What to do if your car is flooded


The torrential rains are here again and in many of our ill-planned cities and urban/suburban conurbations the deluge of water seems to be inundating just about anything in its way.

Vehicles, like houses, household pieces of furniture, electronic gadgets, documents, certificates, and other valuable objects, are susceptible to the damaging effects of flooding.

The problems inherent in running a flooded automobile are manifold; immediate (as in damaged “brain box”/Engine Control Unit/Engine Control Module) and recurring (as in freak electrical troubles that will suddenly and frustratingly be propping up for the rest of the life of that vehicle because of the wet and gradually melting wiring harness, which is the same as the electrical architecture of the automobile).

The following are the things you must do as soon as you’ve ascertained that the vehicle has been overwhelmed by water (the simplest test is, if the foot mats and a substantial part of the seats are wet, the automobile is flooded!):

Do not try to start it. That sounds simple, but your primary instinct will be to do just that. But that can cause more damage. Preferably, remove the battery terminals; as some microelectronics are running even when the vehicle is ostensibly off.

Check the air filter under the bonnet or hood. If the paper filter is wet, do not try to start it.

If you are not insured, you will need to take it to a professional detailer to dry it out with good vacuuming equipment. You risk having severe mould problems no matter what you do. But leaving windows open, or using household fans will not dry the car out well. However, do not use space heaters or anything with a heater core to try drying out the vehicle. Remember there is petrol in the tank. Please! Don’t be stupid.

Be aware that your car can experience severe problems even after it seems dry. The microelectronics, if they got wet, will never be the same—except you take it to a shop like Automedics where the electronics can be professionally treated with nanotechnology protective coating that will dry out the gadgets, and where the wiring harness can be changed in order to forestall the recurring decimal of electrical wahala (problems).

My suggestion is that if you suspect your vehicle is flooded, you will be saving an enormous amount of money if you do a preventive coating of the ECM and the other vital microelectronics of the vehicle with the special nanotechnology coating solution. This preventive coating solution can also be effectively used to preserve phones and other electronic/electrical gadgets (like motors, water pumps, etc.) which can malfunction as a result of being soaked in water.

Feedback

My car, an Infiniti QX4 2001, recently developed a peculiar problem of revving when I start it but it regulates after a few hundred metres. The RPM would sometimes go to 3,000 until I engage the gear, then it goes down to just below 2,000 or, at best, 1,500.

I had it scanned and got the codes P1130 and P0135. I understand that they refer to the swirl control valve and the O2 sensor. Please, I need your assistance and advice. I’m afraid it might destroy something. Thank you for your anticipated assistance. Kind regards, Yomi

P1130: This system has a swirl control valve in the intake passage of each cylinder. While idling and during low-engine speed operation, the swirl control valve closes. Thus, the velocity of the air in the intake passage increases, promoting the vaporisation of the fuel and producing a swirl in the combustion chamber.

Because of this operation, the system tends to increase the burning speed of the gas mixture, improve fuel consumption, and increase the stability in running conditions.

Also, except when idling and during low-engine speed operation, this system opens the swirl control valve. In this condition, this system tends to increase power by improving intake efficiency via reduction of intake flow resistance, intake flow.

The solenoid valve controls the swirl control valve’s shut/open condition. This solenoid valve is operated by the Engine Control Module. The swirl control valve control solenoid valve responds to signals from the ECM. When the ECM sends an ‘on’ (ground) signal, the solenoid valve is bypassed to apply intake manifold vacuum to the swirl control valve actuator. This operation closes the swirl control valve. When the ECM sends an ‘off’ signal, the vacuum signal is cut and the swirl control valve opens.

Possible causes: Faulty swirl control valve control solenoid valve; swirl control valve control solenoid valve circuit is open or shorted; swirl control valve circuit is open or shorted; faulty swirl control valve; or faulty swirl control valve actuator.

P0135: Oxygen Sensors (O2S) or Heated Oxygen Sensors (HO2S) need to reach a minimum operating temperature of 750 degrees Fahrenheit to produce an accurate voltage signal. The faster the heated oxygen sensor reaches that temperature, the faster the sensor will start sending an accurate signal to the ECM.

In order to achieve the required temperature, a heater element is included inside the heated oxygen sensor. The ECM controls the heated oxygen sensor heater element based on signals from the engine coolant temperature and engine load. The ECM controls the heater element circuit by allowing current flow to ground.

The ECM monitors the voltage signal received through the heater element circuit and determines the state of the circuit by comparing the voltage detected with the factory specifications.

The code is detected when current amperage in the front heated oxygen sensor heater circuit is out of the normal range. (An improper voltage drop signal is sent to the ECM through the front heated oxygen sensor heat

Possible causes: Faulty H2OS Bank 1 Sensor 1; H2OS Bank 1 Sensor 1 circuit fuse; H2OS Bank 1 Sensor 1 circuit open shorted to ground; H2OS Bank 1 Sensor 1 circuit poor electrical connection; or faulty ECM.

Please, could you direct me on how I can buy a 1995 Nissan pickup? I would be grateful. Thank you.

The only way I can help is to help you inspect the vehicle when you see one to buy.

The gear of my car does not select properly. It fails to select the last gear while at top speed (five-speed gear that fails to select gear five). Scan results display ‘P1783: Transmission over-temperature condition.’ I discovered that the return hose from gear to radiator is blocked. Kindly advise me. Anonymous

P1783: Engine at operating temperature and the ECM detected the transmission temperature sensor was over calibrated.

Possible Causes: Transmission temperature sensor harness is open or shorted; transmission temperature sensor circuit poor electrical connection; or faulty transmission temperature sensor.

I have two vehicles that are displaying ‘check engine sign.’ I have scanned them and they produced the following results and analyses.

Toyota Lexus SUV RX300 – Year of Manufacture 2002: This vehicle was bought at an auction in Houston Texas, United States and shipped to Nigeria. It was cleared from Customs in September 2013. I had to take it to the premises of my church because construction is ongoing on my street and I could not park it inside my compound. I always warmed it and drove it round at two-week intervals, until recently when I intended to travel out of Lagos with it. When I took it out, I found on the cluster ‘check engine,’ and had to take it for scanning with the following result:
P0505 – Idle speed out of range. Restricted air intake – damaged or dirty throttle body. Throttle position sensor.

While I was driving home from where it was scanned, another warning light came up: TRAC OFF and VSC. What I always observe from the vehicle is in sluggish start, until it is warmed up. It then picks up and operates smoothly throughout the day on each occasion when I drive it round and park it.

Mazda 6 Saloon Car – Year of Manufacture 2005: I bought this car locally in July 2014. I paid for it and at the time of taking delivery, I was told by the seller that I had to ask a panel beater to place some balls of wires in the silencer to reduce the noise. Upon getting to the panel beater, I found out that the catalyst had been removed. Besides, the car was roughly used without caring for it because when I checked the engine oil, I found that it was at the lowest level and the ‘check engine’ warning was up.
I had to quickly drain and replace it with 5W-30 engine oil, according to the required specs, yet this ‘check engine’ warning still shows. At times, it goes off and another time, it comes on, so I had to take it for scanning with the following result: P0037 and P0030, both with the same description – oxygen sensor heater circuit malfunction Bank 1, Sensor 2; faulty Wiring and connection; faulty oxygen sensor. However, I have checked this car by inviting an auto electrician, who checked the electrical circuit and found no fault in it.

Later, I drove it to Ilorin and returned same day. It is the car I use on a daily basis till today without any problem, but for the ‘check engine sign’ which has refused to go off. Unfortunately, the owner’s manual is written in German, Italian and French languages, which I do not understand. I am still looking for the English version.

In a nutshell, these are the problems I have with the vehicles and I would be happy if you could help me out. I am sure the Lexus needs only the cleaning of the throttle body and then I would know what to do about the TRAC OFF and VSC to make them go off. I would appreciate your prompt response. Thank you in advance. Julius.

On the Lexus, I believe all that needs to be done is servicing of the throttle body and tune-up of the engine. On the Toyota. It is most likely when the problem is solved and the light is reset that the TRAC OFF and VSC will go off. On the Mazda, the oxygen sensor definitely needs replacement. You can also call us for the spare parts: 08023025022 (Kenny).

My 2008 Honda City makes a grinding/clamping sound when the brake is applied. I have replaced the brake pad and brake disc at the recommendation of my mechanic, yet the sound has not stopped. What is the possible solution? Ola

You need to also check the rear brakes of the car and the hub wheel bearing for the noise. While you are at it, check the dust backing plate.

I have a 2001 Chevy 3500 minibus. It has brake problems. The brake pressure is very low and any time I apply the brake hard, the bus swerves to the driver’s side and the braking is not very sharp.

I took it to a mechanic who checked the brake, after checking said it was the Anti-lock Braking System that was at fault and that we needed to change the ABS. But I decided to do a scan before changing it. The man who did the scan said there was nothing on the dashboard to indicate that the ABS was faulty. So, we decided to bleed the four wheels and we discovered that brake fluid did not get to the rear wheels. What is the problem and how can we solve it? Ademola

If brake fluid is not getting to any of the wheels, it could cause the vehicle to swerve to one side. What you need to do is to check busted brake line/pipe, collapsed flex hose or crushed pipe.

My Golf 4 has a clutch problem. I am based in Abeokuta. Who can fix it for me? Anonymous

You can take it to our Abeokuta, which is located within the premises of Ebenfem filling station, opposite the Government Technical College by Iyana Mortuary, on Olabisi Onabanjo Way.

More from my site