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How To Fix A Hydrolocked Engine


August 10, 2022

If you have ever been unfortunate enough to experience a hydrolocked engine, you know just how scary and frustrating it can be.

In this article, we are going to talk about how to fix a hydrolocked engine in the easiest possible way.

We will provide information on what a hydrolocked engine is, the signs that you have one, and how to go about fixing it. 

So if you are currently dealing with this issue, or are just curious about what to do in case it happens to you, keep reading!

What Is A Hydrolocked Engine?

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A hydrolocked engine is one that has been filled with water, either from sitting in floodwaters or from driving through a deep puddle.

When this happens, the water prevents the pistons from moving up and down as they should.

This can cause serious damage to your engine and can even render it unusable.

There are two main ways that an engine can become hydro-locked.

The first is by sitting in floodwaters for too long.

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it is important to be aware of the risks involved with leaving your car parked in a flooded area.

Even if the water doesn’t rise high enough to reach your engine, it can still seep in through the bottom and cause problems.

The second way that an engine can become hydro-locked is by driving through a deep puddle or stream.

This is especially common during heavy rains when there are large amounts of water on the road.

It only takes a few seconds for your engine to become filled with water if you drive too fast through a puddle, so it is important to be careful when driving during rain.

Don’t forget to check this guide on how to ride a motorcycle during rain.

Signs That You Have A Hydrolocked Engine

There are several signs that you can look for to determine whether or not your engine is hydro-locked.

The first and most obvious sign is if your car won’t start.

If you try to turn on your car and it won’t even crank, there is a good chance that your engine is hydro-locked.

Another sign to look for is if your car starts but then quickly stalls.

This can be caused by water getting into the spark plugs and preventing them from firing properly.

If you are able to get your car started but it is running very roughly, this is also a sign that you may have a hydro-locked engine.

You may notice that the car feels like it wants to stall or die, even when you are driving at high speeds or your car vibrates at 40 mph which is quite alarming.

How To Fix A Hydrolocked Engine-Step By Step Guide

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If you find yourself with a hydrolocked engine, there are some steps that you can take to fix the problem.

However, it is important to keep in mind that this is a very serious issue and it is best to take your car to a mechanic if you are not comfortable working on it yourself.


The first step is to remove the spark plugs from the engine.

This will allow any water that has gotten into the cylinders to drain out.

Once the water has been drained, you can then dry off the plugs and put them back in.


Next, you will need to replace the air filter from your car.

This is because the filter can often become wet when an engine becomes hydrolocked.

Allowing the filter to dry completely before putting it back in is crucial, as a wet air filter can cause all sorts of problems down the road.


Once the air filter is dry, you can replace it and then refill the engine with oil.

It is important to use the correct type and amount of oil, as using too much or too little oil can cause serious damage to your engine.


Once you have refilled the engine with oil, you will need to bleed the brakes.

This is because water can often get into the brake lines when an engine becomes hydrolocked.

To bleed the brakes, you will need to locate the bleeder valves and open them up until fresh, clean brake fluid comes out.

Step #5

After you have bled the brakes, there are a few final steps that you need to take.

The first is to check all of the hoses and clamps that are connected to the engine.

Make sure that they are all tight and secure, as loose hoses can cause leaks.

Finally, you will need to start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes.

This will allow any water that may still be in the system to evaporate.

If your car seems to be running normally, congratulations!

You have successfully fixed a hydrolocked engine.

You may also want to check this guide on: Pumping Gas With Car On: Is It Safe?

Tips to prevent hydro locked engines:

If you follow these prevention tips, you should be able to avoid hydro-locking your engine.

If you think your engine is about to hydro lock, shut it down immediately.

Do not attempt to restart the engine as this could cause even more damage.

Once the engine has cooled, check the oil level and quality.

If it is low or dirty, top it up or change it completely.

Check for any leaks in the cooling system and repair them as soon as possible.

Make sure the radiator cap is tight and there are no cracks in the radiator hose.

Regularly check the coolant level and top up if necessary.

Bleed the cooling system if air has become trapped inside.

If your car has been involved in a flood, do not attempt to start the engine until it has been checked by a qualified mechanic.

Water can cause serious damage to an engine and it is not worth the risk.

We have another interesting article on: How To Turn Off ABS Light


Fixing a hydrolocked engine is a serious task but following these steps will help you get your car back on the road in no time.

Just remember to take your time and be careful when working on your car’s engine.

If you are not comfortable working on your car’s engine, it is always best to take it to a mechanic.

They will be able to fix the problem quickly and safely.

Thanks for reading!

I hope this article was helpful.

You may also want to check this guide on: How Many Spark Plugs Does A Diesel Have?


Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.