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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I probably won't be going through any deep water in my Crosstrek intentionally. But incase the situation presents itself, what is the max depth we can safely drive through? Yes I read the manual, and no I don't believe I saw anything in there about this but I'm sure it's in there and I missed it. I'd assume its bellow the trim of the car just under the belly? I looked through some other forms and I couldn't find anything on this topic since 2013ish when the Crosstrek first debuted and I know times change and vehicles do as well ever so slightly, so I thought I'd bring this up just so I/we know. I'd also like to talk about the design of our intakes. I've never owned a Crosstrek so I don't know how they've changed over the years if at all. My previous car was a lot lower, so if I saw high water or a flooded street I would turn around. Now that I got some decent ground clearance, I'm curious...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but It looks like the main air intake is located behind the grill towards the top. And after taking off the air filter and looking inside of the air cleaner case, the resonator sits bellow with a little hole that I assume water can drain through incase any does get sucked into the system? I think that's what its for right?

First question, we can't solely rely on the resonator to properly drain and disperse all the water that gets sucked into the intake? If water gets sucked in at a rapid rate, it's going to get into the cylinders for sure.
Second, if out main air inlet is just at the top of the grill, that doesn't mean we can trek through water that high can we? At that point I might as well be driving off road through a river.:cool:
Third, can water get sucked up through the resonator through the hole or anywhere around it? Considering the resonator sits at a lower level, that would be the max water height, just above the trim.
Finally, with all the electronics and computers put into these newer cars, can high water levels damage them? I don't know if any of these systems are sealed for water resistance or protection?
Also, what is the highest water you have driven through if any? How did it go? How did your vehicle handle it the deeper you got?
I appreciate you guys' input, like I said, I don't intend on putting myself in this situation, but it is good to know. We do get some heavy rain storms and flooding now and then where I live. Thanks.
 

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I wouldn't go more than 9 inches deep because if you go deep enough your engine could suck water from the intake and hydro lock your engine. Maybe the PROS can chip in because they have a lift kit and off-road it.
 

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Are we discussing stock ground clearance?

I wouldn’t go over anything over 8 inches. Reason being breather of the transmission
I didn't think about the transmission breather hose. Maybe pushing it to 9 inches is like the worst-case scenario. 8 inches sounds like a safer number to play way unless you have a lift kit then that's a different story.
 

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Yeah I'd aim for right around the rocker panels and not really more. The engine's air intake is pretty high up so I don't think that would be a first or second concern. It's also really important to drive slowly through water, the drag increases way faster and could rip parts off.
 

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There's more to water crossing than the air intake. The rear differential can take water as well, and the sudden thermal stress of a hot metal part being submerged in water can cause cracks, or just a temporary seal failure. Then there is the location of electronics. If you lurk around water fording discussions, often it is advised to change engine / transmission / differential oil afterwards.

Water crossings — Exploring Overland
 

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I didn't think about the transmission breather hose. Maybe pushing it to 9 inches is like the worst-case scenario. 8 inches sounds like a safer number to play way unless you have a lift kit then that's a different story.
water crossings can look cool and get some video/photo action

but I think it’s best to completely avoid water crossings all together. Too much can go wrong!
 

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so if I saw high water or a flooded street I would turn around. Now that I got some decent ground clearance, I'm curious...
TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN. this is the rule not because of how deep it maybe but because you don’t know what is or isn’t under the water.
 

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I'm reading this thread wondering how you know how many inches deep the water is? :unsure:

I've crossed a few streams on trails but I'm looking out of the window to see how far it is up the front wheel.
 

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If there's any question about a water crossing, it's always important to scout it. Better to have wet feet than a stuck car.

I've certainly done brief water crossings that were somewhat deeper than the rocker panels, and without incident. The main thing is to be confident that there are no underwater obstacles and that the streambed offers decent traction. While it might be OK for some car components to get wet, it wouldn't be good for them to be submerged for an extended period of time.
 

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One of the ones that I do fairly often (maybe once per year) is at a creek called Cibeque. It's either crystal clear or like chocolate milk, never in between. If it's clear, you can judge it just fine from the bank, but if it's muddy you have to let that guy behind you in the Jetta go first to demonstrate how deep it is.
I wouldn't say never cross, but I would say never cross if you're unsure. The risk is that you total your car, probably in the middle of nowhere. Not worth it.
The upside of trying to keep your rocker panels dry is that even if you screw it up and go a few inches deeper you might still be OK.
 

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but if it's muddy you have to let that guy behind you in the Jetta go first to demonstrate how deep it is.
LMAO at this!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I never knew the transmission had a breather hose, or that the rear diff could take in water. All good points, thanks.
 

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I never knew the transmission had a breather hose, or that the rear diff could take in water. All good points, thanks.
Admittedly the CVT breather tube is above the level of the transmission, and the water would almost have to be above the mid-engine height to get in- the rear diff is much lower and if hot when submerged could pull water through seals and o-rings where the axles go through the case, due to sudden change in temperature/pressure.
 

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I wonder how much of an issue is the immersion of the cat/headers. Intuitively, I'd expect thermal stress to wreck havoc and lead to cracking, but it doesn't seem to me mentioned often during discussions.
 

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Exhaust components undergo extensive durability testing during development including water quench.
I don't have any pics of a water quench test that i can find at the mo... but this is one of an exhaust on an engine dyno running at full chat :LOL:
305612

I loved that job :cool:
 

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There are all kinds of variables depending on the specific situation, of course, but I think that some of the concerns expressed in this thread are super-unlikely in a typical off-road water crossing situation ... that is, where the car stays in motion and the crossing takes only a minute or so. The impact of that isn't going to be much different from doing an underbody wash to remove road salt, or even doing a long drive on a rain-covered highway, and vehicles are designed for that soft of stuff.

Now, if you drove your car into, say, an 18" deep stream and got it stuck there ... that might be a different story.
 

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Exhaust components undergo extensive durability testing during development including water quench.
I don't have any pics of a water quench test that i can find at the mo... but this is one of an exhaust on an engine dyno running at full chat :LOL:
I loved that job :cool:
Sweet!! Reminds me of my digestive system after eating way too many habaneros and washing it down with beer..
 

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There are all kinds of variables depending on the specific situation, of course, but I think that some of the concerns expressed in this thread are super-unlikely in a typical off-road water crossing situation ... that is, where the car stays in motion and the crossing takes only a minute or so. The impact of that isn't going to be much different from doing an underbody wash to remove road salt, or even doing a long drive on a rain-covered highway, and vehicles are designed for that soft of stuff.

Now, if you drove your car into, say, an 18" deep stream and got it stuck there ... that might be a different story.
We'll be OK, we have @Twiddler here to help us out... 😸
 
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