Can hydro locking damage the engine completely?


In Hydro locking, a heavy amount of liquid is ingested by the engine which ultimately seizes the engine. The only reason for this is that the liquid cannot be compressed so when it is ingested in the cylinders of the engine then it seizes it. So this state of locking is called hydro locking.

The straight answer to the statement that the hydro locking damages the engine is yes. But it is the type and amount of liquid that determines the extent of the damage. For example, if a small amount of liquid hits or enters the cylinders of the engine of a car then the engine will not be seized immediately. It will start a kind of a misfire. Generally, this amount of liquid is thrown out by the exhaust. But if the amount of liquid is more than a certain limit then it creates a problem for the engine. Such an amount of liquid can produce a knocking sound and may result in shutting off the engine of your vehicle.

What Causes an Engine to Hydro Lock?

As told earlier the main cause of hydro locking of the engine is entering water or liquid into the air intake. Most of the time it happens when you are driving the car through the water. Again the other cause of water entering the air intake is the flood at a mega level which wreaks havoc with the engine. So another cause can be a full-scale flood that struck your area.

But at the same time, there could also be some other reason for hydro locking. Sometimes, you without being in the know, drive the car at a speed that fails the head gas kit of your car. The cause of the failure of the head gas kit is the overheating of the engine.   In this case water in the radiator or the coolant in your car, enters the cylinders that cause seizure of the engine.

Another cause of entering liquid into the car cylinders is failure of the carburettor in the car. Such failure can make the gasoline or diesel enter the cylinders that causes failure of engine. So the ultimate cause of hydro locking is the hydro itself that enters the cylinders one way or the other.

What is damaged by the Hydro Lock?

As told earlier, your car cylinders may face a small amount of liquid or water. In this case, it may not cause a complete engine failure but only partial damage is expected.  But if the amount of water that is entering the car cylinders is big, then the damage is also big. It results in complete damage to your car engine. Following are the main parts that can come across damage; Piston Damage cylinder walls crack, connecting rods bend, Connecting Rods Snap & Go through the oil pan, cooling system, cold water Shock to hot Engine, head Gasket Failure, catalytic Converter Damage, rod bearing washout etc, crankshaft Damage

But the fact of the matter remains that the amount of water or liquid determines the damage to the engine. And again where this liquid has come from also determines the damage. But this is for sure that the big leak will bring big damage.  Usually, the big liquid leak occurs when the speed of the engine is high for in low engine speed the damage remains at a low level.

Tiny Leaks and damage

The quantity, as is told earlier, determines the extent of the damage. The other thing is that the speed of the engine also determines the damage to the engine. If the speed is idle the result will be a mere stoppage with no turnover. In this case, there will be no complete damage to the engine. And only a few components shall be damaged. You can correct the damage by just removing the spark plugs and the other name of the spark plugs is injectors. After you remove the spark plugs just turn over the engine. It will help turn the liquid out of the cylinders of the engine of the car. After this process, you can normally start the engine and treat it as a normal engine. So in another case, if the hydro lock has been caused by the head gas kit, in this case, the head gas kit can be changed or removed and replaced with the new one and your car engine will be as normal as before. But do it immediately after it comes to your notice that coolant has entered the cylinders.

If that is not done immediately then the damage to the engine will only worsen for the coolant damages the bearing material of the engine. But remember that though a big loss of material may not occur yet it may cause damage to the following parts of the engine; starter, flywheel, transmission, head gas kit leak, engine block, transmission housing, connecting rods, pistons etc.

Always keep in mind that the fluid may enter the cylinders by any means that may include driving through the water or flood or by any other means. So better you avoid driving through water or through flood water. And always keep an eye on the heat stick of your car so that you may not come across any failure of the head gas kit. And also remember that hydro locking can occur any time the fluid enters the cylinders. So a regular inspection and service are required on a permanent basis from some reliable service and repair centre.

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