Debris Strike on Highway - 5th Gen Subaru Impreza Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Debris Strike on Highway

So, heading home from Dayton, OH to Parkersburg, WV last week, I struck a piece of debris that was slap-bang in the middle of the passing lane. I had the following choices (names safe for work :P): Crap! (Running over it and HOPING it was short enough); Crappier! (Dive into the right lane and hope I didn't swipe anyone in that lane); Crappiest! (Drive off to the left, and play my chances at the median and keeping control). Chose Crap!

Object looked to be something like a battery cover or something somewhat solid off a truck, black, a few inches tall with a silver handle-like object (that I couldn't see until I was just about to hit it) on two of the visible sides. Front bumper cleared it without any issue, not as much as a scuff. However, the undertray for the engine and others were not so lucky. It snagged somewhere and I immediately had Eyesight warnings come on, power steering light, check engine light, AT OIL TEMP light, and not to mention the jolt of impact. I reacted immediately, and shot a gap in cars and pulled off driver's right, leaving a trail of fluid on the highway. Four hours later, one-man towing company my insurance company contacted got me, and took me to the dealer, and we're waiting on the insurance adjuster to come pay it a visit. Dealer reported at least a hole in the transmission.

I'm curious if anyone has any ideas on why I might've lost steering ability - I could not get the wheel to budge one bit after about 3 seconds after impact. I was locked in my trajectory of initial reaction. Possible severing of all steering lines? Possible knocking of transmission into park and severing of the gear selection wire? I would've expected at least to be able to wrestle it to turn if I'd just dumped all the power steering fluid out.

Here's a few photos I made while waiting for the tow truck to show up, and a couple after it got on the tilt bed and the grass plug for the transmission had been removed. I'm hoping it doesn't get totaled, the car is otherwise in pristine shape (was in need of a trip through the car wash!) and serving me very well. But I'm afraid I'm looking at 15k or more in repairs....
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 01:27 AM
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Humph. The Impreza isn't drive by wire, there's a mechanical linkage. I can guess, that fluid pressure could impact steering response if the power steering pressure was lost. Perhaps the impact dented the Steering Rack or damaged a line. But with out actually seeing the carnage it would be hard for me to put my figure on it. Either way that road debris got above the subrame and smacked some of your key drive line components.
Yikes. Glad your okay and the thing didn't cause a worse situation.

I knew someone who hit a man hole cover and it cut into the floor boards on the passenger side. Luckily no one was injured...the things that can happen.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripswitch View Post
Humph. The Impreza isn't drive by wire, there's a mechanical linkage. ....

Things have changed since you last looked under your hood :-)



ELECTRIC POWER STEERING.... no fluid, no pressure, no belt, no 'lines' ( besides wires).

Oh.... and the FB20B Direct-Injection engine is fly by wire. (Heck, my 2006 turbocharged Baja was FBW) Reference ==> https://www.iwireservices.com/single...Cable-Throttle

Last edited by BruceP; 07-16-2018 at 09:49 PM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 02:13 AM
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On that note, the electronic throttle seems to have been tamed since my 2005 Legacy GT. They were a tad touchy back then!

Deko, please keep us filled in on what the damage is. I hope it's not that bad, but that sounds ugly. I'm always paranoid about road debris, ****, I had my car about a week (maybe two) when an SUV in an adjacent lane drove over a bit of shredded tire and chucked it at my driver side door. Left me with a bit of a scuff in my clear coat. Luckily it didn't go through the clear coat and was easy to have cared for. Still, not cool!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Welp, it's hosed. Not officially decided yet by the assesor, but I'll be majorly surprised if it isn't totaled. Pics here: https://imgur.com/a/DShILvs


-Steering control is cracked/chunk taken out

-hole(s) in the Transmission
-Engine Support bar under the steering control is jacked
-Exhaust pipe from the front to back with holes, tears, dents
-Left Rear CV Axle Boot Damaged and Leaked


So that explains why I lost steering. Not sure I appreciate the lack of mechanical backup, but this is the new age of fly by wire, isn't it? :P Glad it was a wide and mostly straight road this happened on!



Been considering replacement already, I very liked this Impreza, so it's on the list again, but considering other Subaru Models. Now, if only I had some ambassador points or so to use to upgrade!



Being an SCCA member and corner worker for racing, I wish we'd have flaggers on some parts of road for incidents and debris. I should add, the Impreza handles very nicely on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (I get to drive on-track to my corner stations up there - well worth it!).
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 12:18 PM
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Maybe 10-15k in damage. Its going to be close imo
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 04:21 PM
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Those pics are amazing of the amount of damage done. Hope for it to get totaled and move on. That's a lot of repair and I understand the tranny alone is close to $10K.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceP View Post
Things have changed since you last looked under your hood :-)



ELECTRIC POWER STEERING.... no fluid, no pressure, no belt, no 'lines' ( besides wires).

Oh.... and the FB20B Direct-Injection engine is fly by wire. (Heck, my 2006 turbocharged Baja was FBW) Reference ==> https://www.iwireservices.com/single...Cable-Throttle
I meant Steering Linkage. An actual linkage with u joints coming out of the firewall down to the the rack. Despite Yes, electric power but at lease it's not steer by wire. (Which I confused the nomenclature with "drive" by wire)

2017 rack for reference.



Holy shoot, that's a lot of dough.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 07:59 PM
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Wow - that's a lot of damage! Glad everyone is OK, the rest can be replaced.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dekojester View Post
Welp, it's hosed. ...Being an SCCA member and corner worker for racing, I wish we'd have flaggers on some parts of road for incidents and debris. I should add, the Impreza handles very nicely on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (I get to drive on-track to my corner stations up there - well worth it!).
Try Waze on your Android Auto if you can. First time I played with it I got a warning about road debris ahead. I run it now even if I'm using a Garmin for navigation. Need a data connection for active messages from other users while you drive but I'm a believer. Be better if I could make it voice controlled. Hate to go off-road and be even more debris myself.

Good luck with your repairs and/or replacement car.
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