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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went to local grocery store 1/2 mile from home. Rain was pretty heavy and the parking lot was flooded in a few spots. A mini cooper was parked in a spot and the water was about 2" from the bottom of the door. I went out one of the exits which had water to the top of the curve, 8"-10" maybe. At the deepest, I figure it was just shy of door level, I saw a Toyota Camry, Chevy Impala, Ford Explorer, and a Mini Cooper drive through it. About 50ft through the puddle, my car started to buckle, and I thought it was going to die. I made it through and was waiting at the light and the car shut off. I waited a min and tried starting the car and it wouldn't start and ended up calling a tow truck. When the car was put on the flatbed, I looked at the exhaust to see if water would come out, but nothing. The dealer called to tell me the engine was hydrolocked and they couldn't crank it, most likely will need a new engine! I can't believe how this is possible, has anyone else had such issues?
 

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While I cannot be sure of all the particulars of how water might have entered your engine, I can say that it does not take standing eater even as deep as you describe in order for water to get into the air intake on the Metris.

On a recent cross country trip, we encountered nearly 450 miles of sometimes torrential rain driving from Baton Rouge to Dallas. During one of the worst periods, the Check Engine light came on and put the engine into protection mode where it turns into a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engine that hasn’t been serviced in several seasons.

During a discussion at the Dallas MB dealer, I wondered if rain water might have found its way into the air box and the tech confirmed that the intake was aimed at the open area in the right front wheel well. There is every reason to believe that the rain or standing water coming off the spinning right front wheel could throw water into the airbox that feeds the fuel delivery system.
Whether that opportunity is sufficient to allow enough water through the airbox and ultimately into the engine at a volume that would stop the engine from turning over seems a bit unlikely, but where there is an opportunity, there might be a way.

After my experience, I slow down during hard rain events and always avoid standing water more than a few inches deep and then only proceed at a crawl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've lived in FL for over 30 years and I've been through my share of rain and hurricanes. This is the first time I've had a car I owned have such an issue. I'm a bit disappointed and scared to own this car now. I love the car for my work and couldn't think of another vehicle I would rather have. I guess the next best option is a Sprinter 4x4 with a snorkel. Kidding aside, I hope there is a better explanation of the issue. I wonder how much a new engine swap is going to cost from the dealership. Or is the car going to be considered total due to water damage?
 

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The air intake on the Metris is in the same place it is on most MB vehicles, it enters the front grille area from the passenger side....and is way up off the ground....additionally the air intake actually goes back, UP, then over into the air cleaner. Hydrolocking seems like it would be VERY difficult unless you just plow into a massive pool of water at a good speed....the intake has got to be like over 30" off the ground....

I've driven mine through a few torrential rains with 0 issues at freeway speeds.
 

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I think the question is whether or not water from a spinning tire could get directed into the air intake path. The tech who inspected my van after it threw a CEL said he thought that was a possibility.

I have not crawled under to check out the pathways
 

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I think the question is whether or not water from a spinning tire could get directed into the air intake path. The tech who inspected my van after it threw a CEL said he thought that was a possibility.

I have not crawled under to check out the pathways
The wheels are completely enlosed by body cladding....to have water do that you'd probably have to hit a several inch deep or greater pool of water at high speeds....at which point you'd be hydroplaning anyways.....
 
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I wonder if maybe some of the intake air plumbing is loose or missing. It comes in through the grill, then filter, then to turbo, down low through the intercooler, through that to left side and up to the throttle body, and enters the engine. I could see if any of the air piping is loose, damaged or missing down low around the IC, water could ingress there. Altough, you would be way down on power as the the turbo would no longer be providing pressurized air.

Bborzell, he is incorrect as to where air intake is...It's not in the wheel well. It's at the top of the grill right side. I can't imagine any vehicle getting it's intake air source from the wheel well area, to much dirt and debris in the area.
 
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