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I have driven through a flood using my 2010 Great Wall X240 and now it won't start...

Asked by Carole

I have driven through a flood using my 2010 Great Wall X240 and now it won't start. Do you have any hunches of what might be the cause of the problems?

There are a couple of alarm bells being set off here. The first is that the engine, if driven through water deep enough, may have ingested some of that water which has caused what’s called hydraulic-lock. This is usually terminal and involves the (non-compressible) water, bending or breaking the engine’s internal bits and pieces such as the crankshaft and connecting rods. If the engine won’t turn over at all, this could be why.

The second possibility is a little less scary and involves the flood-waters entering a part of the car’s electronic or ignition systems, leading to a short-circuit. If that’s the case, the parts can sometimes be dried out and the engine will restart. In modern cars, however, once the computers and other electronics have been wet, they corrode internally and will need to be replaced over time.

This is part of the reason that insurance companies tend to write off flood-damaged cars, even if there’s no other damage. Insurers know that a car that has been under water will come back to haunt them in the longer term as all sorts of electronically-controlled components go belly up.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.


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