Help.. I killed my engine after pressure wash (1 Viewer)

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Feb 13, 2021
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los angeles
I cleaned my engine 6 days ago with simple green and then pressure washed. I noticed that my battery died in the process, so I charged it and it started and ran the engine for 5 min. The following day, I wanted to see if my battery would hold charge and it started but required high RPM (>1000) to maintain the engine from stalling and I could smell the gas from the exhaust. I ran for codes and it displayed P1126, which was magnetic clutch malfunction/short and I then began troubleshooting. I checked the resistance in the APS, TPS, magnetic clutch and motor resistance as per manual and everything was within spec. With the ignition on, I could see the throttle valve move with me pressing on the accelerator. For good measure, I cleaned the perimeter of the throttle body with a cleaner and rag and also cleaned the MAF sensor. Still it didn't idle correctly, so I took out all of the coils and found cylinder 1 and 3 to have some water around it. I used a air compressor and dried the coils as well as blew out the water polling in the engine. Only found water in cylinder 3, but then removed the spark plugs in 1, 3, and 2 and the plugs looked ok. I put back the coils, plugs and intake and hoped that it would all work but it still was rough idling. I ran for codes and now, it is P0300, P0301, P0303, P0308. Random misfiring. I am concerned that the water could have affected the many electrical connectors in the engine bay. I looked over the camshaft position and crankshaft sensor for retained water, but it seemed dry. I then cleaned every electrical connector with a cleaner and put dielectric grease in the connector.

I am so sorry for the long post but it was the only way that I could describe my thought process and troubleshooting. I just bought the running car last week and I wanted to clean the engine bay thoroughly, to look for gasket leaks and the power steering leak. I have no real experience troubleshooting cars and thought that the experts in the forum might be able to lead me down the right path.

what should I do next? replace the coils in 1,3, 8? I just purchase the techstream cable, will this help me troubleshoot and how do I use it?

thanks for any input!
 

Kabanstva

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I cleaned my engine 6 days ago with simple green and then pressure washed. I noticed that my battery died in the process, so I charged it and it started and ran the engine for 5 min. The following day, I wanted to see if my battery would hold charge and it started but required high RPM (>1000) to maintain the engine from stalling and I could smell the gas from the exhaust. I ran for codes and it displayed P1126, which was magnetic clutch malfunction/short and I then began troubleshooting. I checked the resistance in the APS, TPS, magnetic clutch and motor resistance as per manual and everything was within spec. With the ignition on, I could see the throttle valve move with me pressing on the accelerator. For good measure, I cleaned the perimeter of the throttle body with a cleaner and rag and also cleaned the MAF sensor. Still it didn't idle correctly, so I took out all of the coils and found cylinder 1 and 3 to have some water around it. I used a air compressor and dried the coils as well as blew out the water polling in the engine. Only found water in cylinder 3, but then removed the spark plugs in 1, 3, and 2 and the plugs looked ok. I put back the coils, plugs and intake and hoped that it would all work but it still was rough idling. I ran for codes and now, it is P0300, P0301, P0303, P0308. Random misfiring. I am concerned that the water could have affected the many electrical connectors in the engine bay. I looked over the camshaft position and crankshaft sensor for retained water, but it seemed dry. I then cleaned every electrical connector with a cleaner and put dielectric grease in the connector.

I am so sorry for the long post but it was the only way that I could describe my thought process and troubleshooting. I just bought the running car last week and I wanted to clean the engine bay thoroughly, to look for gasket leaks and the power steering leak. I have no real experience troubleshooting cars and thought that the experts in the forum might be able to lead me down the right path.

what should I do next? replace the coils in 1,3, 8? I just purchase the techstream cable, will this help me troubleshoot and how do I use it?

thanks for any input!
I’ll say this, I’ve used a pressure washer on my engine bay in the LX many times. Same process as you, APC>Foam cannon>pressure wash and blow dry with the Metrovac 8hp blower. Never had an issue. I did my friends 04 Land Cruiser same way and no issues. Same goes for every family car and never had issues. All those connectors are waterproof. I’d be shocked you somehow got water inside the connector. I use a 2,000psi Ryobi pressure washer from Home Depot about 1-2ft away.
 
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Also, I wanted to mention that I bought a new battery and checked the voltage at the terminal with the car running to see if my alternator is working. voltage was 14.2 or so.
 
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likely in the salvage yard
I’ll say this, I’ve used a pressure washer on my engine bay in the LX many times. Same process as you, APC>Foam cannon>pressure wash and blow dry with the Metrovac 8hp blower. Never had an issue. I did my friends 04 Land Cruiser same way and no issues. Same goes for every family car and never had issues. All those connectors are waterproof. I’d be shocked you somehow got water inside the connector. I use a 2,000psi Ryobi pressure washer from Home Depot about 1-2ft away.
Same here never an issue I've been doing mine at the carwash for years.
 
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What cleaner did you use on the MAF sensor?
CRC throttle body cleaner, but I am considering buying a new MAF sensor. I am surprised that no codes are displayed other than the random misfiring code when the engine is running.
 
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likely in the salvage yard
The fuel smell in the exhaust is why I asked abt the maf. I think CRC has a separate cleaner for MAFS and electrical components.. not sure though..

Learn everything you can abt. The codes before you start swapping parts. Stick to oem parts when you do decide to swap any. By tomorrow morning alot of smart people will have read your thread and will offer ideas to solve the issues so just be patient and methodical.
 
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The fuel smell in the exhaust is why I asked abt the maf. I think CRC has a separate cleaner for MAFS and electrical components.. not sure though..

Learn everything you can abt. The codes before you start swapping parts. Stick to oem parts when you do decide to swap any. By tomorrow morning alot of smart people will have read your thread and will offer ideas to solve the issues so just be patient and methodical.
I read online that throttle body cleaner should work on MAFS but I wondered that too since I saw the specific cleaner at the auto store. I wonder if I should look for vacuum leaks. I didn't clamp the hoses down after reinstalling the intake and I am also wondering about the PCV valve leaking.
 

ramangain

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You have misfire events, no need to poke around the MAF.

Start swapping ignition coils to see if the codes follow the coil locations. Then move on to spark plugs. It may be time to replace plugs/coils anyways, this could be the triggering event.
 
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md
Does anyone think he has hydrolocked his engine? If there was truly water in a cylinder after running for five minutes? I’d hate to know how much there was to start...
I’ve pressure washed every engine I’ve owed for more than twenty years with no issues. There’s plenty of tips out there to help prevent possible flooding of different areas. Agitation with a brush is better than an pressure you could safely use. 2000 psi is not the same on every machine, it’s the volume of water (and gas or electric) at that psi that really determines a safe distance.

A couple factors play in here. The strength of the detergent used and the temp of the water. Grease or oil does not move without the proper combo. You should never have to get too close to anything in an engine if this is correct.

good luck op. Let us No more about the exact location of the water you found if possible.
 
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I recently had the misfire issue on my son’s Escape after a heavy rain. I ended up replacing the coil boots, and all is well. Old boots can have micro cracks in them, and when they get wet you get arcing. They can’t really dry out in the wells.
You may try pulling them and let them air dry for a day. New boots are only ~$40 at Rockauto.
 
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I recently had the misfire issue on my son’s Escape after a heavy rain. I ended up replacing the coil boots, and all is well. Old boots can have micro cracks in them, and when they get wet you get arcing. They can’t really dry out in the wells.
You may try pulling them and let them air dry for a day. New boots are only ~$40 at Rockauto.
I might try replacing the coil first in cylinder 3 where I found pooling water in the well surrounding the spark well. The amount was maybe 2 tablespoons of water which I blew off before taking out the spark plugs and inspecting them. I only removed 3 spark plugs in total for inspection but removed all coils to air dry for a day.
 

AlpineAccess

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Does anyone think he has hydrolocked his engine? If there was truly water in a cylinder after running for five minutes? I’d hate to know how much there was to start...
I’ve pressure washed every engine I’ve owed for more than twenty years with no issues. There’s plenty of tips out there to help prevent possible flooding of different areas. Agitation with a brush is better than an pressure you could safely use. 2000 psi is not the same on every machine, it’s the volume of water (and gas or electric) at that psi that really determines a safe distance.

A couple factors play in here. The strength of the detergent used and the temp of the water. Grease or oil does not move without the proper combo. You should never have to get too close to anything in an engine if this is correct.

good luck op. Let us No more about the exact location of the water you found if possible.

No, he should be good there. It takes the motor ingesting a fair amount of water (half a cup or more) while running, usually while hot. A v8 can burn off a small amount of water but will be getting misfire codes, especially if the motor is cold and warming up the water with the block.

Pulling plugs, pulling efi relay and cranking the motor is good start but even a small amount of water still in there will cause misfiring.

I don't see this as super likely. There is a ring seal around the coilpacks and unless the spark plugs were very loose, water would have been visible in the spark plugs tubes.
 
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I cleaned my engine 6 days ago with simple green and then pressure washed. I noticed that my battery died in the process, so I charged it and it started and ran the engine for 5 min. The following day, I wanted to see if my battery would hold charge and it started but required high RPM (>1000) to maintain the engine from stalling and I could smell the gas from the exhaust. I ran for codes and it displayed P1126, which was magnetic clutch malfunction/short and I then began troubleshooting. I checked the resistance in the APS, TPS, magnetic clutch and motor resistance as per manual and everything was within spec. With the ignition on, I could see the throttle valve move with me pressing on the accelerator. For good measure, I cleaned the perimeter of the throttle body with a cleaner and rag and also cleaned the MAF sensor. Still it didn't idle correctly, so I took out all of the coils and found cylinder 1 and 3 to have some water around it. I used a air compressor and dried the coils as well as blew out the water polling in the engine. Only found water in cylinder 3, but then removed the spark plugs in 1, 3, and 2 and the plugs looked ok. I put back the coils, plugs and intake and hoped that it would all work but it still was rough idling. I ran for codes and now, it is P0300, P0301, P0303, P0308. Random misfiring. I am concerned that the water could have affected the many electrical connectors in the engine bay. I looked over the camshaft position and crankshaft sensor for retained water, but it seemed dry. I then cleaned every electrical connector with a cleaner and put dielectric grease in the connector.

I am so sorry for the long post but it was the only way that I could describe my thought process and troubleshooting. I just bought the running car last week and I wanted to clean the engine bay thoroughly, to look for gasket leaks and the power steering leak. I have no real experience troubleshooting cars and thought that the experts in the forum might be able to lead me down the right path.

what should I do next? replace the coils in 1,3, 8? I just purchase the techstream cable, will this help me troubleshoot and how do I use it?

thanks for any input!
Posting year & mileage is helpful. Tip: Can be added signture line.

I've washed more 2UZ engine than can can remember. No real issue from washing, other than idler & tensioner pulley bearing if marginal condition will squeal as will old drive belt. Although water can get into intake port/cylinders pass intake manifold gasket. In 98-05 if intake manifold bolts loose or bad gasket (old reused), from a previous service. In the 06-07 VVT engine intake gasket is different, in that it's rubber. Which I've seen water pass the rubber gasket when engine cold, even if bolt tight. But typically such small amount get into cylinders, no damage to engine as long as run within 2 weeks or less (rust concerns). Water entry here, does make for a rough start and running for a few minutes. After complet engine warm-up to op temp, should run fine. May need to run on HWY at high RPM to blow out and burn out.

We've issue with spark plugs walking out. If your plugs are/were loose from walking out or not torqued in last service. Water pooling in spark plug tubes, can enter cylinders. This makes hydro locking a possibility, more so than from intake manifold gaskets. Spark plugs Alert Alert Alert! - https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/spark-plugs-alert-alert-alert.1045750/

Water in spark plug tubes, does indicate your coil(s) top rubber seal is old and has shrunken. Which would indicate coils need at minimum to be rebooted (Dense boot kit).

The 98-02 has a rubber grommet the PCV valve plugs into head cover. These grommets, get old hard and shrink. Water can enter crank case from here.

P1126, could be water entry into wire harness block of TB or related. These have seals, but if wire block housing not firmly seated or seals in poor condition. I could than imagine water shorting. Drying out and they should be fine.

Here's what I'd do:
I'd clear codes, than disconnect battery neg post clamp for 20 minutes or more. Check oil condition, level and for water. Check all vacuum lines, wire harness and their connector housings while waiting. Couldn't hurt to test MAF function also, but not likely not cause of just 3 cylinders, but than you do have a P0300. Swap coils; Say # 8 with #6, #1 with #2, #3 with #4.

Start engine and keep running until at operating temp at minimum, drive around if you can. Even get on HWY if you can or drive around the block in low gear to get RPM high for 5 minutes once at op temp. Make very sure you've good oil in crank case before running at high RPM.

Read for codes again, see if any pending or current and if so did P03-- moved to different cylinder corresponding to coils movement. If codes moved with coils you've likely coils/spark plugs gone bad. If codes did not move, check for spark on those cylinders setting off codes. If spark is present, I'd do compression test.


Spark plugs test & cleaning (2).JPG


spark test.JPG


Also worth note: Small amount of water into cylinder. Can dislodge lot of carbon. This can then foul A/F & O2 sensors and CATs. The high RPM run for 5 minutes or more, can cook this off and correct.


Tip for future reference:
When cleaning top of engine. Keep front end of vehicle higher than rear. This way water flows back and out of valley drain holes and off head area. In most case I start with a cold engine, then start and let idle as I wash top of engine.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
32
Location
los angeles
Posting year & mileage is helpful. Tip: Can be added signture line.

I've washed more 2UZ engine than can can remember. No real issue from washing, other than idler & tensioner pulley bearing if marginal condition will squeal as will old drive belt. Although water can get into intake port/cylinders pass intake manifold gasket. In 98-05 if intake manifold bolts loose or bad gasket (old reused), from a previous service. In the 06-07 VVT engine intake gasket is different, in that it's rubber. Which I've seen water pass the rubber gasket when engine cold, even if bolt tight. But typically such small amount get into cylinders, no damage to engine as long as run within 2 weeks or less (rust concerns). Water entry here, does make for a rough start and running for a few minutes. After complet engine warm-up to op temp, should run fine. May need to run on HWY at high RPM to blow out and burn out.

We've issue with spark plugs walking out. If your plugs are/were loose from walking out or not torqued in last service. Water pooling in spark plug tubes, can enter cylinders. This makes hydro locking a possibility, more so than from intake manifold gaskets. Spark plugs Alert Alert Alert! - https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/spark-plugs-alert-alert-alert.1045750/

Water in spark plug tubes, does indicate your coil(s) top rubber seal is old and has shrunken. Which would indicate coils need at minimum to be rebooted (Dense boot kit).

The 98-02 has a rubber grommet the PCV valve plugs into head cover. These grommets, get old hard and shrink. Water can enter crank case from here.

P1126, could be water entry into wire harness block of TB or related. These have seals, but if wire block housing not firmly seated or seals in poor condition. I could than imagine water shorting. Drying out and they should be fine.

Here's what I'd do:
I'd clear codes, than disconnect battery neg post clamp for 20 minutes or more. Check oil condition, level and for water. Check all vacuum lines, wire harness and their connector housings while waiting. Couldn't hurt to test MAF function also, but not likely not cause of just 3 cylinders, but than you do have a P0300. Swap coils; Say # 8 with #6, #1 with #2, #3 with #4.

Start engine and keep running until at operating temp at minimum, drive around if you can. Even get on HWY if you can or drive around the block in low gear to get RPM high for 5 minutes once at op temp. Make very sure you've good oil in crank case before running at high RPM.

Read for codes again, see if any pending or current and if so did P03-- moved to different cylinder corresponding to coils movement. If codes moved with coils you've likely coils/spark plugs gone bad. If codes did not move, check for spark on those cylinders setting off codes. If spark is present, I'd do compression test.


View attachment 2597845

View attachment 2597846

Also worth note: Small amount of water into cylinder. Can dislodge lot of carbon. This can then foul A/F & O2 sensors and CATs. The high RPM run for 5 minutes or more, can cook this off and correct.


Tip for future reference:
When cleaning top of engine. Keep front end of vehicle higher than rear. This way water flows back and out of valley drain holes and off head area. In most case I start with a cold engine, then start and let idle as I wash top of engine.
thanks for your advice. this morning, I looked for vacuum leaks and I think that I found a large one within the flexible intake ducting right after the MAFS. I taped it with electrical tape and it stabilized the idle. After warming and running it for 15 min, I noticed that the idle pulses between 800-1100 but it does sound much better. I ran the codes and I still get P300, but now different codes p302,304,306, 308. Never got these in the past. Not sure what you think but instead of tracking the coils and plugs, I will change the intake ducting first and then see if I need to replace anything else. I am still concerned about MAFS and a stuck PCV valve and perhaps how it can be affecting the idle.

by the way, I have a 2000 landcruiser with 218k. I guess that after I figure the rest of this out, I will finally start to baseline it.
 

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