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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, yesterday my father drove his 2010 petrol auto Forester (model SH9BK4L) into a flooded creek and it stalled. A passerby dragged the vehicle out and bought him home. When we went back to rescue the Forry I pulled out the air filter and found that although it was a bit wet there didn't seem to be any water past the filter so we tried the key to start it. To my surprise it actually fired and ran for a couple of seconds but didn't show any more life after that although it still turned over on the starter.

We towed it home slowly, took out the front seats, lifted the carpets, emptied all the water from the footwells and let it all dry out. Now when the ignition is turned on the gauges do their usual dance and the warning lights come on for their bulb test but then the temperature light starts flashing red/blue and when the key is turned to start there is no response, not even a click. I disconnected the battery and smart charged it but still no response. I disconnected the temp sensor on the RH front of the block but that made no difference either.

Has anyone had a similar experience/problems, where should I start. A neighbour has a code reader so I will see if he can help.
 

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G'day & Welcome @Quamera You should start by not trying to start it and hand it over to the experts! (Insurance should cover it) If your Dad is lucky it may just be a wet ECU (I'm not sure where it is in a 2010 but it is in the LH side floor on previous models like mine) The spark plugs need to be pulled and the cylinders properly inspected with a scope for tidal marks (decarbonization) and if they are evident then the engine has to be stripped down. This is what happened to my hydrolocked engine years ago; it ran for two weeks before dying:
bent conrod:
550825


Decarbonised cylinder
550826


Decarbonised head
550827


Smashed piston
550828


Holes punched through the block

550829
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ouch, thankyou Kevin for that reply and rather graphic pictures. I had no idea that a hydrolocked motor would even start let alone run for 2 weeks, I bet it ran a bit roughly. There is a metal plate on the front of the front passenger footwell with a lot of wiring running underneath it that probably leads to the ECU. The sound deadening material around it was wet so may require some extra drying out, I will remove the plate tomorrow and let some air at it.

The roads are still cut into town so nothing is going to happen there before the weekend. Forrie has dints and scrapes in most panels from roos and various objects so its not worth much, we just went back to a 3rd party insurance policy anyway some years ago so no joy there. The motor turns over by hand easily enough so I don't think it is hydrolocked but no power is reaching the starter, I suspect that is linked to the red/blue flashing temp light so I will attempt to dry out the ECU to see if that stops the flashing then if we are lucky the ECU will allow the starter to operate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I have unbolted the ECU from the front passenger footwell and there was signs of moisture inside the box and on the board so I dried them out however my policeman (red/blue flashing temp light) is still telling me we have been bad. I hooked up a code scanner but although it goes through the motions it cannot connect and keeps telling me to turn on the ignition and/or check the plug. Since it can't read the info I can only assume the ECU is cactus.
 

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my father drove his 2010 petrol auto Forester (model SH9BK4L) into a flooded creek and it stalled.
Hello Quamera, on a side note, show your old man this:

If it gets a bit monotonous after a couple of minutes, skip ahead to around the 6 minute 30 mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, what sort of vehicle was that, it was definitely a diesel and when he pulled up you could hear the water sloshing around the footwells. It obviously must have had a snorkel and the funniest part was when the windscreen wipers were working underwater. He didn't really deserve to make it through that last deeper section, I say he should have been a victim of Darwin's law.
 

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Considering he wasn‘t swept away, has to be a heavy truck. How funny if you didn’t pay attention and had a head scratching double-take with the Audi at the end!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Considering he wasn‘t swept away, has to be a heavy truck. How funny if you didn’t pay attention and had a head scratching double-take with the Audi at the end!
No I don't think the vehicle needed to be heavy, the water was only flowing slowly and I had the impression that the bonnet wasn't very high off the ground. I did do a double take with that Audi but decided that it must have entered from the side road after our Darwin award contender had gone past. Surely there were not 2 stupid people on the other side of that water!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some further searching for reasons to cause a red/blue flashing temperature light has only turned up people guessing, usually the consensus is a communication problem with the ECU. Sometimes it goes away, often the cruise control light flashes in sympathy and sometimes the check engine light is on as well. Sometimes it can be cleared by disconnecting the battery or by using a code reader but in my case it seems fairly stuck on so it's looking like the ECU is cactus. Late yesterday I asked Wippells in Toowoomba for a price on a new ECU, I wouldn't expect any change from $K but I will find out on Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
For anyone interested the new Subaru price for our ECU from Wippells in Toowoomba was $2820. They freely gave me the part number so I tapped it in and found a used one from SGS at Thornleigh for $120. The only downside is they won't take returns on electronic parts so it's a bit of a gamble. In hindsight I probably should have rung some local wreckers who may have been easier to deal with if the replacement ECU doesn't work, it will certainly be annoying if my police light is still flashing after the fresh ECU is installed .
 

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@Quamera I seem to recall a replacement ECM has to be programed with the VIN & vehicle security 0n later models? If that's the case, make sure you check with the dealership for the cost to have this done. The other big question, would the dealership be willing to program in used ECM that you didn't buy from them?

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@2.5x_sleeper Thanks for the warning Bobby. Yes you are right but luckily I am told it can be done by anyone with an OBDII and I have access to one of them. If it's too much for me any auto sparkie can do it. Wippells would also willing to do it but that's a 4 hour return trip to Toowoomba on a car trailer so definitely not my preferred option.
 
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