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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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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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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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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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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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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-post/2018/02/02/Subaru-Drive-By-Wire-vs-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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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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Officially totaled - the estamite to repair it was $14,489.99. Waiting to hear what they'll give me for it.



I had time to get over to the other lane, but with other cars and trucks in the range, I didn't want to risk a collision in an emergency lane change. At the time, the best felt option was to risk running over it. Methinks the little handle thing was the thing that clipped, the rest was just too short, and without that handle or whatever sticking up, this would've been a different story!



So I'm researching new or new to me vehicles. Time for fun!
 

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Officially totaled - the estimate to repair it was $14,489.99. Waiting to hear what they'll give me for it.


So I'm researching new or new to me vehicles. Time for fun!

Good luck in your next vehicle search. If not the same car.

That's the same number they gave me for the buy out after the lease.
 

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Methinks the little handle thing was the thing that clipped, the rest was just too short, and without that handle or whatever sticking up, this would've been a different story!
Probably, that handle might have kicked the whole thing in to a tumble under your car. Yikes! I wonder what it looked like after having relations with the underside of your car.
 

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This sort of situation is the reason my first mod was a skid pan. In research my new impreza had the same ground clearance as my previous car (a mkv jetta) and from past experience with the jetta and its skid pan (diesel geek ) It paid itself off many MANY times.

Sorry for your misfortune but you made the best/safest choice and other motorists surely are in your debt . good luck with the hunt.

First pic is prior to install, 2nd is the jetta
 

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