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Old 11-17-2012, 07:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Couple issues after my Subaru was submerged in water

Hello guys, I have used this site a lot to help with my problems but with this current one I'd like to try to narrow it down a bit.

I got my 2000 Subaru Outback stuck in water about 10 days ago.

Overall twice now while driving the CEL comes on, or pulses, car rattles when stopped, and acceleration is very poor, foot to the floor until about 35mph. Though between the first time and second time this happened I drove it about 1 1/2 hours and it drove very very well.

Other problem is sometimes, 3 times now, the car won't start within a hour of turning it off. Starter goes, battery is well. Starter fluid worked once to get it going.


I know this could be a million different things so here is a description of my experience the past 10 days, if anyone wants to read it it may clear some things up and give you a better idea of what I'm working with.

-Got it submerged about 1 1/2 feet or so in water, probably about 3 inches of water leaked onto the floor. Engine was NOT submerged.

-Got it out about 1 1/2 hours later and drained front end and back end, would not start, left it.

-Came back 20 hours later, started a bit but made horrible noises and would not idle, towed it out of there.

-Almost 2 days later we started it, was running well, lots of steam coming off around engine at first, and out the tailpipe. Drove it, cleaned it real well inside and underneath.

-Drove well for 2 days, then in the middle of the 2nd day it wouldn't start after being off for an hour. Battery good, starter was going well, just not firing. Came back a couple hours later with starter fluid, worked after a few tries. Drove it hard for a hour or so to heat things up.

-Started fine next day, but that night I stopped at the store and same starting problem. Starter fluid would not work. Left it at store.

-Came back in the morning and started fine, no starter fluid (notice the starting problem only happens within a hour or so of turning car off)

-Drove well, two days later car starts having bad acceleration, like not enough fuel is getting to engine, and shakes when I'm stopped in neutral. Sounds like it's going to stall when stopped but never does, real slow acceleration with pedal to the floor, once around 35 or so it picks up but I never go passed 3rd or 4th gear without car slowing down.

-Took out fuel filter (thought at the time I could clean it out without having to buy one) Emptied it out, kinda dark looking fuel. Went to start it but had the starting problem again so I couldn't tell if that worked for the shaking/accelerating problem.

-A day later it starts fine and runs beautifully, later that night I took it out and seemed to be running better than I ever remember, real smooth, fast, etc. This made me believe pouring out the dirty gas from my filter worked.

-Now today, started fine, was driving well until about 5 minutes in started rattling and having poor acceleration again, exactly the same as before. Drove it around like this and seemed to get a little better sometimes but is still driving bad. I figured an explanation for why this happened again could be because my fuel tank has crap in it that is getting into the filter, since it ran well after dumping out contents in filter, so I put high octane gas in and emptied filter again, but acceleration is still just as poor after doing this.

I'm not very car savy but I'm beginning to learn. Seems to me the rattling is a problem of fuel getting to engine, and that the starting is probably electrical (hence the randomness of usually starting but sometimes not)

I was planning on taking out my fuel injectors to see how they look tomorrow and maybe I'll be able to see inside the fuel tank a bit if things are dirty in there.


Any feedback or advice is much appreciated in advance!
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you going to replace the fuel filter? You need to. Sitting, the silt in the filter settles to the bottom. Once the fuel starts flowing through it, it moves around and may be causing restriction. Along with any other material the pump may be pulling up through the screen.

Sea Foam in the tank.

Don't bother with the injectors. Yet.

The pinging is detonation. Lack of fuel. Concentrate on the fuel delivery.

It was probably a coincidence that it started acting this way when you submerged it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What codes do you have?
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Novablue: I don't have a code reader and have been trying to avoid going somewhere because I do not have much money, though do realize that I may need to if I can't figure it out myself.

Cardoc: You really think it was a coincidence? I guess my "fuel delivery" problem didn't happen until 5 days after the incident, but what about the starting problem? Do you think my fuel delivery problem is related to the starting problem?

Are there any ways to narrow it down to the fuel filter? I'd like to be a little more sure before I start buying parts, the ones up here are $35.

Thanks guys
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok now I just started it and it's running well again. This leads me to believe that the fuel problem is caused after the car has been running and not after it has been sitting.

Is that what you were saying cardoc, about the fuel filter settling silt on the bottom?
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you have a smart phone you can get a code reader for about $15. I got one like this.

Since you have access to a computer, you can also get a USB cable that will connect the car to the computer and download a free program. It's best if you have a lap top for that option.

Most auto-parts stores will read codes for free unless you live in CA.

Fuel filter is highly suspect. One option you have is buy the filter and leave it unopened. Tear into the car. If you don't need it, just return it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frontofresistance View Post
Ok now I just started it and it's running well again. This leads me to believe that the fuel problem is caused after the car has been running and not after it has been sitting.

Is that what you were saying cardoc, about the fuel filter settling silt on the bottom?
Could be trash in the tank getting sucked up on the screen.

It could also be the fuel pump failing. Sits, cools off, pumps fine. After running a while, builds heat, winding expands, quits working.

Could also be EVAP related. Not venting properly, the tank pressure builds up.

Could be a clogged charcoal canister.

There are a lot of possibilities. The known factor is the knocking and detonation due to lack of fuel. That narrows it down. Take the filter out of the chain altogether and splice the fuel hoses together and drive it that way to see what happens. If it does it again, fuel pump needs to be checked. If not, put a new filter on it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok so I ran the car without the filter and was still doing the same problem, this makes you think the next option is fuel pump? Any reason why you think that over the fuel injectors? Or are they the same thing?
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Water in various electrical connectors will cause all sorts of heart burn.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I scanned my computer system today and this is what I got.

P0335: Crankshaft position sensor A circuit malfunction
P0336: Crankshaft position range performance
P0340: Camshaft Pos bank 1 or single sensor
P0325: Knock sensor 1 circuit bank 1
P0505: Idle air control system
P0443 Evaporative emission system purge control valve circuit
P0301: Cylinder 1 misfire detected
P0302: Cylinder 2 misfire detected
P1133 DTC definition found, see service manual

As far as the cylinder misfiring that happened over a week ago, we started it without the 2 spark plugs in to try to drain anything that would be in the engine.

As far as the rest of these I have no clue what they mean or how old they are. I had my car running at the time and the fuel problem was not currently happening.

If anyone could give some speculation I'd appreciate it!
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