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2015 Premium XT CVT
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heavy rain a few weeks ago, followed by freezing temps. Had to Ford a overflowed section of road to get home. Approximately 1.5 feet deep.

ISSUE: Steering rack will literally freeze and become immobile if temps drop below 32 degrees overnight. Feels as if there is concrete in the steering rack. Steering Linkages will flex but rack won’t budge.

It feels like there is a small amount of water in the boots that freezes, poked a small hole and a few drops came out but I can’t imagine it is enough to immobilize the steering. To free it up and drive anywhere I have to warm the actual rack components with a 1000 degree Heat gun.
Pain in the ****

Question: Anyone ever heard of water infiltrating the rack and freezing? That’s the only thing that seems plausible because it’s totally fine at 33 degrees, but solid at 32.

Probably going to drain the fluid, I never have done that before, any special tools required? I would want to make sure I get all the fluid/water out, not sure of the best way to go about this.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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936 Posts
Very strange, never heard of this before and not good for an offroad capable adventure all wheel drive car. I'd pull the boots at the rack end and have a look inside. Is the PS fluid reservoir contaminated? If it's got water in it, should be very visible and probably kinda frothy and white-ish color. If yes, then drain and flush after getting it up to temperature. However, assuming it's a newer car the seals should all be fine and usually fluid leaks out, not water in.

Pictures?
 

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admin
2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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7,245 Posts
That is a mystery. All I can think of there is water in the steering rack gear body itself.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i MT
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324 Posts
Water depth was 1.5 feet? I thought anything above the bottom door seal was asking for trouble (takes a long time to dry out the inside). Did any water come in?
 
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