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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 22675
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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540i: . My 1998 540 went through the car wash. Water collected

Customer Question

Hello. My 1998 540 went through the car wash. Water collected in the brake booster resavour and caused hydro lock. I got it towed home and removed the plugs but the starter will not crank it. I do not want to force anything with a breaker bar on the crank bolt. What do I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!
Unfortunately if enough water was ingested into the engine to hyrolock it and it still won't turn with the spark plugs out then catastrophic damage has almost certainly been done. It's possible that there is an electrical issue preventing the starter from engaging but due to the circumstances I'm not sure that's the case.
What you'll need to do is try to turn the engine with a socket and ratchet on the crank damper bolt. If it won't turn then you have enough mechanical damage to prevent the engine from turning. Water doesn't compress so when it enters a cylinder in very much of a quantity it will bend connecting rods at the least. It can also damage pistons or even break connecting rods in some cases.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try to rock the crank back and fourth tomorrow. We will see how it goes.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Let me know if you need any more help!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If it stopped short and the timing chain forced the tensioner back and then bound up, should I try to turn it clockwise or counter clockwise to free it?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
You can try turning it either direction but I wouldn't expect it to be a timing chain related issue. Turning it by hand really isn't a matter of trying to free it, it's a matter of confirming internal damage. If the engine doesn't readily turn in either direction it indicates mechanical failure.