Car Won’t Start After Driving through Water (6 Possible Issues)

Car Wont Start

Water can be dangerous to drive through at any point for your car, But sometimes when it’s raining, it is impossible to avoid water, or if you are going on a journey and there’s a water crossing, then you have to go through the water. So, in any case, if your car won’t start after driving through water, then you have to wait until the water gets dried and the engine comes to its regular work. 

Most car engine starting issues resolve by drying their components, but if your engine is still not starting its operation, then read the entire article to get an idea about different issues that happen after driving through the water and their solutions.

6 Checks for a Car that Won’t Start After Driving through Water

Car running through water

Why Won’t My Car Start After Driving through Water? Find Out Now!

1. Check Your Car’s Interior and Computer

Water goes into the car’s compartments; driving through water can damage the car’s interior. It will likely damage the seats, mats, and cushions. The wet seats and mats can damage the car’s electrical components, such as a computer that is usually placed under the seat or in the floorboard. 


If your car won’t start, it might be because the water makes its way into the cabin; you will have to suck it. Check if your car floor and mats have water, use a vacuum cleaner, and vacuum all the water from your car to prevent computer damage. If the vacuum cleaner is unavailable, you can use a cloth or towel for water-removing. Remove your car seats and let your car window open so fresh air and sunlight can go through it. Fresh air and sunlight will help dry the car.

2. Dead Battery

Components that contain electrical components should not be exposed to water as much as possible; they should be kept apart. There is a high chance of battery damage when you go through water. Don’t worry if you have a battery issue after driving through the water; it’s a common issue you can easily resolve.


This is the easiest problem to find and resolve; if your battery is dead, you must replace it with a newer one. Use electricity and fire-resistance gloves, as the water inside the battery may electrocute you or overheat. Although it is the most straightforward process, be careful; it can be dangerous.

3. Malfunctioning Catalytic Converter

You may face the failure of the catalytic converter if you drive your car deep in the water. It is when you are deep in the water and press the accelerator, allowing the water to get into the exhaust system and affect the catalytic converter. It is suggested not to take your car in deep water. 


This issue also has a simple solution like battery replacement; you must replace the catalytic converter to fix this problem. You can easily replace the defective converter with the new one. You may face difficulty with its bolts as they lose their shape due to rust. Use any lubricate and leave it for a while. This can lose the crew’s grip, and you can easily open the screw. Then add a new catalytic converter by using new screws to place it. Make sure there’s no leakage in the converter.

4. Damaged Electrical Components

It is the most common problem, and almost every single person is well aware of it. Usually, most cars have their electric system placed on the lower side so the wires can easily come in contact with the water. The water can cause short circuits, and in the reaction, one or more than one component of your car can become faulty, which results in interior lights not turning on or the entire car not starting. 


Finding the exact part affected by the water can be a real pain. Sometimes there are multiple electric components damaged. So I suggest you take your car to the mechanic as he can find the issue and resolve it for you. Lastly, it can profoundly affect your wallet as there’s more than less chance of repair, you have to replace these water-damaged parts.

5. Water In The fluids

The water may have entered the fuel system. If your car won’t start after you’ve driven through water, engine oil, breather system, transmission oil, or cylinders may be affected. There’ll be a hydro lock condition as the pistons cannot compress the water. Continuous starting may cause connection damage.


Check the engine fluids carefully. Having your car checked by a mechanic will prevent engine damage caused by contaminated fluid. If your engine fluids are contaminated with water, you must replace it for good engine health. 

You can use a starter to crank the engine and remove the water. If your engine oil’s color is mild and not so thick, drain it and add new engine oil.

6. Damaged Head Gasket

You may have damaged your head gasket. This is probably a chance if you drove through deep water and your car died after driving through it. Damage to the valves is also possible. So it is suggested not to go in the deep water.


If the water damages your car’s head gaskets, then go to the mechanic and take his services to resolve your issue. He will easily remove the water inside the head gasket. It is expensive to repair and replace, so try to avoid removing water from it yourself.


Here are the most common issues you may face after driving through the water. Most of the time issue is resolved by just drying out the water. But if your car won’t start, you must find out if its fluid is contaminated. Suppose it’s contaminated; remove all of the fluid and fill new fluid in the engine. If your battery or catalytic converter is damaged, then replace them. 

If car wiring has an issue, try to find and resolve it, or you can take mechanic services. Lastly, if your car’s head gasket is filled with water so you can remove the water and repair it with the help of experts. 

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