Downeast Toyota


What Do You Do if Your Engine Floods?

Friends have shared horror stories of flooded engines, flat tires or smoking engines. We have heard all the stories and we hope and pray these failures don’t happen to us.

In the event that they do, it is important to know how to react and what the proper course of action may be, whether that is calling the Downeast Toyota Service Department or taking care of it yourself. A common question our service technicians get asked is — what do you do if your engine floods? Let’s take a closer look at the reasons for this and how we can best deal with it.

How can your engine get flooded?

An engine that is flooded by too much fuel is a more common mechanical problem in cars that use a carburetor instead of fuel injection. This is caused by a high level of fuel or air in your engine. It usually occurs when you push the accelerator too hard, or hit the gas too hard when starting your car. Vehicles that employ fuel injection like the 2016 Toyota Camry will see this happen most often when in extreme cold.

READ MORE: Why is Your Toyota Check Engine Light On?

How do you know if your engine has flooded?

Blonde Female Mechanic Giving the Thumbs Up When looking Under the Hood of a CarYour engine could be flooded if it fails to start when you turn the ignition. You may have flooded your engine if your engine does not start turning over, is dead or has a strong gasoline smell. Another indicator is dark smoke from your vehicle’s exhaust system. If you see these tell-tale signs, don’t make anymore attempts to start your car — it may make things worse.

How do you start an engine after it has been flooded?

Time is the best thing for a flooded engine. You can simply open your car’s hood and let the excess fuel evaporate as long as possible. Try starting your car once more without the accelerator. If that fails, check the spark plugs. If excess fuel floods an engine, it can soak sparkplugs, rendering them unable to spark enough to turn the engine on. You may need to inspect your fuel injectors and clean the fuel injectors if your engine floods often.

The goal of troubleshooting an engine that is flooded is to determine the fuel-to-air ratio. You can also try holding the gas pedal down and trying to start the engine again. You should not press the gas pedal. This will keep the throttle open, which will increase the amount of air in the engine to compensate for the fuel. Once the engine is started, let the engine run for a few seconds before you release the gas pedal. Should this method fail, it may be time to schedule a service appointment with our expert service technicians at Downeast Toyota.

READ MORE: What Are the Proper Synthetic Oil Change Intervals for Your Toyota?

Not everyone who drives a car is a mechanic, though that does not mean you can’t have an understanding of how to fix potential issues or recognize them as they occur. If you have ever asked — what do you do if your engine floods — this brief overview should break it down for you. If you are experiencing this problem often, it might be time to consider a new vehicle. Take some time to explore the Downeast Toyota inventory. We have something for everyone, including the redesigned and ultra-efficient 2016 Toyota Prius.

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