Water ran down on top of the alternator now it will not start

Tiny
DUWHOP31
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 NISSAN ALTIMA
  • 2.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 117,000 MILES
The radiator has a little leak so I got my car home and let it cool down so I could fill the radiator with water. When I was filing it up I didn't use a funnel and my alternator is on top right behind the radiator, and I pored too fast and a good bit got on my alternator. Left the hood open for two days to let it dry out and it wouldn't start. (Even when I tried to get it jumped off) So I bought a new alternator and replaced it, put the belt back on and hooked up the battery still it won't crank. I tried to jump it off today and you could tell it was trying, but didn't start. What could it possibly be the problem? The battery has power because when I put the cables on my car and touched the other positive and negative cables together there was a good bit of spark. Please help. Thanks
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Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 AT 9:33 AM

16 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
I don't think this is related at all to the alternator. Not only are they designed to get wet but even if it did fail, the alternator would not cause the engine to not start. It only provides voltage while the engine is running so it would not prevent it.

Just to be sure, your engine cranks but it does not start? You said it doesn't turn over but that typically means it will not crank. So, when you turn the key the engine spins but just doesn't fire and run?

If not, here is a guide that will get us started:

https://youtu.be/dCjmRL3p4Cs

We need to find out if we have a fuel or spark issue that is preventing this from starting so let's start with checking fuel pressure and then pull a spark plug and hold it against the block and see if there is spark when you are cranking the engine.

Lastly while the plug is out, can you see what it looks like so we can find out if they are fouled? I attached a diagram of possible plugs issue.

Let us know what you find, and we can go from there. Thanks
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Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 AT 4:53 PM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
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Car is a push to start, so when I first hooked up the new alternator it wouldn't even crank when I pressed the button just click, click, click. Then I tried to get someone to jump me off and that's when it cranked but didn't start.
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Thursday, October 14th, 2021 AT 7:53 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
Okay. The click, click, click, and jump start is a weak battery. So, let's start with testing the battery.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-battery-load-test

We need it load tested so just putting a meter across the battery will not tell us if the battery is okay.

Then the not starting issue sounds like a theft system is active. I suspect you disconnected the battery when you changed the alternator so sometimes when you do that, it activates the theft system.

When you turn the key on (push the button twice to the run position without starting the engine) does the theft light remain on or flash?

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-reset-a-security-system

Let us know about this and we can go from there but try pressing the unlock button on the key fob and then start the engine after the battery is checked and replaced if needed.
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Thursday, October 14th, 2021 AT 9:03 AM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
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Okay. So, it's not the battery. I think it might be a blown head gasket or something like that. I can't tell if the engine oil is milky. I bought some $60.00 head gasket repair, but I don't know how I would try it if I can't start the car?
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Friday, October 15th, 2021 AT 7:29 AM
Tiny
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I checked the oil dip stick, the oil cap & below the cap. Also, I checked All 4 spark plugs and there is no leaking from the exhaust manifold. I Got new spark plugs to put in, brand new oil to put in fresh if I need to drain the old and a bottle of Bar's Head Gasket Repair.
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Friday, October 15th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
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Here is the 2nd, 3rd and 4th spark plugs. (That's not water or anything beside them I put them in cole and salt to clean them, but I got new ones to put in.
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Friday, October 15th, 2021 AT 10:01 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
So, there is info here that could lead us in a different direction, but I think you are correct that the plugs need to be changed.

You are correct that these plugs are fouled and need to be replaced. So, let's change those and see if the engine starts.

Also, if the battery is ok and it was clicking that may just be a failing starter solenoid so let's not worry about that at this point.

Let's change the plugs and we can go from there. Thanks
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Friday, October 15th, 2021 AT 3:41 PM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
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I changed the plugs and got a new battery, the reason why the car wouldn't start and the first place was it ran hot. When I was trying to start it I had cylinder 3 unplugged and the spark plug taken out and there was some liquid spouting up from there. I bought some Bars Head seal gasket repair and some new coolant. Should I put both in my radiator, put the spark plug back in and connect the ignition coil, then try to start it so it can maybe run long enough for the Bars Head Seal gasket repair to run through the system and fix the leak or just work in general?
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Monday, October 18th, 2021 AT 4:32 PM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
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Or should I put the Bars Head Seal Repair in then the coolant and leave #3 cylinder without the spark plug and ignition coil connected?
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Monday, October 18th, 2021 AT 5:02 PM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
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And start it.
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Monday, October 18th, 2021 AT 5:03 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
Okay. That is great info.

No, I would not use that at all at this point. If you had fluid coming out that could have been fuel, so we need to start by replacing the plugs, starting the engine, and testing for a blown head gasket.

Here is a guide that will help with this:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/head-gasket-blown-test

Also, you should do a compression test to find out if you are losing compression as it sounds like we have a warped head.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-engine-compression

If we have a warped head, then it is unlikely that this chemical additive will fix it at this point.

If we confirm this and you want to try it then that is fine but if it doesn't work at least, we know what needs to be done.
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Monday, October 18th, 2021 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
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Okay. So, I changed the spark plugs and put the coils back on and tried to start it. It cranks but it will not turn over. I sprayed some starter fluid in the intake and still same thing. Like it wanted to start but didn't turn over.
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Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 AT 11:51 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
Okay. So just a little more background on this. When this started, it was after it got hot and overheated? Then when you topped it off is when the water was spilled? However, this would not restart after the engine got hot?

If that is the case, then we need to just jump right to a compression check. It may not be a compression issue but if we don't check that and confirm it is not that issue then we will be chasing our tail.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-engine-compression

If you don't have a compression tester, I am sure you can rent one from a parts store as most of them have tool rentals.
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Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 AT 3:05 PM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
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Only problem is I don't have a compression tester or a ride to get one. Does it necessarily have to be either spark or fuel that it won't start?
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Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 AT 6:35 PM
Tiny
DUWHOP31
  • MEMBER
But I tried turning the crankshaft pulley by hand and it did turn. I have new oil so I decided to drain my current oil and from the top you can't tell but oil the drain plug it looks like chocolate milk. Now that I have all spark plugs changed radiator filled up should I add the nee oil and try to start it?
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Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
So, I think we have confirmed what happened. You appear to have a warped head and most likely have no or not enough compression which is why it is not starting.

You need air, fuel, spark, and compression in order to get the engine started.

Milky oil means you have water in it and that would have only come from the coolant. The only what that happens is if you have a head gasket pushed out or a warped head.

There are some other causes but when you had an overheat and a no start, then a warped head and no compression makes the most sense.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/coolantantifreeze-in-the-engine-oil

I know this is not what you want to hear but I am pretty sure that is the issue. If you want to get a video of what it sounds like when you are cranking the engine, they normally make a distinct sound, and we can try and confirm it further that way.

Thanks
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Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 AT 4:25 PM

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