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Gary
Gary, ASE Certified Technician
Category: GMC
Satisfied Customers: 15726
Experience:  GCM master tech over 25 years
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I have a 2011 GMC Terrain AWD 4 cyl. The other day I went

Customer Question

I have a 2011 GMC Terrain AWD 4 cyl. The other day I went through to areas of the road with a good bit of water about 4-6 inches deep. First section went through fine second one car died half way through. I pushed the car out and let it sit. Yesterday I tried to start it and nothing would happen. Tried jumping it because the battery died and twice it barely turned over but mainly the starter would just click. Today I took the starter and battery to get tested the started passed but battery failed so I put in a new battery hooked up the new starter and car just clicked the first few tries and then sounded like it was about to turn over then white smoke started pouring out from the starter. I went and got a new starter put it on and same thing. I could not find any wires that were melting or showed any signs of damage. What could be the reason for this? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Right now i do not have any money to pay for help, but If your advice reaolves my issue as a 4 time deployed Marine Vet I give you my word I will pay for your advice. Thank you!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: GMC
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

I am sorry your having this problem

is the air filter soaked with water ?

if you remove all spark plug will the starter crank the engine over and water come out of the spark plug holes ?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I will have to wait until tomorrow to check those two. I will send an update as soon as I get back to the vehicle. If that is the case what would be the next steps?
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

if the cylinders are filled with water crank it over with the spark out until no more water comes out of the plug holes

replace the air filter and spark plugs and change the oil

you can always get me back fro FREE through this post anytime with any follow up even after you rate us here at Justanswer as i do not get credit for my work until you rate us here

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok so there is definitely water in the intake i took the air filter out and is soaked I removed the spark plugs but it won't crack. Won't should I do now?
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

with the spark plugs out can you turn over the crank shaft using the center crank bolt turning clockwise at all ?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
WHere exactly is that located?
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

the center crank shaft bolt that is in the center of the harmonic balancer front bottom connected to the crank shaft

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I can't get a socket in between there and don't have a wrench big enough
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

with the plugs out we need to see if we can turn it over by hand clockwise

if we can NOT then when water got into the cylinders it has damaged a rod or rod bearing

if you can turn it over by hand then make sure the battery and battery cables are clean and tight and if they are see if that new starter got burnt out with it trying to crank over the engine which was locked up with water in the cylinders

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok it does crank it's tough to do but I have a short Rachet so now check all the connections?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Water was coming out of the 1st cylinder
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

if you can turn it by hand then see if the starter will turn it over

if not the new starter is burned out or a battery cables is burned out or bad or the battery is bad

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Tried to test the starter with jumper cables didn't do anything so heading to autozone to have them test it
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

ok and be sure the battery and battery cables are good

also pick up new spark plugs and an air filter and an oil change

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok will do. When I hand cranked it should i have rotated it a few full rotations or would that matter?
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

as long as it rotates

once you get the starter issue fixed then you can crank it over with the starter to get the water out of the cylinders

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Awesome. Im hoping this is it. After all that it should be good to go?
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

it should be

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok starter was dead got new one and everything else. Is there anything I should do before putting the starter on so it doesn't mess up
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

just hook it up and be sure the battery cables are nice and tight then crank it over with the plugs out

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I got it started finally and running its making a taping sound now in the engine
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It gets louder as the RPM's go up
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

see if it will clear up at idle as it warms up

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It's pretty much warmed up now still doing it. Also when you give a little gas it almost stalls
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

if it still does this when its warmed up the best bet will be to do a compression test to be sure all the cylinders have good compression

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I let it warm up and drove it around a little the idel is a little rough and bounces around and when I take off it takes a little to go smooth. The check engine light did come on so im assuming whatever code it's throwing is probably the issue. Is there anything else you can think it is?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Not sure if your still online but car pretty much ran fine today for about 20 minutes besides the idel. I just went to leave work and now won't turn completely over. The starter works and is cranking just won't actually start. Any ideas?
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

you need to see if the spark plugs are wet

and also would need to do a compression test to be sure all the cylinders are over 145 range

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I was just able to check it out again spark plugs seemed dry I cranked it over with them out and there wasn't anymore water, there seems to be water in the oil again im not sure If it was left over or maybe just somewhere that didn't get worked out until it was running could that be preventing it from starting actually starting? It still tries to turn over just no luck in actually firing
Expert:  Gary replied 11 months ago.

see if it has spark and fuel when cranking it over

if so clean the plugs and see if it runs