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2011 Kia Soul, automatic, 108K miles
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<backstory>
I was driving in the heavy rain yesterday. Came to an area with some water on the road.Speed about 45. Suddenly came to an area where water covered entire road! Was in it before I knew it. About 8 inches deep. The water slowed the car to almost nothing. I expected the engine to die there, but it didn't. Engine pulled me strongly out of the flood and continued with seemingly no problem. Tapped the brakes to check, working well. Continued down the road. Then came up on a red light. When engine RPM were low, it started missing and coughing, I shifted the AT down to keep the RPMs up. That worked until I had to stop completely. I tried to hit neutral and rev the engine, no luck. Engine stalled. Restarted with no trouble, but could not get back to a higher RPM.
</backstory>

<problem and question>
Yesterday engine would start, but not run.
Today, went back to car and engine will crank, but not even cough. Like there is no spark. The car is in a parking lot about 8 miles from my house. I had no time to troubleshoot today. So I need to know what are the most likely culprits that will die from getting wet and not recover overnight. I am on a very tight budget until next month.
</problem and question>

Car Specs:
2003 Kia Spectra
Automatic
195,000 miles
New timing belt and tires
Needs motor mounts(vibration)
Engine light on (purge valve)
New radiator
I've owned it now for 4,000 miles.
Hoping to reach 300,000 before retiring it.
 

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2,216 Posts
Greetings,

Would start at the plug wires, they should be pulled off and both connector ends (coil pack / spark plug) and the boots blown out w/ compressed air ..

Or you can try using MAF cleaner or "Wire Dryer" spray, to blow any moisture out of the boots - be sure to wipe off any moisture from the spark plugs also,


Edit: If you think you may have gotten water in the fuel, also would try adding a bottle or two of "HEET" brand dry gas to the tank..


Regards,
GottaCruise
 

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Registered
2011 Kia Soul, automatic, 108K miles
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Update

Pulled spark plug wires.
Found problem.
The spark plug "wells" each have about 2 inches of water in them.
Not having compressed air available, I used some napkins and a screwdriver to soak up most of the water.
Car now starts, and will rev up with no load.
Put it in gear or turn on AC, the engine coughs and dies.
My plan, unless I hear something different here, is:
Pull the plugs, letting any water that's left fall into the cylinders.
Dry the "wells". Screwdriver and rags.
Inspect plugs. Clean, dry, check gap.
Reassemble.
Drive away with smile on face.:)
 

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Super Moderator
99 Kia Elan 1.8L, 17 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V6, 15 Mustang 3.7L V6, 2013 BMW K1600 GTL
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If water runs from the spark plug wells into the cylinders, crank the engine with the plugs removed.
The plugs may need replacing after what you've reported.
 

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2011 Kia Soul, automatic, 108K miles
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

I had planned on cranking engine with plugs out as you suggest.
Fortunately, there is an Advanced Auto right next door to where the car is.
Any advice on the best plugs for this car? I know there are some posts here with that info. And there is something about the recommended plug gaps being wrong?
 

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2011 Kia Soul, automatic, 108K miles
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Update - Resolved!

Today my parts came in at Advanced Auto Parts.
NKG Plugs and wires.
RichPorter Coil Packs.
Total $190.00 including shipping fee.

Took the old parts out. What a mess!
Sorry for the big picture, but it does show the details:rolleyes:

Cranked the engine a few times with no plugs to get rid of any dirt and water that fell in the cylinders. Checked the gap on the plugs. Had to adjust only one of them. To just over .030. Put in all the new stuff. Too bad the engine cover hides the pretty new parts:mellow:. Picked up all my trash, got in the car, and drove home. If anything, it's running even better than before it died. There is now quite a bit less vibration at idle than before.:D
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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You might want to check your air filter also as they can suck up some garbage also...
Congrats on the 195K miles...Sounds like it was taken care of for it's earlier miles.
The "newer" 2004.5 ~2009 Spectras have gone 300k...
Dave
 

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2011 Kia Soul, automatic, 108K miles
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the reminder

I had pulled out the air cleaner on the day of the rain. It was drenched. Obviously it was not the only problem. The previous owner never maintained anything. I think he was selling because the tires were worn out. I've been playing catch-up on things ever since-Tires, timing-belt w/water pump, radiator, now the plugs and wires. And the paint on the hood and trunk is almost gone. I think it was well maintained by the owner before him. I think I will let my daughter express herself with an air brush and wind up with a custom paint job!
 
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