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JKTester 11-15-2010 11:15 AM

Hydrolocked my engine with dealer plates still on...
So here's my story. I was out playing around in puddles...really nothing big at all. On my way out I made one final run, a little water splashed on the hook and the engine died. I still have the dealer plates on her and they towed me, after my friends got me out of the water, to the dealership. I've read some of the threads and seen some people say that it was covered by Jeep for the repairs. I have a video of my final death run and it shows I was not exceeding the limits of "the most capable offroad vehicle". She's a stock JK Rubi and can climb anything I point her at...water seems to be an issue. I would love to hear any thoughts on this, what it could be, best wat to prevent it (what is the best snorkel?) and if anyone has had this happen and had it covered by warranty I'd really love to hear from you so I can have a little ammo when I go in to fight them.

ncb 11-15-2010 11:35 AM

I doubt you will get warranty from Jeep. How fast were you moving and how deep was the water? Can you post the video? Some have been able to get an insurance claim for a hydro'd engine.

Dronac 11-15-2010 11:44 AM

I REALLY need a snorkle. I play in the water alot.

YJteen 11-15-2010 11:47 AM

If you want the dealership to pay you need to convinve them you were on a paved road instead of offroading and having fun. I would recomend washing your Jeep very well (sepecially the underside) because if they find mud caked everywhere they will think you were offraoding (even if thats not the case) and it will be a lot harder to get it repaired for free.

planman 11-15-2010 11:48 AM

I also doubt you will get any warranty coverage.

Definitely, the next call should be to your auto insurance company.

Dronac 11-15-2010 12:15 PM

If you have video proof that you were following the user's manual guidelines for water crossing, and still hydrolocked, you may be able to get it covered, although be ready for a fight. You may need to go through Chrystler's customer assistance line.

I would mention the "trail rated" badge and advertising. Iv gotten radiator fan motors covered after the burnt out when I got them caked with mud. I took it to the dealer with the entire engine bay still solid brown with mud and got it covered.

CTJeepWJ 11-15-2010 12:17 PM

I think stock JK's are rated for 30" of water crossing. Correct me if I am wrong.
Where did the water get in if you weren't in water that deep and you weren't speeding?

aristobrat 11-15-2010 12:23 PM


Originally Posted by JKTester (Post 10455273)
She's a stock JK Rubi and can climb anything I point her at...water seems to be an issue.

Seems like water + speed is the issue. If water splashes into the air intake, there are holes in the bottom of the air box for it to drain out. However, if you're doing anything to cause the engine to realllllllly breath while water comes in, the faster airflow isn't going to let the water go out the bottom.

I changed my air filter for the first time yesterday and about crapped when I saw lines from where mud had gotten sucked in and drained out the bottom. I'm sure if I was gunning it through the mud, that stuff would have going straight into (and thru) the paper filter.

herculz 11-15-2010 01:18 PM

sucks to hear your story, i had a snorkel on my tj way back when, i have a JK now and kringe thinking of cuting any metal on the body but if it saves my engine and drama with dealership i might doing, but i'll stay away from water in the mean time.

skivviss 11-15-2010 01:58 PM

water may be the thing that kills the engine. but its not really the water's fault. it's the speed people hit it at that gets the water up to their intake.

for my rig, my hydrolock hole is ~44" from the ground (air intake)

during our monsoon season i went out wheelin' in the aftermath of storms, came across quite a few areas where the water was running up to my rock rails (24").

drove right on through, even one that put a couple inches of water into the tub, so about 28" deep.

but slowly and carefully.

adding speed to those crossings though, it would be very easy to dump water straight into that hole and kill the engine.

i do like making a big splash, but after reading one too many 'puddle = hydrolock' stories, i don't worry about the splash.

paul84043 11-15-2010 02:10 PM

The Jeep website "4 wheeling basics" say to avoid pushing a, slow and steady....

Washi 11-15-2010 02:12 PM

Man, crazy. On my old TJ, I opened up my filter box after a wheeling trip and dropped a brick when I saw the trail of liquid dirt running past the filter (Aftermarket filter oilable, if it were cotton this never would have happened) down the intake tube, in the throttle body, and past it. I cleaned everything out, but this scenario repeated its self several times before I installed my snorkel. It actually became a joke, my 4.0 gained a reputation as the "mud eater".

Dronac 11-15-2010 02:22 PM

Iv had to change out air filters after getting them soaked in mud. Water never got past the cotton filter media. I would stay far, far away from a non cotton filter, simply for cotton's ability to absorb the water.

Washi 11-15-2010 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by Dronac (Post 10456247)
Iv had to change out air filters after getting them soaked in mud. Water never got past the cotton filter media. I would stay far, far away from a non cotton filter, simply for cotton's ability to absorb the water.

x2. That is what I was trying to say! Thank you. I have seen many instances where a friend's vehicle shuts down, and we diagnose it to a completely saturated cotton filter. The filter, though completely saturated, allowed no airflow past it (hence the shutdown) and consequently no water flow past it either. It really is amazing to see an airbox with standing dirty water, a saturated cotton filter, and NO moisture on the other side of the filter. This is the main reason I am leaving my stock box alone this time, nothing beats the cotton media.

Warlord2 11-15-2010 03:28 PM

I must be getting really lucky at times.....sometimes the high tide is so high up on the beach and soo many campers Ive had to cruise through the water at a relatively high speed as to not get sunked into the sand. Water up on the hood and everything. I really need to get a snorkal, think that will be my next project.

Sorry to hear about your new jeep, I would give the dealership a try first....Ive made huge splashes in my sisters tacoma without a hitch, thats one thing I dont like about these jeeps.

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