Repairing a floodwater-damaged engine

Machinery damaged by floodwater

Do not attempt to restart any flood-affected engine until it has been inspected by a trained mechanic.

  • Disconnect battery terminals if this wasn't done prior to flooding.
  • Check all oil levels and oil for discolouration. This includes gearboxes, transmission, differentials and hydraulic reservoirs. If water has risen high enough, it will have entered through the breathers for all of these.
  • Drain 1-4L of lubricating oil from the oil pan drain plug. If there is water in the oil, or the oil is over full or discoloured, drain the oil, change filters and refill the system with new oil as soon as possible.
  • Drain 1-4L of fuel from the drain plug on all fuel tanks. If there is water in the fuel, drain and replace all of the fuel in the tanks, fuel hoses and fuel filters. Clean the interior of the fuel tank and hoses. Drain some fuel from the fuel pump and check for water. If there is water in the fuel pump, completely drain the pump and fill it with clean fuel.
  • Remove the injectors and turn the engine over by hand to ensure that it turns over normally. Attempt to rotate the crank shaft by hand only using hand tools. Do not crank the starter motor.
  • If the crank shaft will not turn without undue effort for 2 full crank shaft revolutions, contact your machine manufacturer for information on servicing the machine. Even if the motor turns freely, we strongly recommend that you have a trained and qualified technician inspect it for other possible damage.
  • If the motor can be turned easily, it is still a good idea to remove and inspect all of the injectors. Rotate the crank shaft to remove any liquid from the power cylinder. Squirt 30ml of clean engine oil into each cylinder and rotate the engine no less than 2 revolutions.
  • Remove any water found under the rocker lever covers. Make note of the amount of corrosion/rust in this area. Generally, the darker the red colour of the corrosion, the shorter the engine life will be.
  • Remove all air filters and check the filters and housings for any sign of water. If there is any indication that the filter elements have been, or are, wet, replace all air filters.

Electrical and other components

Water will cause extensive damage to electronics and other components such as bearings and seals. Do not move boards or components in an effort to dry them out, as this may lead to further damage and jeopardise any potential warranty or insurance claims.