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2019 Sport cvt
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Discussion Starter #1
We've finally had some (for us) substantial rain here in SoCal and that got me to wondering about general wading depth with the 2019 Foresters. Not typically an issue and the worst areas are pretty well known and blocked during serious flooding, although not always before someone demonstrates that the water was, in fact, too deep for them and gets on the TV news cams. Although interested, I'm not particularly inclined to do any true objective testing with mine, nor, at my age, interested in crawling around under my car with a tape measure, etc. Any thoughts? There are a variety of articles, forum discussions, etc., on earlier models but was wondering if anyone had checked for any quirky issues like placement of engine electronics or the like with the new platform?
 

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2019 Sport cvt
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I more interested in things like stream crossings on trails, as opposed to navigating the storm drains disguised as streets.
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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8 Posts
We've finally had some (for us) substantial rain here in SoCal and that got me to wondering about general wading depth with the 2019 Foresters. Not typically an issue and the worst areas are pretty well known and blocked during serious flooding, although not always before someone demonstrates that the water was, in fact, too deep for them and gets on the TV news cams. Although interested, I'm not particularly inclined to do any true objective testing with mine, nor, at my age, interested in crawling around under my car with a tape measure, etc. Any thoughts? There are a variety of articles, forum discussions, etc., on earlier models but was wondering if anyone had checked for any quirky issues like placement of engine electronics or the like with the new platform?
Max depth for STANDING water is 12". Obviously the car has 8.7" of ground clearance. But if the body plugs are in place, you can handle 12" of STANDING water without an issue. Not RUNNING water - such as you'd have in a flooding situation or crossing a creek. The only thing you have to be careful of is the vent for the differentials.

Note that 6" of water (or for that matter, thick Oklahoma mud) isn't an issue other than you'll have wet brakes. And that's speaking from experience - I'd taken someone on a test drive in a dirt field we use, and I'd forgotten it'd rained. All 6" of mud did was give me a chance to show off the X-mode.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5 XPremium 4EAT
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I more interested in things like stream crossings on trails, as opposed to navigating the storm drains disguised as streets.
Round where I live in the mountains, stream crossings on trails can take you away faster than flooded urban streets. Cars and water don't mix; by the time you've realised that you've misjudged the depth and flow rate it's usually too late.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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254 Posts
I had a different vehicle several years back and thought I could get through some standing water. Water depth was only about 6” but I tried to get through too fast and water came over the hood. Yep, car stalled and the engine hydro locked. Engine was toast, lesson learned!
 

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2019 Sport cvt
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Discussion Starter #10
It's a new platform and as it's a "new" vehicle, performance from past cars may not be directly comparable. There are off-road and trail ride videos out there, manufactured water/mud pits in off road vehicle areas, and the like. But they are almost all 2018 and older vehicles. I'm more concerned about "gotchas" from the new engine/platform lay-out than problems from dangerous water conditions. And the Forester is a lot smaller/different in comparison to the old 4x4 pick-up we just sold. So something I might not think about with the truck might be a problem for the Subie. And the auto start/stop? I'd expect Rule 1 would be, "Turn it off!" for a water crossing. Would just as soon not be the guy out on a group event with everyone scratching their heads going, "Wow. never saw that with a 2018!"
 

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19 19 Touring, 17TrgXT CVT
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Here is a good article warning about low water crossing issues and another detailed one on how to do stream crossings:

https://lifesaving.com/issues-safety-rescue/low-water-crossings-the-hidden-danger/

Water crossings ? Exploring Overland

I would only do a stream crossing along an established vehicle trail, with partner vehicles, and a complete knowledge of the crossing (depth, footing, upstream issues - e.g rain, dam releases, etc). Would never do it in an active flood, storm condition unless I had no other option.

One good tip I saw above is to make sure all the body plugs are in place. With the newer models, there are two - and in the case of my 19 Touring, the dealer forgot to install them (they were in the trunk(boot) in a a plastic baggie with some other pre-delivery steps)
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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It's a new platform and as it's a "new" vehicle, performance from past cars may not be directly comparable. I'm more concerned about "gotchas" from the new engine/platform lay-out than problems from dangerous water conditions.
Don't be concerned...it has received fantastic reviews and those of us that own one are extremely happy. The new Global Platform is amazing and the updated engine does its job very well. I would buy mine all over again without hesitation. The Global Platform has also been out since 2017 as an FYI.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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As noted above there is a big difference between standing and flowing water.
The same 12" of standing water (if that's true) you could go through is far more than adequate to take your car wherever it wants to when it's flowing..
Once water is acting on the side of your car, you are no longer a driver of your vehicle. The water will be doing that for you.
It doesn't matter how much power you have when you are floating sideways going downstream.

The real problem with water crossing is that you don't know what is under the surface.
That several inches deep you think you are crossing can also be a 10 foot deep washed out road.

Regardless of the ability to cross water without the vehicle getting stuck, rain runoff isn't the cleanest, and nasty stuff can easily be deposited in hard to get areas that will reward you with rust further down the road.

A few years back, a state law was passed appropriately called the "Stupid Motorist Law" - If a car is driven through a road marked closed due to flooding and gets stuck, the idiot behind the wheel gets to pay for the entire cost of their rescue, in addition to a hefty fine for the traffic violation of using a closed road.
 

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2019 Sport cvt
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Discussion Starter #14
Just for "fun," I checked my spare tire storage area. I either have spare plugs or they weren't installed. They'll go in when I swap the new plates for the paper "plate."
 

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2017 2.5i Touring SBM Lineartronic CVT with X-Mode
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262 Posts
My general rule of thumb passing through water:
-for SUVs/Trucks is it's ok it the water isn't higher than the hubs/underbody ground clearance
-for cars no higher than the sidewall of the tire

It's best not to do it at all and I personally wouldn't want to chance more than 4".
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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@Maru - ^^^^ Not a bad rule.
The only caveat I would add is that you KNOW how deep the water actually is.
True story:
I was out walking my dog along a local wash that crossed over a road after days of heavy rain.
The water was crossing where the road dipped.

If you didn't know the road, it looked like it was just some shallow running water a few inches deep, because the road on the other side was at the same level.
Basically, it was a paved over ravine. The actual water depth was well over 10 feet, and the warning signs were totally submerged.

A lady in a Honda Accord came driving up and was looking like she would cross into the water.
I made the "no no neck wave" and put my hand up to show her how deep it was.
She turned around.

Later that night, I saw a silver car on the news that had a rear windshield wiper in motion at the same spot.
I don't know what kind if car it was because the only visible part was it's rear window and wiper barely above the water as it was washed away downstream.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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160 Posts
Here is a good article warning about low water crossing issues and another detailed one on how to do stream crossings:

https://lifesaving.com/issues-safety-rescue/low-water-crossings-the-hidden-danger/

Water crossings ? Exploring Overland

I would only do a stream crossing along an established vehicle trail, with partner vehicles, and a complete knowledge of the crossing (depth, footing, upstream issues - e.g rain, dam releases, etc). Would never do it in an active flood, storm condition unless I had no other option.

One good tip I saw above is to make sure all the body plugs are in place. With the newer models, there are two - and in the case of my 19 Touring, the dealer forgot to install them (they were in the trunk(boot) in a a plastic baggie with some other pre-delivery steps)
So i still have the body plugs since it doesn't fit in the holes (hole is too small for the plugs) where it states it should be. Is there a trick on how to install them?
 

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2010 FXT slush-box
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water water everywhere

so how high up is the air intake on the 2019. Is it sealed well?

I know a breather on the diff is recommended on earlier models.

Also, the car's computer used to be mounted near the floorboards, where water is likely to get if you go a bit too deep. Has that changed?

just some things to think about.

Jeff
 

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19 19 Touring, 17TrgXT CVT
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So i still have the body plugs since it doesn't fit in the holes (hole is too small for the plugs) where it states it should be. Is there a trick on how to install them?
I crawled under and popped them right in. Since it is part of the Dealer's pre-delivery prep, you can also get them to do it.
 
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