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CEL frenzy, after driving through standing water

8054 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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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 is scary but a way of life around here. Normally, I would bring car to local carwash and have undercarriage sprayed down but I am afraid to do anything now. No joke - lift kit may be in order. Already have Geolander AT/S to deal with winter and washouts.
Rasterman and Eagleeye,

Thanks for your quick replies. As a matter of precaution I will bring car to Autozone for computer check. Its 5 miles vs 10 to dealer (which is closed) and i need car tomorrow for work. Salt water is scary and I am worried about O2 and/or tranny sensor line issues.

Quick update - I just got back from Autozone and computer set off P0306 which is Cylinder Six misfire. While driving car there and back vehicle had no issues. I removed GND from batt to reset code and so far no issues (while parked). I think water may have got into cylinder plug cap and has since dried out.

I appreciate everybody's response and am seriously thinking about lift and undercarriage pans since standing brackish and salt water is becoming more of a frequent occurence where I live. Car is daily driver and not used for toying around unless going to mountain getaway or kayaking. Car has been extremely reliable and I use it to get my wife to medical clinics (60mi away) during the worst of weather when 1st responders won't venture out. Based on reliability of Outback we bought a 2017 Legacy 3.6R for her to drive daily but we rely on Outback in bad conditions since i have it setup with Yoko AT/S's and Hella Fogs for supplement lighting as needed.

Glad I joined Forum. I'll do my research on lifts and post updates.
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