Need some info from car savvy peple

Discussion in 'Community' started by iJon, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #1
    This will probably not be a typical question but I've posted this at the Jeep forum too.

    Anyways last night some friends and I took the Liberty out on some offroading. We were caught up in the fun and wasn't thinking to much. Instead of crossing over this creek we decided to go down it. We had a ton of fun doing it, points where water was right below the top of hood (but not any higher than the Jeep certs for water forging).

    Car was fine during the whole time and drove it on land for another 2 hours or so afterwards. Well it's real cold here in Arkansas right now and I didn't think take my mom's BMW out of the garage and put mine in. In a nutshell, I have a frozen car. Can't roll it in the garage cause the transmission is frozen. Car won't start but the battery isn't dead, so my dad said it is probably the starter (something like that, not to car savvy) and the car just needs some warm weather to thaw out, which will be in a couple of days.

    What do you guys think, screwed my car up bad or just needs some thawing out. Also, if you are going to make suggestions I would appreciate them from just people who know what they are talking about. I can talk all day about just needing some thawing or how I screwed my car up, but I know nothing about cars. Hit me back with some feedback, or make fun of me :)

    jon
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Hmmm...I think your biggest problem is going to be with damage to electrical and electronic components. That is, the steering gear and the transmission impeller or gears won't be damaged because stuff froze around them, but some of the wiring, and possibly the sensors, might.

    Right now, I'm assuming your car won't start because the alternator tries to crank the engine, but the engine won't turn. Do you have an automatic or a manual? the engine probably isn't turning because something on the drive end of it is frozen stuck, or maybe even the crankshaft area is frozen stuck....

    You're probably best not testing that until it thaws.

    But after it does thaw, damage to electronics is still going to be an issue.

    In terms of what you can do about it though, I don't have as many suggestions...I think prolonged exposure to moisture is going to be bad for all the wiring, and if there is damage there, it's going to get very complicated to diagnose and repair, and be expensive for you. So I'm tempted to suggest some careful hair dryer action, but then, the rapid temperature changes are going to be a problem too.. All those components are water resistant, and frost resistant, but when the water freezes in-situ, there're a lot of opportunities for it to wick into bad places.

    I'm assuming in all this, that it's a relatively recent car...we're not talking about a 70s car now are we? :D
     
  3. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #3
    It's a automatic 4WD 2003 Jeep Liberty that still has a warranty :). Yeah the car will come on, all lights, radio and everything. Nothing starts though, probably cause everything is frozen.

    As for the wires, who knows, you could be right. Would there be anything to notice that would give away that the wires are also screwed. Also, I don't know how Jeep does the wires, they do engineer these cars to into water up to 4 feet deep and to go places where other cars and some suv's cannot. We will find out though. It will 48 degrees Saturday (27 tomorrow) so we will see then. Thanks for the info, any other info will be beneficial.

    jon
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    If you're getting interior electrical functions, that's actually a really good sign. That means that not only is the battery working, but a lot of the electronics are still working...for instance, if the idiot lights lit up when you tried to start the car, that means that the ECM is working, at least at a basic level, which is really good.
     
  5. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #5
    Awesome, idiot lights came on, headlights, fogs, tail lights, as well as my 4 lights on top. Thanks for the info again. I've learned to save these trips for the summer since my mom has two cars now and I have to park outside :(

    jon
     
  6. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    Did you have an engine block heater installed when you bought it?

    If not, you may want to consider installing one.
     
  7. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #7
    I don't believe so but I remember seeing one as an option install part. What exactly does it do.

    jon
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    Once, when I was in high school, we went off-roading in a construction site, in my friend's old Jeep Cherokee. He wasn't wearing his glasses or his contacts, but he didn't exactly mention it to us. We were just screwing around, and I didn't usually go out on larks like this, but at one point, he was careening straight toward a construction gate blocking exit to the road, and we all thought he was screwing around and would slam on the brakes, until we realized he didn't see it! And he rammed right into it, it rode up onto the hood, maybe 3/4 of the way to the windshield.

    The next morning, he drove it over, and was all, #$%@, what do I do now....

    So anyway, everyone should have at least one good car abuse story. It's like a right of passage.

    Mine is much more embarrassing...the first day I ever drove in snow, I put my Chrysler Laser (an Eclipse rebadge) into a ditch, 1/2 mile from home, and tore one of the CV boots. :(
     
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #9
    Lets see, while the Jeep vehicles can go into deep water they still need some water proofing.

    It's not really a good idea to go into deep water unless you know the vents won't let water into the front and rear dif, engine, computer, tranny, etc.

    They usually call these vehicles (Jeeps included) flood vehicle salvage.

    Could have water basically everywhere in the drivetrain (including the engine.)

    Or it could simply be water inside the starter motor freezing it solid.

    ---

    Anyway, not a real good idea to do this in the winter when the water tends to freeze solid instead of drying.
     
  10. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #10
    Oh I know it isn't a good idea. Didn't know the creek would be that deep until it already happened. Now if water is in the engine that would be what they call hydrolocking correct? I just happen to remember that when I researched CAI's for my old Acura TL. Now if it was hydrolocking (which I would be f***ed) would it have taken place as soon as the water got in there, being the creek or would it happen over time. Now remember, the intake on liberty was higher than the water depth. Isn't that the only way for it to get messed up, being water getting in the intake. And if that isn't true what would be the point of people getting snorkels on their cars?

    jon
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #11
    i don't like the sound of that. after driving 2 hours, i'd expect most of that water to make its way out. why do you say the transmission is frozen? if true, that sounds bad to me, 'cuz that's supposed to be water-tight (else the transmission fluid would leak out). maybe it's just ice freezing the wheels to the axles.

    as far as not starting, i could see the flywheel being frozen in place. have you popped the hood and watched the starter trying to engage the flywheel? might give you a better idea of which is the problem.

    i'll be at least a little surprised if nothing was actually damaged. good luck.
     
  12. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #12
    Actually I don't know exactly what is frozen, you can tell me. I went to take it out of park into neutral and it wouldn't move.

    Another thing I forgot to mention, another stupid problem of me completely ignoring the fact it was cold. We went to the automatic car wash to get all the mud off my car. But then drove for say another 30 minutes or so, maybe a little longer. Let the flames begin :(.

    jon
     
  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #13
    Nope, there are some breather tubes on some of the drivetrain components -- and the rest suck water in when they are suddenly cooled and the pressure inside suddenly drops.

    The engine itself it usually just a hydrolock problem, unless the engine tend to sit in deep water. ie, kill the engine in the middle of the stream.

    The electronics and the rest of the drivetrain are subject to water, and people get snorkles but forget about the rest.

    But if you got water in the rest of the drivetrain and are changing gear lube, fluid and repacking bearings, hubs, etc. -- why not spend the extra $10 on the motor oil?

    Edit: blame "thermal contraction of the gases/air inside the housings (especially in cold water), which is what causes the water to want to get in in the first place, may cause a seal or something to go if the vent is under water." -- from a deep water and your vehicle site.
     
  14. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #14
    Well soon it will be warm and hopefully things will be fixed. People on the Jeep forum agree as well that things are just frozen and things should be fine. I've also been reading some old threads on the Liberty forum and some of those guys have done much worse than mine and have had water over the hood and up to the windows. So assuming water freezing doesn't f*** up much other than not being able to start it until it thaws I might be good. This picture always gives me confidence, this guy was a little deeper than me as well.

    Keep bring the comments, I'm learning alot actually and I will keep you guys posted as it gets warmer in the next couple of days.

    jon
     

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  15. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    South Dakota, USA
    #15
    If you didn't get any water in the engine air intake then I doubt that you hurt your Jeep. If you are planning on fording a creek you probably want to have a good idea how deep it is before you drive your Jeep into it, because if it had been a lot deeper you might have had a serious problem. If you hurt the vehicle it probably would have showed up within the 2 hours of operation. Once it becomes operational again, take it for a long drive to help dry it out because if it is still wet, it will just freeze up again overnight. Most electronics are sealed pretty well on modern vehicles. The transmission and drive train is sealed, except some water in the U-joints of the drive line could cause problems, but will melt out.

    I doubt your transmission is frozen, it is most likely your brakes that are frozen. I have seen brakes freeze up on cars up north. Even in the winter if I am driving in snow, slush, ice, etc. in my Explorer, the next morning when I first take off it will make a "cracking" noise as the wheels break loose. Don't force it to move however. Yours is probably A LOT more frozen in place. Like someone else on here said, as far at the engine not starting, probably the flywheel or belt pulleys on the engine are frozen. The starter would not have enough power to break it loose if it is frozen solid.

    Good Luck and hope it all works out for you.
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #16
    If you can drive your car into a bit of water, I'm assuming the water never touches the engine compartment, right? If not, then how did the components freeze?

    Sorry, I know a bit about cars, but nothing really about cars like Jeeps and Hummers that can dread through water to a certain level. :eek:
     
  17. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    South Dakota, USA
    #17
    Engine compartments are not sealed on any vehicle. In fact they are pretty much wide open from the bottom, so that is how water flooded into the vehicle. Most vehicle owners manuals will not recommend fording water any higher then a foot or two because of these reasons, but I am sure the Jeep's don't have a problem with anything that is not over the hood.
     
  18. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #18
    Yeah I agree. Really in all honesty, this water isn't any deeper than stuff I've done before. Only difference I did it during the wrong time of the year and stuff is frozen.

    jon
     
  19. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #19
    Ah, youth. Such a wonderful time in life. :D

    Good luck, hope that a thaw will do the trick for you.
     
  20. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #20
    Let the jeep warm up. Even if you drove it around for a couple of hours, that was when everything was warm. Once it cooled, everything turned to ice. If you were really desperate, you could try heating it with a space heater (be careful).
     
  21. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #21
    Just two little questions:

    are you engaging the brake when trying to shift out of park? (I'm thinking neutral safety switch)

    do you have a garden hose inside the garage that you can pull out?
     
  22. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #22
    Engine block heaters plug into an outlet and heat the engine block (duh :p) before startup. They're especially helpful Up North™ and for diesels.
     
  23. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #23
    I'm not that desperate since we have other cars I can drive in the meantime until it warms up. And yes I am hitting the brake to disengage out of park, but the brakes feel real stiff too. I do have a garden hose I could use but wouldn't it just freeze all over again even more?

    jon
     
  24. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #24
    Use above freezing water to thaw it enough to put into neutral, then roll it into the garage to dry out.
     
  25. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #25
    Well we had some scorching temperatures that topped out at 41 today. Went outside and there were some nice water puddles underneath my car and that bad boy fired right up.

    Thanks for all the info guys, I must say it's been a fun experience and totally worth it, that' why I got a Jeep.

    jon
     

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