You have probably seen how jeeps and some types of military trucks can go through water easily without damaging the car engine. You might have wondered whether this is possible with regular cars and whether the engines can withstand water. So, are the car engines waterproof and can they really go through water without any damage?
Most car engines are not waterproof but water-resistant, meaning that they can withstand a certain amount of water. However, some diesel engines have waterproof features so that they could resist water without any damage. Still, if water does not have anywhere to go, the engine will experience issues.
In this article, I will talk about car engines and their ability to deal with water. You will see which car engines have a higher tolerance for water, so they would be damaged if they are faced with a certain amount of it. I will also explain why you should avoid water in the engine bay even if your car engine is waterproof.
Are Car Engines Waterproof?
Military trucks and jeeps are higher than regular cars, and they have a more solid structure, especially when it comes to the engine. Most of them have waterproof engines, and they do not include a lot of electricity in the work of the car, therefore, most times, these cars can survive a big amount of water without any damage. However, this does not refer to regular cars, at least not to all of them.
You probably have wondered whether you can pass a shallow river without causing any damage to your car. If this is the case, it is wiser to inform yourself before even trying something like that. Most regular cars would not survive the water and they would break down immediately.
You can do that only if your car is properly structured to withstand water, and creating that kind of vehicle is quite complicated. The majority of cars have a water-resistant engine, not waterproof, meaning that they can deal with a certain amount of water as long as the water has someplace to go and leave some air for the engine to work properly. Even if your engine is waterproof, you still might question the ability of the car to go underwater or hosing it without any damage.
Any type of vehicle is designed to work by a combustion engine which releases exhaust gasses with the help of air as a source. If there is not much water around the engine or crossing a river that is not too deep, the engine will still have air to release the gasses under pressure. Therefore, when it comes to car engines and water, the issue arises due to lack of air.
So, if there is no more source of air in the car, the car engine will break down and the car will stop running. You can deal with the air intake by adding a snorkel to the car system. That is how military trucks operate and are able to pass through deep water without any damages.
Can You Waterproof The Car Engine?
Generally, you can waterproof both diesel and gasoline engines; however, it is a complicated process, and many times it may not result successfully. Normally, it is way easier to waterproof a diesel engine than the gasoline one. The gasoline engine contains spark plugs and ignition, which run on a high voltage and make the waterproofing process difficult, although not impossible.
On the other hand, diesel engines do not include an ignition system. Furthermore, the diesel engine contains a mechanical fuel pump for the injectors, and it includes mechanical transmission, meaning that there are no electronics involved for the control of the engine. Therefore, making the diesel car engine waterproof would be way easier and simpler.
However, even if you have a diesel engine, you still have to consider some features before starting the waterproofing procedure.
- Electrical components, such as control computers, fan motors, windshield wipers, batteries, lights, and so on, need to be properly sealed.
- Venting sources that have different purposes, also are required to be sealed.
- The fuel tank needs sealing as well.
- Any other chamber or section of the car that can be filled with water must be appropriately sealed.
Only if you cover all these things, i.e. there is the proper air intake and the exhaust gasses are taken care of, while the engine is completely waterproofed, then you can use your car underwater. In other words, you will not have to worry about the car breaking down or stop running once it is faced with a bigger amount of water since you have dealt with everything in a proper way.
What To Check After Driving Through Water?
If you still have not waterproofed your car engine, but you have run through deeper water, you will want to check whether everything is okay with the engine and the car system. Therefore, the first thing you need to check is the brakes. Usually, the brakes will be the first to show that the car is not running properly since wet brakes lose their grip.
Secondly, you will need to hear the engine sounds. If there is water in the engine, you will definitely hear some noise, and you will detect a strange behavior in the car due to the affected engine. So, you will be required to take your car to the mechanic or to repair it yourself because it will no longer work properly or at all.
Lastly, you will also need to check your electronics because they will not be able to work if there is water in the engine. However, if the fuse box is well protected, the electronic controls might not be affected.
Car engines are generally not waterproof, but water-resistant, so the engine will be protected if it comes in touch with a little bit of water. However, in the case of deep water, your car engine might be affected and interrupt the work of the car, so your vehicle will stop running.