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Hydrolocked my engine with dealer plates still on...

64311 Views 196 Replies 63 Participants Last post by  little_Jeep
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.
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Update

To answer a few questions the water was probably not deeper than 19 inches, I didn't stop to measure after it happened. A 2wd F-150 went through just before I did and had no issues. As far as the dealer, they are sticking with the "It's not our fault" line. Yes, I did take a trail rated vehicle through a reasonable puddle at a reasonable speed, it is my fault for using an off-road vehicle...forgive me...off-road! I went all the way to the general manager showing the video and even they said it should be covered. But water in the engine, no matter what...is apparently a user error. I called my insurance company and without a blink they said they'd take care of me. They asked me to hold onto the video because it seems like something they would go after Jeep for and get me my deductible back. It's only a $100 out of pocket engine so I can't complain too much. Thank god for insurance. JK owners...buy a snorkel...even for splashes. That is going to be my first purchase as soon as I get her back. Any ideas on the "best" snorkel kit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
For those that think I'm hiding something or misrepresenting the facts, I am in the process of posting the video to youtube and a link will be provided. You will clearly see that I avoid romping through an area with large ruts, I am clearly not slamming on the gas and that the water really was not that deep. After you see the video I will be happy to hear the few that are up in arms that a Wrangler should not be used for this purpose tell me they would not attempt the same thing. At that point they should delete their forum accounts because they have soccer-mom-mobiles...not Jeeps. No offense meant to anyone expect those that are too afraid to have a little fun in their toy. If you want a vehicle get a hybrid...I have a toy that also gets me to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
I was thinking I was not going too fast either. I am dealing with the insurance agency right now and discussing a Hemi swap. I'm also talking to a local shop that can do it to get a price quote. AEV is wanting 23K after I ship it to them. I can't quite justify that. I am going to go to the dealer once more with some of the videos they show and present my case one more time. After that I guess the only thing I can do, besides contact the main offices is to help out other people to avoid this exact thing from happening to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #139 ·
Here we go...so as far as updates go, I called the dealership (as I do every day to bug the hell out of him) to see when it will be repaired. They said the tore it down on Monday, started replacing parts on Tuesday and I'll get an update as to when it will be ready this afternoon.

The video of the jeep going through the pond a few posts back just gets to me...how can my splash equal a dead engine when his is fine? I don't know how that worked but I don't hold any ill feelings, I think it's cool as hell. Yeah, a Jeep isn't a boat but finding out just what it's capable of is so fun.

I've have spent a lot of time trying to find a better engine for it recently, I thought about going the Hemi route but with an install of the engine and new trans I was looking at about 17k...insurance is going to cover about 9k (roughly) so I let that idea pass. While I was talking with Matt at West Texas Off-road (highly recommended for the area BTW) he jumped on the phone to get information on how easily the Hemi install could be done. He called a friend over in California and they'd replaced 5 JK engines in the past month, 2 with Hemi's, all because of the same exact issue.

When the dealer found her they told me she had leather, when she was delivered she had no leather so the dealer may keep her a little bit longer while I drive their truck around the city to put the leather in. I also have headrest dvd players to install and a push button ignition from Stardrive so it may be a week even after I get her back before she hits the streets...and yes...the mud.

I will claim stupidity and ignorance in checking the air intake box for moisture. After seeing videos like the one mentioned above it was the last thing on my mind, it shouldn't be a problem right? Obviously not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #152 ·
Just to get the facts straight. What was the Dealers 'Offcial' writeup of the damage to the JK?

Why? Here's a pic of the JK intake (from my JK - I have an AEM system with an Outerwears prefilter):



The water would have to come in, go down the intake tube, then back up and through the filter (while not draining out the holes in the intake). If the OP submerged the JK then 'maybe' but.....somehow I don't thing we're getting the whole story.

Andy
I really wish that there were more to the story...there simply isn't. What you see is what you get. I have not gotten anything on the exact parts being replaced yet because so far my insurance has been taking care of it. I have looked over and over at the design of the intake to try and figure out how in the world it happened and I am completely at a loss.

I have been on the phone all day with the main Chrylser HQ and up the chain so far to the Area Manager for my region. He is looking at the video, at least I emailed it to him, and hopefully Chrysler will be at least bold enough to look into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #156 ·
I agree with PVRubicon....something isn't adding up. That water got in the engine some other way than through the small inlet, through the filter and UP the intake hose. The fact that you actually could crank the engine after it stalled means it wasn't hydrolocked.

If water, did get in the engine, it came in through some other hole, vacuum line maybe? Or it simply splashed up onto some electronics and shorted/water logged something like your coilpack.
The engine didn't turn over...I'm not sure exactly what it was but the best way I can explain it is it "whirred". All the electronics were working and it wanted to start but there was nothing catching. Again, I completely agree that something isn't right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #158 ·
There is internal damage in the engine,,,, from ?? Water ingestion......

Go to Dealer, take pics of damage, or ask for the damaged parts.
Yes...they are saying from water ingestion. Insurance guy agreed and it is being filed under a flood claim. I will make sure that I get the parts that they take out. I was thinking of that as I was posting the last time...thanks for the tip though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #169 ·
Engine would only be locked until a hole was punched in a piston, or a connecting rod broke, or the water had time to drain into the pan, etc..

Generalize? Something caused internal damage to the engine. The dealer and the insurance company have the Jeep, they have seen the broken parts, and I would assume they know the signs of water ingestion to look for. JKtester isn't much help in providing information because he is not mechanically inclined and as far as I know, has not personally seen the damaged parts or the signs that led to the conclusion of water ingestion.
You are right in every case, I am not the most mechanically inclined. I do, however, know exactly how an engine works and understand the inner workings well. When I say I'm not mechanically inclined I could not jump under the hood and tell you what was broken unless it was actually something broken, now doing engine work myself...if I had the tools and the time, it wouldn't be a problem. I have not seen the damaged parts but will be bringing them home with me when I pick her up. Hopefully tomorrow or Saturday. Once I get them home I will be able to tell a little more about what happened. I did not get a clear understanding from my service advisor as he was not the mechanic and he was basically reporting to me what the mechanic reported to him. I will gladly post a list of everything that they replaced as well as pictures of the damaged parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #176 ·
I am sorry that I said you were not mechanically inclined. I hope that I didn't offend you. That was not my desire. Photos of the damaged parts and possibly a copy of the work order and parts that were replaced would provide a lot of information. I just find it odd that people are still debating your engine problems being nothing more than a wet electrical component. We are so far past this point it isn't funny.

Posting stories about I did this or that in my CJ, YJ,TJ,XJ, or whatever non JK there is, isn't a help. It seems that JK's have a real issue with water ingestion. Is it cause by inexperienced driver?, or is there an issue with the design or location of the airbox?, or maybe a vacuum line disconnected that sucks water into the engine? Maybe it's a combination of these issues. Yet, there are Jeepers who have been in far deeper water than JKtester did and they didn't have any water ingestion in their engine. Whatever is causing the issue, a snorkel appears to be a wise investment if you own a JK.
I took no offense at all. No worries. One of my initial thoughts, the .5 seconds that it went through my head, was the potential of it being an electrical issue only to see that everything electrical was still working. While we were stuck out there trying to figure it out we disconnected the battery to see if it would reset anything. It obviously didn't work. In my lack of mechanical skills and not understanding how a starter worked I wondered if possibly the engine just stalled and the started drive snapped making it not turn the engine over. No matter the case it was not anything we could fix while we were out there and I honestly thought that after seeing what I had gone through the dealership would also see that this was an unusual event. If I get nothing more out of this, hopefully my calls to Chrysler and to the management will get them to take a look at the intake to see if there are improvements to be made. Best case scenario they take care of it for me with a "Hey, sorry this happened, we'll cover it this time." But they're covering their butts. In my discussion with the Area Manager he stated that it was an insurance claim because they can't cover water damage. I stated, that this discussion would not even be taking place if I intentionally drove a Seabring into a puddle...but I took their most "capable" offroad vehicle into a puddle it should have handled. That's just my thoughts on it.

I do have to add that so far, Jill (my Jeep) has been unstoppable. I have had her going up some crazy hills and seeing exactly what her capabilities are. When it comes to hills, rocks, or even bush, she has handled it all with easy. Water...not so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #191 ·
Sorry for the delay everyone. I ended up going on Christmas vacation and was still dealing with engine issues. So here are the results of this whole thing.

Insurance replaced the whole engine for me for a small $500 fee. It took them a few weeks to finally get back to me and finish all of the repairs. As soon as I picked it up I went about 15 miles and the check engine light came on. I called the dealer and they said that it was probably a computer issue and not to worry about it. So I drove it over the weekend (I had to go out of town) and brought it back on that monday. They took a look at it and I made an appointment for the upcoming Friday. I showed up and they said they couldn't see me so I had to come back the next day. That's exactly what I did. I told them that this was my daily driver and I needed it back by the end of the day. They told me it wouldn't be a problem. So evening comes and I have no calls from them. I finally call them back and (You'll never guess) it won't be ready that day. So...since they're closed Sunday I'm out of a vehicle. The mechanic came in on Sunday to take a closer look to see what the problem was and found that the oil pump had locked up and had basically destroyed the cam shaft. So I get back in touch with my insurance to get me a rental car and tell them that they need to send the adjuster BACK out to see what the heck was going on. That week rolled by. I was told I would have it by Wednesday. Wednesday comes...guess...yeah, no car. I made a meeting with the general manager and informed him of what was going on. After he yelled at everyone for making him and the business look bad I heard from my insurance that they are ordering a whole new engine...yes...2nd new engine and less than 2k miles. So they all work really hard to get everything done after they get yelled at. I was supposed to leave on vacation on that Friday. The GM told them to have it ready by then. So while they installed the new new engine they were also supposed to install the leather that I ordered (It was supposed to come ON the Jeep). The leather installer did not get done until Monday evening. I told them that if it was not done in the morning they could keep it and I would be expecting a call from the GM. I got a call Tuesday morning telling me it was ready and the mechanic was out test driving it as we spoke. I went to pick it up only to find out that not everything from the adjuster had been filed with insurance therefore I could not take the Jeep because they had not been paid. 2 hours on the phone and 4700 out of pocket (Insurance paid me back a few days later) I turned in the rental and headed back to the Jeep. I began driving out of the parking lot and, yep, again you guessed it, the check engine light came on. I didn't even make it around the dealership parking lot and I was pulling back into the service area. After some choice words that I can't say I regret they hooked it up and told me it was going to need a new PCM that would not be available until Thursday. Again, they told me that this was a computer issue and was safe to drive. I was heading to New Mexico and figured if I could just make it there I'd take it to another dealer. I made it, took it to another dealer and they informed me the PCM was fine but the cam shaft sensor needed to be replaced and did it under warrantee.

Bottom line, one puddle, 2 engines and a hell of a lot of pain. It has been in the shop longer than it has been with me since I bought it. It's working well now and life has started to become a little more busy keeping me off the trails and my fear of water is keeping me out of the puddles.
 
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