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Is there water in my motor? Struggles above 4000 rpm.

This is a discussion on Is there water in my motor? Struggles above 4000 rpm. within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hey Everyone, So, I washed my car last week and sparyed very lightly under the hood with some water. Immediately ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Is there water in my motor? Struggles above 4000 rpm.

    Hey Everyone,

    So, I washed my car last week and sparyed very lightly under the hood with some water. Immediately afterward, when I was getting on the freeway, I stabbed the throttle and when the motor reached about 4,000 rpm, I got a loss of power... it was like the motor was struggling to push any higher. I noticed it again today as I was getting on the freeway.

    I spoke to a local mechanic and he said that it's possible that water might have gotten in the combustion chamber, which acts like a "pressure cooker" and prevents the water from flowing out of the motor, just vaporizing and consolidating within the cylinder(s) forever until you take of the heads and dry it out.

    If so... can this harm the car? I was hoping to put on a LS6 intake in the future and possibly a cam... Could I just wait until I get one of those parts and address the problem then?

    Does this even sound like a symptom of water in the motor?

  2. #2
    Veteran Blackbird WS6's Avatar
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    you may have gotten the wires or coil packs somewhat wet.....something long those lines

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    Senior Member bills98ta's Avatar
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    I wouldn't talk to that mechanic ever again... "Pressure cooker"...
    Most likely, plug wires...

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Spark plug wires? So it becomes a timing issue? Is replacing them as simple as unplugging and plugging into a wall outlet? After a little research, I'm thinking about MSDs.

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    Veteran Blackbird WS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Spark plug wires? So it becomes a timing issue? Is replacing them as simple as unplugging and plugging into a wall outlet? After a little research, I'm thinking about MSDs.


    yes just unplug the old ones and put the new ones on...do one at a time and your fine

    i use MSD, no problems

    and no changing the wires is NOT a timing issue

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    I know that the the wires themselves are not a timing issue, but I figure if the motor runs just fine below 4000, then it's not for a lack of spark... but that if the problem is in the ignition system, it's causing (for whatever reason) a failure to advance the timing at high rpm...

    Unless, I suppose, if at higher rpms the moisture is interfering with the wires' ability to supply current as rapidly, since more rpms requires more sparks per minute.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bills98ta View Post
    I wouldn't talk to that mechanic ever again... "Pressure cooker"...
    Most likely, plug wires...
    ^^^ agreed

  8. #8
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Okay, I already have NGKs... if I go with MSDs, will I need to change out anything else? The coil, perhaps? Or will it all work just fine with the stock coil?

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    Veteran Blackbird WS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Okay, I already have NGKs... if I go with MSDs, will I need to change out anything else? The coil, perhaps? Or will it all work just fine with the stock coil?
    you have ngk plugs or wires?

    when you change the wise all you have to do is take the old ones off and put the new ones on...now keep in mind no one knows if its the wires, you may have a bad coil BUT you have to start somewhere
    Last edited by Blackbird WS6; 01-22-2011 at 10:58 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Sorry, NGK spark plugs. I understand that it's a trouble shooting process. But, like you said, gotta start somewhere. And if I get an upgrade out of it, all the better.

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    Veteran Blackbird WS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Sorry, NGK spark plugs. I understand that it's a trouble shooting process. But, like you said, gotta start somewhere. And if I get an upgrade out of it, all the better.
    when was the last time you changed your plugs? if its been a while i would do then with the wires

    only thing you can really upgrade are the coilpacks to the MSD ones but they cost alot and they aint worth a shit....i have a built engine and run the stock type coilpacks without problems
    Last edited by Blackbird WS6; 01-22-2011 at 11:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Hey Everyone,

    So, I washed my car last week and sparyed very lightly under the hood with some water. Immediately afterward, when I was getting on the freeway, I stabbed the throttle and when the motor reached about 4,000 rpm, I got a loss of power... it was like the motor was struggling to push any higher. I noticed it again today as I was getting on the freeway.

    I spoke to a local mechanic and he said that it's possible that water might have gotten in the combustion chamber, which acts like a "pressure cooker" and prevents the water from flowing out of the motor, just vaporizing and consolidating within the cylinder(s) forever until you take of the heads and dry it out.

    If so... can this harm the car? I was hoping to put on a LS6 intake in the future and possibly a cam... Could I just wait until I get one of those parts and address the problem then?

    Does this even sound like a symptom of water in the motor?
    Umm NO!

    Prolly ruined a coil have it scanned for free @ a local Autozone or Advance auto parts.. Not to your "local mechanic"..

    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Spark plug wires? So it becomes a timing issue? Is replacing them as simple as unplugging and plugging into a wall outlet? After a little research, I'm thinking about MSDs.
    I would consider having a reputable shop install them for you..
    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    I know that the the wires themselves are not a timing issue, but I figure if the motor runs just fine below 4000, then it's not for a lack of spark... but that if the problem is in the ignition system, it's causing (for whatever reason) a failure to advance the timing at high rpm...

    Unless, I suppose, if at higher rpms the moisture is interfering with the wires' ability to supply current as rapidly, since more rpms requires more sparks per minute.
    A weak or damaged coil can cause power loss @ any RPM's..

    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Okay, I already have NGKs... if I go with MSDs, will I need to change out anything else? The coil, perhaps? Or will it all work just fine with the stock coil?
    Not if it's a bad coil.. You have 8 of those by the way..
    Again, have it scanned..

    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Sorry, NGK spark plugs. I understand that it's a trouble shooting process. But, like you said, gotta start somewhere. And if I get an upgrade out of it, all the better.
    If you don't mind my asking.... Is this your first car ever?
    Last edited by Smittro; 01-22-2011 at 11:32 PM.
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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird-WS6 View Post
    when was the last time you changed your plugs? if its been a while i would do then with the wires
    They were installed by the previous owner 22000 miles ago (but that was in 2004)

    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Umm NO!

    Prolly ruined a coil have it scanned for free @ a local Autozone or Advance auto parts.. Not to your "local mechanic"..


    I would consider having a reputable shop install them for you..


    A weak or damaged coil can cause power loss @ any RPM's..



    Not if it's a bad coil.. You have 8 of those by the way..
    Again, have it scanned..



    If you don't mind my asking.... Is this your first car ever?
    My 4th car, actually. But the first one I've actually taken an interest in learning about, rather than just entrusting it to a shop whenever things go wrong.

    I'm trying to do as much as I can on my own so that I can become more knowledgable and proficient with automechanics/performance. So I'm a beginner... big deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Hey Everyone,

    So, I washed my car last week and sparyed very lightly under the hood with some water. Immediately afterward, when I was getting on the freeway, I stabbed the throttle and when the motor reached about 4,000 rpm, I got a loss of power... it was like the motor was struggling to push any higher. I noticed it again today as I was getting on the freeway.

    I spoke to a local mechanic and he said that it's possible that water might have gotten in the combustion chamber, which acts like a "pressure cooker" and prevents the water from flowing out of the motor, just vaporizing and consolidating within the cylinder(s) forever until you take of the heads and dry it out.

    If so... can this harm the car? I was hoping to put on a LS6 intake in the future and possibly a cam... Could I just wait until I get one of those parts and address the problem then?

    Does this even sound like a symptom of water in the motor?
    Firstly that mechanic you spoke with is really a floor sweeper/parts changer/oil change technician and is clueless how a internal engine works. In other words a total idiot.
    Back in the day we used to suck water via a vacuum line into our intake to burn off carbon on our pistons. Worked great. Nothing stays in the combustion chamber. It either goes out the exhaust or passed the rings into the sump. If you got a boatload of water into your combustion chamber....and it would take an effort like driving your car into a lake....then yes you can damage your motor....bend a rod etc.
    Secondly if I took a high pressure power washer and held it over my fuel injected motor for a day at full blast I could not get any water into my combustion chamber. If I got some in my throttle body it would not do anything like what you described.

    What you described is either electrical as the guys have described. Software reaction to a sensor that has gone south....or mechanical like a throttle body blade that is hanging up on something.

  15. #15
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Yep something just got wet. Usually it'll dry out eventually. Changing your spark plug wires will most likely fix it, but it could be other things as well.
    Stock ign coils are fine, no need to upgrade. Only replace one if its bad otherwise leave them as is.

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    If you are wanting to learn and enjoy doing things yourself....here is a tool I have had for years.....Chilton Manuals.....this is from my secret stash so dont share it with anybody.....just enter your year/manf/model and there is the entire repair/diagnostic manual for free.....
    http://www.chiltonlibrary.com/select.aspx

  17. #17
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    If you never changed the spark plugs on this car i will replace the plugs and wires anyway. that way you know they are new and you don't have to worry about those in a while. When you pull the wires out you can use and ohm meter and see if have one or more bad.

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    Senior Member bills98ta's Avatar
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    And, if you still have the metal heat shields on the wires, throw them away... They're a good place for a spark to jump...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    They were installed by the previous owner 22000 miles ago (but that was in 2004)



    My 4th car, actually. But the first one I've actually taken an interest in learning about, rather than just entrusting it to a shop whenever things go wrong.

    I'm trying to do as much as I can on my own so that I can become more knowledgable and proficient with automechanics/performance. So I'm a beginner... big deal.
    Nothing wrong with wanting to learn to do things on your own man..

    Sorry if I sounded like a jerk..

    One of the first things that can aid you is grabbing a repair manual for your car..

    They can be a big help when tackling maintanance and repairs yourself.

    Happy modding..

  20. #20
    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    When I had running issues with my car, I found that one of the wires had broken at the conductor, but was still attatched to the boot. So, I swapped all plugs and wires and so far...so good.

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