So, The amount of damage from a hydrolocked engine depends on the engines speed when the liquid was ingested.
Also, the amount; type of liquid and how it got in will have a major effect on what happens. So, When your engine first encounters a bit of extra liquid in the cylinders; your engine will begin to misfire. However, If it’s just a small amount of liquid; it might just blow it right out the exhaust. But, If more liquid is drawn in; you’ll hear a loud knocking noise as the cylinders fill up.
So, It could be just a second or two; and then your engine will shut off with a thud.
Causes Of A Hydrolocked Engine
By and large, the most common cause of a hydrolocked engine is; water entering the air intake. Water can enter the intake on any engine; whether it’s from driving through water or an actual flood.
Also, Engine coolant can enter the cylinders when a head gasket blows. A failure in the carburetor or injectors can introduce liquid gasoline or diesel into the cylinders.
Damage From A Hydrolocked Engine
Big Leak, Fast Engine Speed
The real damage occurs when a large volume of liquid makes its way into the cylinders.
Also, with higher engine speed comes more engine damage. ( Almost sounds like a quote from Spiderman )
The reaction forces involved will almost certainly break internal components like;
- Piston Damage
- Cylinder Walls Crack
- Connecting Rods Bend
- Connecting Rods Snap & Go through the oil pan
- Damage to the cooling system
- Cold Water Shock to Hot Engine
- Head Gasket Failure
- Catalytic Converter Damage
- Rod/Main Bearing Wash out
- Crankshaft Damage
Again, The amount of liquid ingested and where it came from will reflect the amount of damage.
Small Leak, Slow Engine Speed
The hydrolocked engine was a symptom; not the cause. So, If the liquid was introduced to the cylinder through a failed component; typically the head gasket; this must be repaired.
Furthermore, Coolant is corrosive to the internal parts of an engine. When you leave this standing for any length of time; the damage will only get worse. Remember engine coolant eats bearing material.