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The Kia Forte is a compact car produced by Kia Motors since mid-2008.

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went through a foot of water and it stopped working

My kia forte ex went through a foot of water and it stopped working how long do have to wait before I can start my car again

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Is there any water in your air filter box?

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Pull the spark plugs before you start the engine - that’s how you hydrolock the engine and potentially total out the entire car. After they’re out, start the engine until the water is out of the engine - this generally doesn’t take very long and clears out with a few full turns. HOPEFULLY you didn’t start it and damage the engine prior, because the problem is the piston rods bend and you end up having to rebuild the engine.

That said, give changing the tranny fluid a serious look if it’s more then 1-2” of flood water, because it can also do some expensive damage there as well. If it hasn’t ever been changed don’t touch it as that MAY be keeping it alive, but if it’s low mileage (think 70-80k tops), it shouldn’t be relying on dirty tranny fluid to run without slipping. You CANNOT use anything other then the fluid Hyundai specifies for this, as a lot of these modern transmissions use specific fluids. Buy it from the dealer or get the specified fluid elsewhere if it’s “dealer only”. It usually is sold in small bottles, but that isn’t always the case. It’s best to leave it be if you have no maintenance records and it’s high milege (100k+) as that’s typically what keeps them alive.

After you get the water out of the piston chambers and verify it’s no longer spitting water all over the engine bay, check the air filter for water - if it’s wet, dry it out and replace the filter. It may be a good idea to change this anyway, especially if it’s been a while since the last time this was done.

If you do these two things, it’s generally safe to start the car and see if it’s completely dry and there’s no water left to potentially damage the engine. However, if you see anything obvious that needs attention you likely need to address that first before you do any further assessment of the damage. The goal is to avoid trashing the engine right now so you have a chance to fix it. We don’t know which year you own, so there’s no way to point you to a service manual or technical information on what you need to try and do things like remove the spark plugs. If any water got into the chassis, expect extensive repairs as electrical damage tends to be deep and expensive in most cases but hope for the best.

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acholesb  it may start or it may not start for a while. YOU DON’T EVEN WANT TO TRY WITHOUT PROPER PREP. If you suspect that your engine sucked in the water, remove the plugs (as previously suggested) remove all filters as well as all the oil. Replace it with the appropriate quantity and the right grade. Then (leave the plugs out since you really do not want it to fire up) crank it over a few times. Then replace the spark plugs.

If this is due to an electrical failure (shortened out connectors etc.) you will have to trace the electrical wiring to and from your engine as well as your ECU etc. which may have gotten shortened out. As you can see there is no complete answer but it will require you to do a good troubleshooting. Let us know the exact model, year and engine size for your Forte.

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@nick should have added that to your answer. Little less talk about the interference engine etc., will make it far more specific to the question the OP is asking. :-)

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@oldturkey03 I only did that so they understand why the Hyundai platforms are more prone to total failure in this case.

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@nick that interference is far more critical when you are looking at things like timing belts etc. but not specific to water immersion. Reading that part appears to make it a filler only. Hydrolock in any type of engine is never good.

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@oldturkey03 Easier to just remove it then. It really wasn't, but there's really no way to save it to work.

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