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What To Do If Your Car Is Hydrolocked: A Comprehensive Guide

Cars are one of the most important assets that we own. They get us to and from work, take us on family vacations, and make our lives easier. But what happens when your car is hydrolocked? Hydrolocking is when water enters the engine and causes it to seize up. This can happen if you drive through a flooded area or if you accidentally drive into water that is too deep. If this happens to you, don’t panic. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps you need to take to get your car back on the road.

Signs of Hydrolocking

The first step in dealing with hydrolocking is to recognize the signs. If your engine has been hydrolocked, you will notice that it won’t start or will stall while you’re driving. You may also hear a loud banging noise when you try to start the car. This noise is caused by the pistons hitting the top of the engine. If you notice any of these signs, stop driving immediately and assess the situation.

Assess the Damage

Once you’ve recognized the signs of hydrolocking, you need to assess the damage. Check the oil dipstick to see if there is any water in the oil. If there is, this is a sign that water has entered the engine. You may also notice that the air filter is wet or there is water in the intake manifold. These are all signs that your engine has been hydrolocked.

Remove the Spark Plugs

If you’ve determined that your engine has been hydrolocked, the next step is to remove the spark plugs. This will allow any water that may be inside the cylinders to escape. You can do this by using a socket wrench to remove the spark plugs. Once they’ve been removed, turn the engine over a few times to expel any water that may be inside.

Drain the Oil

If water has entered the engine, you need to drain the oil. Water in the oil can cause serious damage to the engine if it’s not removed. To drain the oil, locate the oil pan underneath the car and remove the drain plug. Allow the oil to drain completely before replacing the plug and adding new oil.

Dry Out the Engine

After you’ve removed the spark plugs and drained the oil, you need to dry out the engine. You can do this by using a wet/dry vacuum to suction out any water that may be inside. You may also want to use a hairdryer or heat gun to dry out any components that may have gotten wet. Be sure to dry everything thoroughly before attempting to start the engine.

Start the Engine

Once you’ve completed all of the previous steps, it’s time to try to start the engine. Before you do this, make sure that the air filter is dry and that all of the spark plugs have been replaced. Once everything is in order, try to start the engine. If it starts, let it run for a few minutes to make sure that everything is working properly. If it doesn’t start, you may need to call a mechanic.


Can hydrolocking cause permanent damage to my engine?

Yes, hydrolocking can cause serious damage to your engine if it’s not dealt with properly. It’s important to follow the steps outlined in this article to minimize the damage.

How can I prevent hydrolocking?

The best way to prevent hydrolocking is to avoid driving through flooded areas. If you must drive through water, make sure that it’s not too deep and drive slowly.

Can I drive my car if it’s been hydrolocked?

No, you should not attempt to drive your car if it’s been hydrolocked. This can cause further damage to the engine.

How long does it take to fix a hydrolocked engine?

The amount of time it takes to fix a hydrolocked engine depends on the extent of the damage. In some cases, it may take several days to repair the engine.

Can I fix a hydrolocked engine myself?

It’s possible to fix a hydrolocked engine yourself, but it’s not recommended unless you have experience working on engines. It’s best to take your car to a mechanic to ensure that the repairs are done properly.


Dealing with a hydrolocked engine can be stressful, but it’s important to remain calm and follow the steps outlined in this article. By taking the proper precautions and following the correct procedures, you can minimize the damage and get your car back on the road. Remember to always prioritize your safety and the safety of others when driving, especially in inclement weather.

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