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Water, Water Everywhere

Water, Water Everywhere

Today’s blog post is all about water, both the helpful kind and the not-so-helpful kind.

For those of you who weren’t in Chicago recently, we had a bit of a rainy spell over the course of a day or two. So much so, in fact, that flooding became the de facto standard for most roads and neighborhoods all around Cook County and beyond, even all the way down by us in Plainfield. The morning after the worst part of the rain storm, we had an influx of vehicles rolling into the shop on flatbeds, undoubtedly tarnished from taking a bit too deep of a dip.

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Sadly, only Jonna’s Nissan 350Z managed to be spared from the dreaded insurance adjusters. The remainder of the cars that came through our shop were not as lucky, mostly due to actually being driven through the water itself. The worst example of this waterlogging came by way of a Saturn Ion. Once we took off a few of the plastic bits covering the engine, we were able to peer through the throttle body into the intake manifold. As you can see below, it was completely filled with water. We were able to drain it and do our best to get all the water out of the motor, but the owner still chose to get it sorted out with their insurance company.

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Another remarkable bit of water damage came to us by way of an E90 BMW 335i. It had driven straight into a puddle, and as a result, a significant amount of water came through the charge piping. And by significant, we mean enough water to turn the air-to-air intercooler into an air-to-water intercooler. When we removed a piece of the charge piping by the front-mounteed intercooler, more than a gallon of water came rushing out.

This is the point where we feel it’s best to remind everybody that if your car was in a flood, DO NOT START IT. Instead, immediately have it towed to your nearest trusted independent service facility. If you decide to crank it at home “just to see if the car was good,” you run the risk of sending water into your combustion chamber. Water is not a compressible fluid, so introducing water into your motor can cause metal parts (such as your valves or connecting rods) to bend or break, resulting in a motor that’s as good as a paperweight. Furthermore, attempting to start your car when the electronics have been soaked with water can lead to a massive amount of headaches; water is a great conductor of electricity, so a swamped wiring harness can start shorting out and causing all sorts of wacky things to happen with the electronics. In short, it’s best to err on the side of caution and let the professionals take care of the dirty work.

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Now, let’s move away from the depressing side of water and move to something where it’s a bit more useful…and not entirely water. Porsche’s 996 generation was the first 911 to be water-cooled, meaning that it utilized coolant to keep the engine from overheating, rather than air. This, along with the style of the 996, were two major points of contention for Porsche purists the world over. Of course, with the introduction of more parts comes the chance for those parts to break. And that’s exactly what this front bumper radiator did on a customer’s 996 Turbo. The end tanks split, requiring a removal of the radiator. Of course, this process involves removing the entire front portion of the Porsche.

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The replacement of the radiator killed the leak, so now it’s once again time for this 996 Turbo to hit the road. After seeing so much of its front end, it’s comforting to know that most everybody else on the road will now only see the business end of it. These cars are quick, and not for the faint of heart.

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Have a great day, and we’ll see you right back here tomorrow to cap off the week!

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