How to repair your flood damaged engine

With the recent flooding that took place in the Houston area, we’ve received a number of questions from customers who are wondering what to look for when it comes to buying a used engine that may have been involved in a flood. Ideally, you need to know what to look for and take steps to minimize any damage that has been done.

Tips to get your flood damaged engine back on the road

  1. Put the engine on a stand and remove the valve covers, spark plugs and oil pan. This will give you full access to the engine drivetrain. Flip the engine upside down and spray down the crankcase, connecting rods and oil pump with fresh oil. If you can, run fresh oil through the oil pump. Rotate the crankshaft to wash down the cylinder walls and connecting rods with fresh oil. Then rotate the engine upright and soak down the upper cylinder head. Rotate the crankshaft to get the oil back onto the rocker arms, pushrods and rocker assemblies.
  2. Remove the timing cover and inspect the timing chain/timing belt, idler pulleys and tensioners. Fresh oil on the timing chain, pulleys  and tensioner will go a long way in preventing issues.
  3. Put fresh oil into the cylinders and rotate the engine. Make sure to push out any water and oil that might be inside. If water comes out, repeat the process until only oil is being pushed out.
  4. Make sure to flush the oil journals from the top of the heads until clean oil comes out of the oil filter adapter where the filter screws on. This will make sure most of the water is removed from the oil system.
  5. Reassemble the engine using new gaskets. Fill with fresh oil and a new oil filter. Disconnect the ignition coil so the engine will not start then crank the engine a few times. Reuse the original spark plugs for initial start up. After the oil burns off, replace with new spark plugs. This will circulate the oil through the engine and pick up any stray water that might be lurking inside. Then drain the oil, replace the filter and reconnect the ignition. When you start the engine let it run at a low idle for a bit. Cut the engine off and check the oil on the stick to make sure it is free of water.

It’s never a good sign when a used engine has been in a flood, but by taking the proper precautions you can minimize damage and get back on the road in no time.


ASAP Motors finds used engines, motors, and transmissions for sale, then nationwide sellers compete for your business. Just submit a request using our free used engine locator service and our dealers will contact you directly with pricing and information about the Chevy, Ford, Honda, Toyota, or other used motor, engine, or used transmission that you’re looking for.