oil. I know that the severity of hydrolock, or rather the damage that it can cause varies, but I would like an idea.

-Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

The problem is there's too many ifs. Repairing a hydro lock can be as simple as pulling the plugs, cranking it over and putting them back in. Or a hydro lock can mean en entirely new engine. There are simply too many variables to make a good guess as you already know.
I will tell you this from experience. If it did in fact hydro lock while being driven through a puddle, expect the worst. Like in the neighborhood of $1500-$1800 parts and labor to install a used engine. It would have been cheaper to go to a water park.

posted by  vwhobo

k, well, what are some telltale symptoms of hydrolock? The car stalled in the middle of the puddle and then just didnt start again. I will do what you suggested earlier. I think that I can figure out how to do that. As you can see, I am not a mechanic. :laughing:

-nova

I REALLY hope that my husband has learned his lesson

posted by  Novaleigh

The telltale symptom is the engine will not turn over, as in locked. And if he's 30 years old and pulled that stunt, my vote goes to 'not a chance'.

By the way. If he fubar'd the car, why are you doing all the work?

posted by  vwhobo

Hes actually 35. And this is not the first time that he has done something like this. And I am doing the work because I am the responsible one.

Would the engine even try to turn over, or would there be just nothing. Also, if it were the starter engine that shorted, which has been suggested to me, wouldnt push starting it work? (He tried that, and it didnt)

-Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

That's why you have to diagnose in a logical order. If it's not the starter and it's hydro locked you'll do more damage by trying to push start it. That's why I told you the first thing to do is check to see if the engine turns over by hand. I was working on the assumption your car was an automatic. I had to assume because you didn't tell us. That doesn't matter, don't push start until you know for sure the engine isn't locked.

posted by  vwhobo

I bet people in Moosejaw can hear the argument that's taking place right now. :cussing: :cussing: :cussing:

posted by  vwhobo

ok, well, I found some info on how to remove spark plugs, and it seems pretty simple, I think that I can do that. How exactly do you turn the engine over manually?

By the way, I really apreciate this, I know that I am frusterating the hell out of you.

So....try to turn it over manually, if it doesnt work, remove spark plugs and try again, turn starter with plugs removed to push water out of cylinders. Put spark plugs back in and pray????

-Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

Find the crankshaft pulley. The bolt that holds it on has a 22mm (7/8" will work) head if memory serves. The easiest (only) way to turn it over is with a large ratchet or breaker bar and socket. You'll probably need the right front corner of the car jacked up to do this and also remove the splash shield.

Bingo on everything else.

posted by  vwhobo

ok, thank you. I apreciate your help and I hope that it works. Otherwise, off to the mechanics. I think that hubby can sleep in the f**king car for a few nights. :cussing:

posted by  Novaleigh

Sounds like hubby is going to need an operation - the kind where he has to go to a hospital and have someone's boot surgically removed from his hind parts. :cussing: :cussing:

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Definitely, people has very strange habits
http://www.car-forums.com/talk/showthread.php?t=2280

At least present case doesn't look so serious as the one I linked.

posted by  karburator

Alright, I did all that. I took the spark plugs out, only when I took the boots off, the plugs were about 8 inches down these little holes. So when I turned the engine over with the ratchet, about an eighth of an inch of water is sitting there now. So what I did was put a peice of paper towel over the holes so crap doesnt fall down in there and am letting it evaporate. I cant think of any other way to soak it up. I also took the filter out, and it is SOAKED. So that is drying too.

Will the spark plugs need to be replaced? How can you tell when they are shot? They were damp when I took them out.

I am getting really frusterated. Thanks for your help.

-Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

So far, so good. If the engine is turning over by hand go ahead and crank it over with the starter. No need to go nuts, just two or three 5 second cranks will do the trick.

As for the sparkplugs, for what they cost go ahead and replace them. While you're at it replace the air filter too. Total cost maybe $15. Put it all back together, yell contact and crank it up. The first start will probably be pretty tough. Keep your ears tuned in for any unusual and expensive noises. Once it starts if everything sounds okay, let it warm up and you should be good to go.

posted by  vwhobo

yeah, when I tried that, with the starter, it still made the same sound. The clicking sound. Its the initial sound that the car makes when you start it (if everything were healthy) but then there is nothing.

posted by  Novaleigh

So it has trouble turning over? this may sound silly but, is the battery charged?

posted by  Cliffy

I hooked up a charger to it and it said that it was good. Plus all the interior lights come on and the stereo still plays.

posted by  Novaleigh

Since we can crank the engine by hand, its time to chase down the electrical gremlins.

Begin with what Cliffy said first - check and see if the battery has a full charge. Little other trouble shooting of electrical issues can be done without the battery being charged. Once the battery is charged, there are a couple of checks you can make to determine if the solenoid needs to be replaced of if the starter is bad. In the US, a starter solenoid for a 1994 Altima is about $40, a starter is about $130 plus installation if someone else does the work

posted by  tbaxleyjr

This may sound like a stupid question, but I am pretty sure that I turned the bolt attatched to the crankshaft pulley, but how can I identify it for sure?

posted by  Novaleigh

If my daughter had my 1999 Altima here, I would take a digital picture and show you. Since is still away where she attends school, I'll try to describe it the best I can.

Looking on the passenger side into the engine compartment, the crankshaft pulley is the large one immediately to the left of the air conditioning compressor. The crankshaft pulley will be driving two belts (the ac compressor and the alternator/water pump) The bolt on this pulley is the one vwhobo asked you to turn with the plugs out to ensure you have no water inside the engine

You may have to access this from behind the passenger front tire if you cant reach it from the top. This side of the Altys gets kind of crowded

posted by  tbaxleyjr

ok, im almost positive that is the one that I turned. something in the altinator was spinning as I turned it, does that sound right?

posted by  Novaleigh

How do you mean something was spinning? the Auxillary drive belt is connected to the AC compressor and Alternator, so the altenator pulley should move too, unless the belt is extreamly loose :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

No, nothing is loose,

OK, I know I am an idiot, let me try and explain this......

The thing that the bolt that I was turning is connected to?? Inside the slots that are in it I could see something spinning (turning) as i turned the bolt.

Im sorry that I cant explain in with the proper terms. :oops:

posted by  Novaleigh

Did it look something like this?

http://www.stevensparts.com/images/CHEV/HB358BALANCER.JPG

posted by  vwhobo

Do you mean you can see something spinning behind the Crankshaft pulley? If so....you shouldn't do, the only thing turning, other than the alternator etc, is the engine

posted by  Cliffy

Yeah, and on the other (right) side of it was a box type thing with slots in it, and through the slots I saw something turning.

-Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

I THOUGHT that it was the alternator, but i could be wrong. :oops:

posted by  Novaleigh

If you are turning the crankshaft, the belts should be driving four accessories. One belt should be turning the water pump, power steering and alternator. The other should be turning the A/C compressor and also be routed over an idler pulley. Does that sound right?

posted by  vwhobo

well, the disk that I was turning had a belt around it, but it was just sliding, the belt wasnt turning with the disk.

But there is water in the spark plug holes now, so I assumed that I was turning the right thing. I think what I will do tomorrow is put a dowel down the hole and see if it moves up or down while I turn the bolt. Sound good? That will work right?

-Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

You have to slow down and stop getting ahead of yourself. If you want to take this one step at a time , great. If not that's okay with me.

When you turn what you believe to be the crankshaft A) how much effort does it take, and B) how many other pulleys are the belts moving?

posted by  vwhobo

It takes a decent amount of effort, but not excessive. Keep in mind that I am a girl :wink2: Its in a pretty tight spot too, so I can olny move it about an inch or two at a time.

I am at work right now and I honestly couldnt tell you with certainty how many other pulleys it moved, but if memory serves the pully that was wrapped around it didnt move, it just slid when I turned the disk.

-Nova

posted by  Novaleigh

At this point I don't understand what you're trying to tell me. What you're saying just doesn't make sense. I think it might be time to call in someone who can actually see the car.

posted by  vwhobo

Im sorry, i meant the BELT that was wrapped around it, not the pulley.

I apologize. I know that I am frusterating you.

posted by  Novaleigh

You're doing pretty good, Novaleigh! :thumbs:
.
.

posted by  BavarianWheels

Youre doing OK. Did the thing which turned but the belts slipped have two belts on it? If it did, you probably turned the crankshaft pulley. To help you locate parts All of these devices has one pulley and are driven by the same belt

Alternator - top of engine on near front end of car, passenger side. a cylinder shaped thing with one large wire and several small wires hooked to it

Water pump - immediately below alternator - has a large (approx 2 inch dia) hose attached to it

Power steering pump - next to fire wall about 1/3 way down under engine under a bunch of aluminum pipes (intake manifold)

Driven by the other belt, one pulley per device

Air Conditioning Comperssor - about same size as alternator except has a couple of 3/4 or 1 inch hoses - easier seen from under the car

The only pulley left is the crankshaft pulley - it has two belts.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Well, I have let everything (the plugs and the distributer cap, wires etc) dry and it still wont start. Other then that, I dont think that I am going to try to fix it myself. It is not my car and I dont like "fixing" other peoples stuff when I dont really know what I am doing. But I wanted to be informed before I went to the mechanic. They have a really bad rep for ripping people off in this city. However, if there is something really simple I could do, I could give it a shot. I just dont want to triple the price of the mechanic, cause I tried to fix it myself. :oops:
-Nova[/QUOTE]


-I had the same click in my sister's 98 toyota, if you've removed the distributor and all the plugs i'd suggest maybe taking a look at the starter, it worked on her toyota hope i was some help :)

posted by  79-Cheyenne

All these misc. postings could have been erradicated by one posting:

CLICK CLICK CLICK and all of a sudden we have a hydrolock? I don't think so. Cliffy hit it on the head. You have gotten something wet, solenoid and/or starter maybe? Why don't we also look at what caused the car to shut off to begin with and OH MY, now we have a possible multi-faceted issue don't we? Maybe sometime more happened!

FACT: going 50mph through water a foot deep puddle is about the stupidest thing anyone with any vehicle could do. Well one of the stupidest things. Nevermind the mechanical side of it with regard to the car's health, Gee, let's think about the physics involved. A foot deep of water at that speed will pick the car up off of the surface of the road and hydroplane it so badly that there could easily be a possible loss of control. It sure would suck to flip or lose control all because the person behind the wheel is a complete idiot with a total disregard for his wife and their 7 year old now wouldn't it. Also if the windshield was to temporarily block visibility because of the sheet of water across it such that you run into something or someone walking, that would suck to be responsible for their serious injury/loss of life wouldn't it. I think if you want to drive through water, get a four wheel drive off-road vehicle and go do it in the woods where the variables that cannot be controlled are limited. :banghead:

posted by  cmeseadoin

Lets see here

I think vwhobo wanted to make sure since the car had been in the water the there was nothing more serious than a starter, "That's why you have to diagnose in a logical order. If it's not the starter and it's hydro locked you'll do more damage by trying to push start it. That's why I told you the first thing to do is check to see if the engine turns over by hand. I was working on the assumption your car was an automatic. I had to assume because you didn't tell us. That doesn't matter, don't push start until you know for sure the engine isn't locked.", (reply 16)

1. I think novaleigh figured out enough to know there may have been some water in the engine , "Alright, I did all that. I took the spark plugs out, only when I took the boots off, the plugs were about 8 inches down these little holes. So when I turned the engine over with the ratchet, about an eighth of an inch of water is sitting there now. So what I did was put a peice of paper towel over the holes so crap doesnt fall down in there and am letting it evaporate. I cant think of any other way to soak it up. I also took the filter out, and it is SOAKED. So that is drying too." (reply #23).

I think several of us suggested once novaleigh gets the water issue reconciled, how to approach the starter/battery issue, step 1 check the battery "So it has trouble turning over? this may sound silly but, is the battery charged?" (reply #26), and step 2 ask if she needed help diagnosing the starter (I am familiar with the Nissan 2.5 L since I own a 1999) "Since we can crank the engine by hand, its time to chase down the electrical gremlins. Begin with what Cliffy said first - check and see if the battery has a full charge. Little other trouble shooting of electrical issues can be done without the battery being charged. Once the battery is charged, there are a couple of checks you can make to determine if the solenoid needs to be replaced of if the starter is bad. In the US, a starter solenoid for a 1994 Altima is about $40, a starter is about $130 plus installation if someone else does the work" (reply 28)

Folks made a good decision to use a professional mechanic if they were not comfortable with doing the work, "Well, I have let everything (the plugs and the distributer cap, wires etc) dry and it still wont start. Other then that, I dont think that I am going to try to fix it myself. It is not my car and I dont like "fixing" other peoples stuff when I dont really know what I am doing. But I wanted to be informed before I went to the mechanic. They have a really bad rep for ripping people off in this city. However, if there is something really simple I could do, I could give it a shot. I just dont want to triple the price of the mechanic, cause I tried to fix it myself." (reply 46)

I would rather help an experienced mechanic person walk through a problem logically in a forum like this than pull a guess out of my hind parts and cause someone to really mess-up (i.e trying to compress water in an engine when the laws of physics says water does not compress)

posted by  tbaxleyjr

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