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CEL frenzy, after driving through standing water

8053 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  subiesailor
New to I have 2010 Outback 3.6 and 2017 Legacy 3.6. Outback is my swiss army knife and has weathered blizzards, hurricanes and nor-easters without a single issue till now.

Reading forum about Engine, Cruise, Brake Christmas Tree effect on forum. I had to run through a 4-5" of standing LI Sound water with Outback today after NorEaster and started getting the Christmas tree light effect. AGM Battery 1 mo old and gas cap tight so those are not issues. Car was running rough after passing through water and the idiot lights came on. Checked air box and battery cables and everything is fine. Car has since "dried out" and engine seems to be running fine.

Has anyone had similar issues after running through standing water? Unfortunately, passing thru standing water from storms is getting to be a regular fact of life where I live on Long Island and won't be able to avoid it. That is reason why I have Outback and leave wife's Legacy in driveway under such conditions. Just as precaution I will go to Autozone for computer check. I hope its not O2 sensors...
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how deep was the water on the car? where was the water line under the hood?

as this is on Long Island, was it salt water?

(and I would park on a higher end of a street, and walk home, if you driveway gets some water backing up in it).

Water was well below hood but gave the car a good bath while passing thru it. Yes - it is indeed salt/brackish water from LI Sound backwater cove.
salt water :surprise:

it maybe well below the hood, (like it was not splashing over top of it, but still splashing up under it around the engine and battery, making for electrical shorts )

@Brucey @MiddleAgeSubie etc. advice to a fellow H6 owner from your experiences fording brooks,... ....outside of get a lift kit.
sometimes a night in a heated garage with a air-furnace is all something needs to really dry out,

but you got to take steps to keep the salt water from getting up where it can hurt things.

...or buy a cheaper car to abuse like a beach car.
(think 1990-1995 EJ22 subaru,....or a 1990s jeep 4.0 wrangler or cherokee sport).
In my case it was an improperly installed transmission harness at the factory that allowed water to get to some sensor. That's what I was told. Back then, I did no work on my cars so I did not inquire any further. Never had issues with water crossings afterwards though I never did more than half a dozen. Similarly, no issues with standing water after it was replaced.

I would not worry under 15" at proper speed but you can hyrdrolock in 5.

If you are just driving paved roads, you can opt to just ignore this. In my case, the car would shut off, then re-start. Later, the lights would come off, could be 24hr later.
those places on the north shore of long island have lots of cul-de-sac streets and the high tide water just comes up into the neighborhoods during coastal storms. (south shore has homes / bars on barrier islands and similar issues).

paved road or not, a low pot in a street can get pretty deep unexpectedly.

like every utility pole and stop sign/ needs a water depth gauge on it.

or all subarus need pontoons,...and a propeller.
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