A woman I know drove her '98 Malibu into deep water almost up to the
door handles after a flash flood here.
I told her I'd post what she told me here and see if anyone has any
The car actually kept running as she drove through the water, and she
parked it and went to work, came out later and it wouldn't start.
After cranking it for quite awhile it actually did, start but didn't
run like it did before.
A week later, it no longer runs, just cranks but doesn't fire.
And now, when turning the ignition key to the on or start position,
nothing on the dash comes on at all, no indicator lights of any kind, no
odometer, gauges don't move. The radio still plays and headlights,
wipers still work.
As far as it not starting, I would have thought the crank sensor
connection would be the likely culprit due to having been under water,
hence no firing nor smell of fuel when cranking...
But the instrument cluster being dead now might point to something else
as the cause.
I suppose it's possible the ignition switch just co-incidentally
happened to fail right at the same time -- which I have read they are
known to do on an Olds Intrigue of the same year, and they appear to be
the same switch. She has a bunch of junk hanging on the keyring with
her keys, which I have heard can cause problems with the switch.
For now the car is just parked in front of their house. She actually
just wanted to junk it but her boyfriend thinks that would be a waste,
as it's an otherwise decent car, reasonably clean, decent looking, and
probably had a lot of life left in it otherwise.
I do not want to get involved in messing with it because I think a
flooded car can end up with all kinds of glitches, now and in the
future. Glad it's not my problem. I told him if someone offered to
sell me a car like that -- but it didn't run and had been flooded like
that, even for a couple hundred bucks, I'd turn it down.
Engine is a 3100, unknown miles.
Anyway, I told him I'd post it on here for the hell of it and see if
anyone had any suggestions as to why the thing won't start, as well as
the dash being dead like that. TIA..