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1999 Volvo S80 – Drove Through Water

A very sad Volvo owner in a difficult situation because he drove through water:

I am ashamed to admit this but I drove through water with my wonderful 1999 Volvo S80-V6-Turbo on a flooded road. The water wasn’t that high but I got nervous and stepped on the gas and sucked water into the intake. It made it thru water, then stalled, I tried to start and wont turn over. Towed it home and a friend tore engine down and there was water in 4 of 6 plugs and large amount of water in oil pan. We left it apart and cover everything with towels to try and dry it out. My friend hasn’t made it back over and I am stuck. Someone told me to put Marvel Mystery Oil in where the plugs go and try to turn motor over by hand? I don’t want to make matter worse but I can not afford to go the dealer. If anyone has any advice please help me, and I also put in a new starter.

1999 Volvo S80 – Water driving


Post by SimLyons » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:42 pm

Is it still apart? If so, you need to clean the oil pan as good as you can. Leave no trace of water. Change the filter, too. It probably is full of water. Are the spark plugs out of the car? If so, leave them out after cleaning and drying them. If you don’t have compressed air just use a hair dryer.

Be sure to fill the oil again. You’ll need 7 quarts at least. Put 7 qts. in at the beginning. Then, with someone watching the spark plug holes, crank over the engine 2 or 3 turns, maybe 3 seconds. Your looker might see wether coming out the spark plug holes. If so, wipe up all the water that comes out. Then put about a tablespoon of oil into each cylinder through the spark plug holes. Crank it over again, maybe 5-6 seconds.

Then look at all the coils. If they are dry, NO moisture, put the DRY spark plugs back in and snap the coils back on. Did you put the oil in the engine?? If yes, try to start it. If you are lucky and blessed, it will start. Roughly at first. Run the engine slowly until the gauge shows it’s warm.

You will probably get check engine lights. Don’t worry, yet. Shut off the engine and check the oil. Is the level good? If so, you are ok. And if the oil looks like might brown mud, you have water in the oil. You will have to drain it again and fill again with fresh oil. If you are lucky, the oil will be normal and you can drive it to an auto parts store where they will check your CEL and turn it off. Just write down any codes.

If it runs well now, drive it. Get it really warm (drive 40 miles or so) and by now all the water that is still in the engine should be evaporated.\\\

The engine air intake on your car is above the radiator and that IS HIGH!! You probably got water in many other parts, including your electronic controls. If so, you are looking at Big $$$ for parts and repair.

Good luck!

Lesson: Water driving is not good.

1 Comment

It may be too late for this since you have dismantled the engine, but this sort of damage would be covered under your insurance policy. I bought a Porsche 968 a few years back for $3500, when I started looking through the service records, I found a ticket from 2 years prior for a new factory short block engine to the tune of $13,000. I called the prior owner to ask about it and he had driven through deep water in a heavy rainfall. His insurance paid for the repair. Maybe put the engine back together, and call your insurance company, and tell them that you were just informed that your vehicle might be covered. Passage of time since the incident shouldn’t be an issue.

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