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#4587030 - 11/27/17 08:47 PM Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!)
xBa380 Offline


Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 832
Loc: Cleveland
Hello everyone!

So this morning, the girlfriend and I were leaving for work when her car wouldn't start. The battery was around 4 years old, so we had been planning on a new battery before winter really hit given the sluggish starts lately, but this expedited the process. Took the battery out and drove her to work with me (we work at the same place actually, so worked out OK!). We drive separate because of slightly different hours, otherwise we would just carpool...

Anyway... Was able to get a 30% coupon code for advanced auto parts and picked up the Autocraft Gold for something like $102 after core credit, out the door. Seemed like a decent deal.

Got home, installed the battery and... Nothing. Well, it tried. It sounded so close to starting, but it just wouldn't turn over. Decided to jumper to my car, seeing if perhaps the battery wasn't full charged or something, but that didn't do anything. Given it sounded so close, I didn't think it was the starter... And the smell of fuel afterward led me to believe it wasn't a fuel pump or anything.

By the way, this is a 2010 Mazda 3 with 74,000 miles on it.

Decided to take the battery back to the store to get it checked and they confirmed it got the rated CCA and it was just fine (just trying to troubleshoot here! Couldn't find my multi-meter...). So it wasn't the battery, as expected.

Talking with the two kind ladies behind the counter, we discussed the issue back and forth on what it may be. Very knowledgeable and friendly! While I am good with mechanical stuff, electrical stuff and me don't get along... So they had even called another store to dig further for me... At one point, one of the ladies had mentioned "given what you told me, perhaps it's flooded?..." - And said it's worth pulling the plugs and checking... Hmmm, it sounds plausible... But honestly I wouldn't think a modern car would/could flood itself in fuel...

Got home, pulled the plugs and low and behold, clearly fuel where it shouldn't be... Used compressed air to vent the fuel and dry out the spark plug ports, lot-o-fumes! Cleaned the plugs, ensured they were dried and put everything back where it should be. Turned right over without a problem. Took it on a nice highway drive to get everything cleared out, a job well done.

On Friday (the last time the car was started) we had cleaned out the garage... Just had the car on long enough to back it out of the garage into the driveway and back. Well, given a look-see on google I found a few people confirm the engine flooded on their Mazda's, too... Weird! I know that is not a good thing to do in general, but never thought it could actually flood the engine! Probably a mix of a weak battery, which was confirmed when we did exchange it, and the poor technique of not letting the car run a bit longer when we moved it.

I'm just glad it turned out to be a relatively easy fix and I didn't have to get the car towed and repaired somewhere... It's been a fun Monday! crzy


Edited by xBa380 (11/27/17 08:48 PM)

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#4587051 - 11/27/17 09:17 PM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: xBa380]
AntsinmyEyes Offline


Registered: 08/09/15
Posts: 199
Loc: Colorado
you can push the pedal all the way to the floor while cranking to clear floods on most fuel injected cars. or remove the fuse for your pump or injectors then crank will do it too.
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#4587056 - 11/27/17 09:23 PM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: AntsinmyEyes]
xBa380 Offline


Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 832
Loc: Cleveland
Originally Posted By: AntsinmyEyes
you can push the pedal all the way to the floor while cranking to clear floods on most fuel injected cars. or remove the fuse for your pump or injectors then crank will do it too.


I did try pushing the pedal down at one point, but it didn't help. Perhaps I didn't do it long enough or something... But good to know!

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#4587060 - 11/27/17 09:30 PM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: xBa380]
Danno Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 1988
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
Same thing happened to my son's 2010 Mazda 3 with about 40K miles a couple of weeks ago. Stated it up to move it to put on the winter tires. When I restarted it, it was hard to start, felt like a weak battery. Didn't think much of it, but my son mentioned after a few days the car was hard to start. Put a charger on it overnight and its been fine for over a week now. The battery was changed a little over 2 years ago.
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#4587211 - 11/28/17 06:00 AM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: Danno]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10017
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
Originally Posted By: xBa380
Originally Posted By: AntsinmyEyes
you can push the pedal all the way to the floor while cranking to clear floods on most fuel injected cars. or remove the fuse for your pump or injectors then crank will do it too.


I did try pushing the pedal down at one point, but it didn't help. Perhaps I didn't do it long enough or something... But good to know!
Originally Posted By: Danno
Same thing happened to my son's 2010 Mazda 3 with about 40K miles a couple of weeks ago. Stated it up to move it to put on the winter tires. When I restarted it, it was hard to start, felt like a weak battery. Didn't think much of it, but my son mentioned after a few days the car was hard to start. Put a charger on it overnight and its been fine for over a week now. The battery was changed a little over 2 years ago.


Same thing here my daughter's '06 Mazda3 in my signature!!!
Several years ago this happened to me when I had just started the car to move it. My cell rang(I had been waiting for an important call). I no sooner started the engine(hand still on the key) when I shut off the car.

~ 1/2 hour later when I tried to start the engine again, it struggled to move as if the battery was weak.

My BIL stopped over and I discussed/showed him what was going on. He suggested starting the engine with my foot on the gas(to the floor). He said that it sounds like the engine is flooded. By pressing the pedal to the floor, this tells the computer to stop fuel flow to the engine(or something to that effect). The engine did start and it never happened again. This was about 7-8 yrs ago.

Now when I start this engine momentarily to move the car, I let it run for a several seconds...Oh IDK, ~ 30 sec's.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Another strange thing happened to this car about 6-7 yrs ago!
My daughter had gotten the flu and couldn't go to work for 3 days.

In her apartment, her parking spot has an slight upward slope and she pulls in with the nose of the car up. When she was able to go to work, she went out to start the engine and it would only crank but, no start.

She called me and I told her to cycle the key 3-4 times to turn on the fuel pump. On the last cycle time, the engine started right up and this too has never happened again. Probably injector leak down. smirk

We've learned from both of these incidences, what not to do! smile


Edited by Char Baby (11/28/17 06:11 AM)
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#4587274 - 11/28/17 07:45 AM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: AntsinmyEyes]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1414
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: AntsinmyEyes
you can push the pedal all the way to the floor while cranking to clear floods on most fuel injected cars. or remove the fuse for your pump or injectors then crank will do it too.

Though should it be fully hydro-locked like in the OP's case, you'd have to physically clear that. Either remove the spark plugs or maybe turn the crank backwards by hand. Turning an engine backwards is asking for problems though.

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#4587402 - 11/28/17 10:29 AM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: xBa380]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12701
Loc: Onondaga County
How did her car not start the first time? I could see it flooding itself it would spin slowly. Each time you tried it, it would be running the injectors and sucking in enough fuel for a cold start.

Clear flood mode won't work unless the pedal is pushed all the way to the floor.
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#4587496 - 11/28/17 11:32 AM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: mk378]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8731
Loc: Phoenix
Originally Posted By: mk378
Originally Posted By: AntsinmyEyes
you can push the pedal all the way to the floor while cranking to clear floods on most fuel injected cars. or remove the fuse for your pump or injectors then crank will do it too.

Though should it be fully hydro-locked like in the OP's case, you'd have to physically clear that. Either remove the spark plugs or maybe turn the crank backwards by hand. Turning an engine backwards is asking for problems though.


Hydro locked means the engine took water in through the air intake. Holding the pedal to the floor used to cut fuel but allow spark and air to pass through the combustion chamber which would dry the plugs. Haven't seen this since the TBI days.
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#4587936 - 11/28/17 06:53 PM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: xBa380]
SilverFusion2010 Offline


Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1657
Loc: Crawfordville FL
He should have said hydraulically locked. The fluid (fuel) had completely filled the cylinder that was on the compression stroke with valves closed. Since the fluid doesn't compress, the engine cannot turn.

I've seen this happen with a blown head gasket before. Cylinder filled up with coolant overnight and wouldn't turn over.
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2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30

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#4598111 - 12/08/17 01:50 PM Re: Well, this was a new one! (Fuel-Flooded engine!) [Re: xBa380]
Anduril Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1026
Loc: Perris, CA
Happened on my wife's old motorcycle with a faulty carburetor. Leaked fuel into the cylinder until it was full and the starter wouldn't turn it over in the morning.
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2015 Nissan Versa Note 1.6/5MT
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2000 Chevy Cavalier 2.2/4AT
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900
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