My engine, I think, got flooded with water when I hit a large, and ankle high puddle of water (about 7-8" deep). I hear a whirring sound, like an APU on an aircraft cranking. Do I just let it sit and dry?
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Deep water and engines do not mix very well and if water was drawn into the air intake the engine could be a write-off. This is unlikely with just a deep puddle but it does illustrate the degree of care needed where water is concerned.
Some years ago we had to recover a car from a ford through a small river. The owner didn't realise quite how deep the water had become after a winter storm. The car dried out quite well after a couple of weeks under the workshop heater with all the doors and windows open but still would not start. The various black boxes were removed from the vehicle and the cases removed and a further week of drying out returned the car to full working order.
New plugs and wires will be no help if there is no spark. There is no point in having a spark if there is no fuel injection...
Some luck guessing what is wrong might happen but mostly guesswork is doomed to spending time and money without results and what is needed is a systematic approach to discovering what is wrong. These days that approach needs a good deal of experience, equipment and model information.
From what you've said, it sounds a lot like you have broken a connecting rod (the part that connects each piston to the crankshaft). When you go through deep water or a large volume of water is splashed up, there is always a chance that it can enter the intake. Water is not compressible. Since the engine is turning and not all cylinders fill with equal amounts of water, the engine is still trying to run. The "weak link" is either the connecting rod or the top of the piston, so either the rod bends, breaks, or the top of the piston caves in. 'Though you see Jeeps and other 4x4's thundering through rivers etc in commercials, to safely do that, an engine needs to be specially prepared, sealing the electronics and raising the air intake higher up. Extreme versions of this extend the air intake with a large diameter pipe that stands even higher than the cab. Jeep intakes are reasonably high and in most cases won't have problems under normal conditions but if you hit the water just right, it can and does get in there. Unfortunately, the only way to determine exactly how much damage was done, your engine needs to be torn down (at least heads and oil pan need to come off) If there isn't any block or crankshaft damage you can replace the damaged parts. Otherwise, the engine needs to be replaced.
How deep was the water? Was it over the hood? Only way you would get water in the engine is through the air cleaner. Was it that deep? If you think you have water in your engine then change your oil. Something electrical got wet like a distributor etc. Park your car in a heated garage with the hood up and have a fan blowing on the engine. This should dry it out if not check everything electrical.
Good luck and thanks for your question and I hope my suggestions help. burdfrenzy
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If this happens as your hitting a large puddle then I would check to see if all of the splash shields are installed under the jeep. these help keep water off of the serpentine belt than turns the P/S pump. As you hit a puddle the water splashes up onto the belt causing it to slip reducing pump pressure.
Does the engine turn fully or not? If not the connecting rods are more than likely twisted to your pistons if he hit the deep puddle at a fast rate of speed. The pressure of the water would of passed through the engine's crack seal producing deadly effects to the engine