What is a Hydrolocked Engine?


If you live in the Lower Mainland, you’ve probably heard the term “hydrolocked” before when someone was describing what happened to their vehicle after driving through flood water, or even while 4-x4-ing around in Stave Lake.

The puddles we drive through as Vancouverites are more like ponds, than they are actual puddles. And 4×4-ing through muddy terrain or rock crawling in the creek is only good if you have a properly secured snorkel on your vehicle. Which is why hydrolocking your engine can be easier than you might think.

This poses the question, for those who aren’t familiar, which is, “what does hydrolocking your engine mean?”. If you ever exposure your vehicle to considerable amounts of flood water, mud, creek or river water, or any other type of significant water sources, you’ll quickly find out.

What Does it Mean When Your Motor is Hydrolocked?

Hydro lock is actually a shortened term used by mechanics and the general public to describe hydrostatic lock.


When your vehicle’s motor incurs hydrostatick lock, it means that water has gotten into your internal combustion engine, which causes all kinds of problems for its operation. It’s normal to incur some moisture under the hood as vehicles are made to be driven in the rain, sleet, and snow. However, when too much water gets into your vehicle’s motor, it quite literally locks up.

This is because your engine is comprised of many intricate moving parts. These parts require a certain amount of lubrication to function properly, and when water overpowers the amount of lubrication, it causes these parts to seize up.

If you don’t get your vehicle serviced immediately after getting water in your engine, it can lead to total engine failure. We see MORE dead engines come through our doors (figuratively, of course) than anything else. And in many cases, it’s from not having hydrolock assessed at the onset.

Hydrolock Can Cause:

  • Oil, gas, or transmission fluid contamination
  • Electrical malfunctions and failures
  • Rust and corrosion throughout the engine
  • Damage to bearings, cylinders, and piston rings
  • Fouling of spark plugs, leading to complete failure
  • Engine failure
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You might think that driving through those big puddles on our mediocrely maintained city roads in Metro Vancouver won’t cause any harm. However, it most definitely can. While splashing through puddles may seem fun at the time, it can very quickly lead to hydrolock when those enormous Vancouver puddles splash up into your car’s engine.

Signs Your Engine is Hydrolocked Include:

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  • Having a hard time starting your car
  • Incurring a sudden loss of power or stalling
  • Rough idling engine
  • Strange engine noises you’ve not heard before
  • Smoking billowing out from your engine
  • Fluid leaks
  • Low oil pressure

Having a hydrolocked engine is one of the frequent reasons we see people scrap their cars for cash in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. While you can sometimes only experience the need for a small repair, the work that needs to be done is typically huge. This, naturally, results in a high mechanics bill for the labour costs alone.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Hydrolocked Motor?

The cost to repair hydrolock is incredibly different depending on how much damage has been done to your engine, and where in your engine received the most water damage.

The cost can be minimal in some cases, but more often than not, it’s extremely expensive to repair an engine that is damaged due to hydrolock.

This is due in part because it’s not just engine failure that happens, it’s other important components that also get affected when they are water-logged.

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Once your engine becomes hydrolocked, you will notice an immediate change to the sound it makes. First, you’ll notice sputtering and gurgling, then, you’ll almost instantly notice that your vehicle either isn’t turning over upon start-up, or it has incredible difficultly starting (if at all).

Once you reach that point, engine replacement is inevitable. This is when your repairs could cost upwards of $8,000 to replace your engine, depending on the type of vehicle you drive. In this instance, it’s better to scrap your car for cash when ICBC won’t cover the cost of replacement or repairs.

We Pay MORE Cash for Cars with Hydrolocked Engines in the Lower Mainland

If you’ve got a vehicle that has been damaged due to the flood waters that we’ve experienced over the years in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, we want to buy it.

Even if your vehicle’s motor is hydrolocked due to excessive exposure to the Lower Mainland’s wonderful (being sarcastic here) atmospheric rivers and forever rising flood waters during the late winter and spring seasons.

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There is another atmospheric river system expected to hit Vancouver in the next couple of days, so if you’ve got a vehicle sitting outside that you aren’t driving, give us a call. Or, if you experience hydrolock as a result of the latest atmospheric system that’s about to hit us, we’ll still buy your car.

Plus, we provide free scrap car removal, same day vehicle towing, roadside car removal from anywhere in the Lower Mainland, and MORE cash for scrap cars than any other local junk car buyers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Cash for Cars with Mechanical Failures

Hydrolock and a dead engine are not the only reasons that people have for scrapping a car, truck, SUV, or van in the Lower Mainland. Many other reasons occur as vehicles age, are subjected to harsh weather climates, or are involved in collisions. Fortunately, we pay MORE cash for cars with any kind of mechanical issues, electrical problems, or even collision damaged cars.

We Are Always Looking to Buy:

  • Vehicles with collision damage
  • Vehicles with flood damage
  • Vehicles with fire damage
  • ICBC write-offs
  • Cars and trucks with rust, corrosion, mould, or mildew
  • Vehicles with electrical problems
  • Vehicles with deployed airbags
  • Vehicles with hydrolocked or dead engines
  • Vehicles with failing or failed transmissions
  • Any unwanted vehicle for ANY reason!

We have been in the professional scrap car removal industry in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley since 2005. So, we’ve seen it all when it comes to junk vehicles.

No matter what issues you have with your vehicle, no matter where it’s located, we’ll come pick it up for free, and pay you MORE cash for it than any other local scrap car removal company in the Lower Mainland area.

How Can I Scrap My Car for Cash in Vancouver?

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Simple; you call More Cash For Scrap! We offer MORE cash for scrap cars than any other Vancouver scrap car removal company in the Lower Mainland.

Just give our dedicated team of scrap car removal specialists a call and provide us with a few basic details about your car. Give us the make, model, year, condition, and location of the vehicle that you want to recycle. Then, we’ll make you an instant cash offer right over the phone.

If you accept our offer, we’ll arrange a day and time for our free towing service to come collect your car. This can be done 7 days a week, from 7:00 AM-11:00 PM. We even operate on most statutory holidays too!

Plus, we offer free roadside vehicle removal, so if your car broke down for the very last time on the side of the Lions Gate Bridge in rush hour, we’ll still come pick it up for free. Then, our tow truck driver will pay you cash in hand before leaving with your vehicle. It’s that simple!

Contact Our Scrap Car Removal Team Today

If you want to get paid MORE cash for your junk vehicle, give us a call. The process takes as little as 10 minutes to complete from when our tow truck arrives, to when it leaves you with cash in hand. Call, text, or email our team today and find out why we have been Vancouver’s #1 scrap car removal company since 2005.

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About the Author: scrapcar

Since 2005, we've specialized in turning our customer's scrap cars into quick cash. We buy vehicles in ANY condition and with ANY issues. We pay MORE cash for scrap cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island. If you want MORE cash, same day free junk car towing, and a reliable scrap car buying service, you want More Cash For Scrap.