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1998 Honda Odyssey - Hydrolock engine damage/repair speculation

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Apr 12, 2022, 8:19 AM

Post #1 of 3 (453 views)
1998 Honda Odyssey - Hydrolock engine damage/repair speculation Sign In

Hey CJ crew. Here's a pickle (apologies for the short essay):

I broke down in the fall in my beloved 1998 Honda Odyssey, during a road trip in Florida. The short story is that I got stuck trying to cross a puddle that turned out to be a lot deeper than I guessed. Took on water through the air intake.

Tried to start it, several times, idiotically. Ranger pulled us out. After about 30 minutes of trying and waiting, the van (Fritz) started up and we got back on the road. Engine was obviously struggling. In a state of desperation/ignorance, I changed the spark plugs and air filter and got an oil change - this actually improved the situation somewhat. I was about 700 miles from home (Austin) and started driving.

At Mobile, after about a 100 miles of driving at a limp, the van began to seriously lose pressure and it became unsafe to be on the highway. Got a tow, rented a car and drove home.

So, my question is: given this information, what do yall think i will find when i open up the engine? Is it possible that these are only symptoms of a totally blown head gasket ? i.e., is there any chance that the pistons/connecting rod are still in working order ? I have to go back to Mobile to deal with the car.. Fix it or scrap it. Head gasket replace looks relatively easy on this car, and i'm planning on staying for a day or two and trying it. But any advice, based on the evidence, as to what i'm likey to find in there would be greatly appreciated..

Many thanks for reading and have a nice day

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 12, 2022, 10:10 AM

Post #2 of 3 (446 views)
Re: 1998 Honda Odyssey - Hydrolock engine damage/repair speculation Sign In

HeaD gasket isn’t an option here unless you severely overheated it.
If it hydrolocked at higher RPM then you probably bent a rod and the motor is junk.
On the other hand, you could have damaged some electronics. Get it checked.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 12, 2022, 10:42 PM

Post #3 of 3 (430 views)
Re: 1998 Honda Odyssey - Hydrolock engine damage/repair speculation Sign In

Arggh! Bummer. I tried to read thru it seems now this car is 100s of miles away after you tried some things, quit and rented another something to get where you were going?
Is it where it can be properly checked out by REAL tech(s) to diagnose it now? Hydrolock if real probably killed that engine in full no longer worth the effort you should have heard or felt a harsh snap or bang?? IDK it's not universal, bent rod(s) or hole in piston?
Just how deep was the water vs where air comes in? Most (I can't know this) pick up air higher than would do real hydrolock rather wreck electrical controls which does seem to put it in limp mode you made it 100 more miles so it may be OK assorted problems will crop up if seriously dunked in water especially while warm and been driven is a nightmare of things yet to happen if this is/was in good shape.
1998? Think about it and choose diagnosis for engine if you can put up with assorted surprises for a year or so depending on how submersed things got you were there nobody else now can know for sure this would (if enough) ruin a car beyond reasonable repair and annoyances from now on.

YOUR CALL with proper inspection for evidence to include all the sealed items that vent like CV shafts, brakes, gearcases, electric motors/actuators of all sorts, wheel bearings and more - yikes!


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