My VW Polo: Engine shuts off & other vibrations issues after a wash

It appears that the car is running on two cylinders rather than three.

BHPian amrit_bareta recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear Members,

Yesterday, I washed the engine of my Polo 1.2 TDI with a high-pressure pump for the first time because the engine was getting very dirty, but after washing the engine, the car started stalling on the road, and the engine of the car began vibrating a lot, it appears that the car is running on two cylinders rather than three, I checked the power plugs of the injectors, checked the spark plugs, everything appears to be fine, I need the assistance of Team-BHP members on this because I live in a village and the service centre is 200 kilometres away. A local mechanic examines the engine and reports that everything is normal. However, I'm having a lot of issues with pickup and vibration. Members' valuable opinions will be important to me.

Here's what BHPian Jeroen had to say on the matter:

You really need your car hooked up to a proper OBD scanner. It will most likely tell you the exact problem. Everything else is just trial and error. Expensive and frustrating unless you get lucky.

Good luck

Here's what BHPian ruzbehxyz had to say on the matter:

  1. Never pressure wash the engine bay as it can ruin the sensors, electronics etc. At the most use a garden hose and just spray water and immediately clean all areas.
  2. If there is no check engine light, that means no water has gone in the engine, but there could be moisture on one or more sensors.
  3. Double-check all caps to see if no water has entered the engine oil. brake fluid, coolant, air intake areas etc.
  4. Keep the bonnet open under the sun to dry off all the moisture.
  5. Disconnect the positive terminal of the battery for about 10 minutes, reconnect and check.

Here's what BHPian shankar.balan had to say on the matter:

The car engine bay should never be washed, whether with a garden hose or pressure hose is immaterial. There are lots of wires, electronic parts, sensors etc in cars and any or some or all of these can get damaged. Yes of course in our conditions, the engine will get dusty and dirty at times. In such cases, it is best to use an air hose and blow away any dust and leaves and so on. Use of the air hose will also help in cleaning and de-clogging the vents and the rainwater channels etc. After using the air hose and after washing the car externals, one can wipe the engine bay clean, patiently with a damp cloth and then apply polish/ dressing and detail the engine bay if needed. And then as needed one can apply the anti-rat spray etc as well. But the bottom line is never clean the engine bay by spraying water on it.

Here's what BHPian saket77 had to say on the matter:

I would suggest that if the filter has soaked water, you should consider replacing it. Though you may check your car's behaviour after drying and fitting the filter but better to change it as soon as you get the opportunity.

BHPian amrit_bareta shared this update recently:

I want to thank the members of Team-BHP here because they helped me a lot. Also, I advise the Guest visitors and other members to never wash the car engine with high-pressure water or with too much water. After washing the engine of my car I faced lots of problems like the car lost pickup, it seemed like the car was running on 2 cylinders instead of 3. The engine of the car started to vibrate a lot and also the car started to stop on the road while moving. I also took the car to a local mechanic, but he was unable to diagnose the issue. Then I shared this problem with Team-BHP members and after the valuable support of the members, my car problem was solved. There were two problems in the car, one was that the engine was not getting enough air due to water in the air filter. As soon as I dried the air filter in the sun, the car's engine came back to normal condition. Another problem was maybe there was water in some plug or sensor of the engine, when I left the engine in the sun for 3 hours maybe that sensor or plug got dry. After that, I drove the car for 20 km and now everything is fine. I am very thankful to the members of Team-BHP who have given their valuable time to help me. I am lucky to be a member of Team-BHP. May God bless all the members.


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