gif: NickInTimeFilms/YouTube

After hydrolocking my Jeep and then removing the deformed carcass that once was its engine, I’ve never been able to look at deep water puddles the same. Which is why this video of a Jeep four-liter fighting for dear life makes me tremble in terror.

This is an older video, but it’s a unique one; where else have you seen an engine bay-view of a car going through deep water? Plus, considering all the flooding going on in Texas, this one’s fairly relevant right now.

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The owner of this ‘89 Jeep Cherokee was noticing his engine cutting off when he went through small puddles. So, to replicate the problem and find out what was shorting, he decided to take his XJ slowly through a deep puddle and film it for our viewing pleasure.

Watch as the entire engine gets engulfed in muddy water. Even the battery gets submerged, and water goes above the dipstick tube. Keep an eye on the intake, which is right behind the driver’s headlight. If that thing goes under while the driver is hard on the skinny pedal, the Jeep is toast:

This video sent me through a whirlwind of emotions, as I had flashbacks to that fateful day that took the life of my 250,000 mile Jeep engine. I just couldn’t take it. The Jeep’s intake is right behind the driver’s side headlight, so as I watched that light start to dip below the water level, I couldn’t help but cringe:

Ah! It’s dipping below the water! Reverse! Reverse!

Two seconds later:

Whew, it’s back above water.

Two seconds later:

No! It’s going back under! Don’t do it! Let off the gas!

Two seconds later:

Whew, it’s just above water.

Thank goodness no XJs were killed in the filming of that clip, though I think I have have aged 20 years just from the stress of watching it.

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I say “no XJs were killed,” and not “no XJs were harmed,” because the owner, in his YouTube description, describes the damage caused by his little foray into the dirty, watery depths, and it was extensive. He says:

The damages that this and 2 previous dunkings caused was rather enlightening. Dirty water worked it’s way into just about every part of my Jeep inside and out.

Firstly, water did actually enter his air-box, and made it difficult for the engine to suck in that sweet, sweet oxygen:

Some of that water was getting into the airbox and soaking the air filter, effectively choking the engine of fresh air. The engine would die and not start until the filter dried a bit. The fix for this was a snorkel.

But that was nothing compared to the smoked bearings:

Quite a few bearings were destroyed either by direct contact with gritty water or oil contamination over time Including: Alternator rear bearing, Mechanical fan bearing, Driveshaft U-joints, Transfer Case Bearings, Piston Rings, Tie rod Ends, All Front and Rear Axle Bearings.

That’s a lot of bad bearings. To add to that though, the electrical system took a real beating:

Electrical Components and connections affected include: Starter, Alternator, CPS Sensor, Cap and Rotor, Oil Pressure Sender, Turn Signal Bulb Sockets, IAC Sensor, Blower Motor.

Okay, but what about the mechanical bits? Were those okay? Well, they were, but they wouldn’t have been if the owner hadn’t changed their fluids, which had been contaminated with oil:

Fluids and greases that were contaminated Include: Engine Oil, Front and Rear Diff Fluid, Transfer Case Fluid, Drive Shaft U-Joints, Tie Rod Ends.

So if you take anything away from this, it should be: Don’t drive through deep water unless you have a snorkel and lots of time and money for wrenching.