I drive a 2002 ford focus zts, it has 188,000 miles. I hit a 1 foot deep puddle, my car drove fine immediately after, I drove about 5 miles and parked it for a couple hours then went to start it and it started fine, I got out of the driveway and it quickly declined, my foot was to the floor and I was running about 25-30mph at 1,500rpms,there was a huge lack of power, I pulled my spark plugs leads and there was alot of water on the spark plugs, I dried them out with a towel as much as I could and then let them sit for 2-3 hours till completely dry, then replaced the spark plugs because they where disgusting, it helped it idle better but after all that we threw it in reverse and it began to struggle again, so we turned it off and now im here, im very hesitant to take it to a mechanic because I prefer to fix my cars on my own but I think this might be more than that, I go to a mechanic I can trust and who I know won't rip me off but I just dont wanna have a massive bill.

Any help would be amazing, I have pictures of the water/ bubbly milk looking liquid on top of the spark plugs as well as a video

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2 Answers 2


This use to be an old problem with engines which had distributed caps getting wet & obtaining moisture in the cap & plugs. Simple solution blow it dry with air. Pulling the cap & checking the plugs, air filter. Now a days could be a sensor, if your plugs are accessible, air filter. I had a problem where my transmission peep hole had no cover on my ford escape, burned my tranny out while sitting at idle after running a puddle, tidal wave on the sidewalk!


I had a problem on a 2003 focus zetec 2.0 where my car was running poorly after washing out the engine bay . water was dripping into the cylinder via the spark plugs. i also had nasty water on top of the engine, which i dried out with a towel. I pulled the plugs and did a flood out procedure (hold gas all the way in while turning the key to run the starter). this turns the engine over without giving fuel or spark. After that it ran fine. i would also inspect all your grounds. I had a problem where my negative battery terminal was damaged and my car would stall a lot.

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