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850 stalled in flooded street

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Cailin
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Cailin

850 stalled in flooded street

Post by Cailin » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:56 pm

Hi Everyone,

This site is always super helpful, so I was hoping you might provide some insight on my disaster that befell my 1996 Volvo 850.

The street was flooded in a downpour and I didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late. (I’m aware that I am very much to blame here, please be kind and don’t rub it in.) It stalled in water about to the bottom of the bumper. After being pushed out of the water it would not start. I left it all day today hoping it would dry out. It does try to turn over (and sounds less weak this afternoon than it did this morning.)

Is there any hope of it drying out? We did remove the spark plug cover and there was water under there. Dried that and checked the spark plugs, which seemed dry.
And there ends the extent of my “fix it skills”.

I know it may have water in the air intake. I know I may have just destroyed the engine. I’m pretty terrified that I just totaled my car. Anyone have experience here? Any hope of it drying out, or am I being delusional?

scot850
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scot850

Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by scot850 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:32 pm

If there is no water in the engine oil, all ma not be lost. You removed the spark plugs and the engine turns over?

The spark plug leads and electrics probably got soaked as did the alternator and the starter. With a bit of luck they may dry out and not be fried. The distributor cap will need to be removed and the distributor and cap dried out.

My concern is it is turning over slowly. This could be damp wiring or a low battery charge or damaged battery.

How deep was the water? Did it get into the cabin?

Water may also have got into the air filter and box through the air intake near the top of the grille. Removing the top of the airbox may show if the air filter is soaked. If it is dry it out. If the car stalled quickly enough water may have got no further than there.

You really need a mechanic or someone with some skills to give the car a once over.

Lastly, check the transmission dipstick for signs of water in the oil.

I wish you luck.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

Cailin
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Cailin

Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by Cailin » Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:07 pm

I did check the oil and see no sign of water. At least as far as I could tell. I checked the spark plugs, but didn’t change them. They appeared dry.

The water was not high enough to get in the cabin, but it was pretty close to that high.

The battery itself doesn’t look to have gotten wet. Terminals were dry.

I will check the air filter when I can get to the car tomorrow.

Thank you for your advice!

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abscate
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abscate

Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by abscate » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:56 am

Is this a turbo car? Water can get into the air induction from the inter cooler up front on turbos.

Solution, remove hoses , drain water , let dry for a few days
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Cailin
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Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by Cailin » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:29 am

It is not a turbo. But thank you so much for the suggestions!

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volvolugnut
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volvolugnut

Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by volvolugnut » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:02 pm

Obvious thing: Get the car in the sun and open hood to let things dry out. At least it was fresh water and not salty.
volvolugnut
2001 V70 T5, 1986 244DL, 1983 245DL, 1975 245DL, 1959 PV544, multiple parts cars.

mecheng
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mecheng

Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by mecheng » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:51 pm

Spray all the electronics with wd40 as well
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - SE - 240km - Sold July 2018
1997 Volvo 850 GLT - 190km
Boost is my drug of choice

Cailin
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Cailin

Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by Cailin » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:29 pm

Well today I got it to start for about 2 seconds before it stalled. Everything I checked seemed dry.

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volvolugnut
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Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by volvolugnut » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:03 pm

If you have tried to start several times, get the battery on a charger. The battery may crank well, but not have full voltage for the electronics.
volvolugnut
2001 V70 T5, 1986 244DL, 1983 245DL, 1975 245DL, 1959 PV544, multiple parts cars.

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oragex
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oragex

Re: 850 stalled in flooded street

Post by oragex » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:37 am

Try perhaps undo the battery then remove the two ECM modules, their connectors sit very low, about at the level of the black band trims around the car, so it can easily get water to them - and it's also quite important to make sure these are dry, otherwise they may rust, etc. Not easy to remove these without the tool but I'll link a video done on the S60 - only the enclosure is different
viewtopic.php?t=53547
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volvo- ... 0-cta-1070
.

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