How does a car flood?

What does it mean when someone says a car is flooded? How does this happen?

When someone says a car is flooded, they often mean that their gas engine has too much fuel in the combustion chamber. This can saturate the spark plugs and prevent them from igniting.
A flooded engine can happen when:
  • A car is started in cold weather
  • A driver holds down the accelerator too long before turning the key.
You can often tell if your engine has flooded if:
  • You hear a whirring noise while cranking the engine
  • Your car dies shortly after you started it
  • You can smell gasoline
  • You can see black smoke coming from the tailpipe
To remove the flood, just crank the engine until it burns the excess gasoline and starts up.
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Matthew Macgugan
Answered on Oct 22, 2021

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