• Jun 7, 2012
"Ja, that ice'll hold ya." Until it didn't, and suddenly a man's 1996 Legacy wagon was at the bottom of a shallow lake in Finland. Three months later, the Subaru wagon was dragged from its freshwater slumber, and while most people would just write the car off or at most turn it into a parts donor, curiosity got the better of the rescue squad.

Would it run? Just how bad was the damage? Before plunging below the surface, the owner did have time to shut the engine down and get his dogs out, so the boxer four didn't aspirate any water and electrons weren't coursing through the various circuits, two details that likely saved a bunch of damage. After removing a live fish from the engine bay, draining a lot of water from the fuel tank and crankcase, and a fresh fill of fluids and spark plugs, lo and behold, the SCUBA-ru chugged to life on the first try.

It's not perfect; until the residual water works its way through the fuel system it's going to feel a little low on power, and oxidation may start to fiercely assert itself. The smell is probably epic, too, but this is one funkbox with a great story.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 69 Comments
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fished Finnish Subaru isn't finished.
      moparman426w
      • 2 Years Ago
      It only makes sense that the car would start, since it hadn't been under water long enough for the engine to rust solid. He drained the oil & fuel, put in new spark plugs & fluids, so it should start.
      Legodaddy57
      • 2 Years Ago
      I put a trailer u-haul hitch on my Subaru, loaded up the u-haul towing the Subaru Outbacks 2.5liter eng max capacity of 2500lbs all the way from NJ to NC. Kept speed to right around 55 - 65 all the way for the whole 11 hour trip. Stopped once for gas , usually averages 31mpg on highway, this time only managed 24mpg with all that weight in tow. I thought the CVT would over heat or that the cooling system would fail? wrong, the car made the whole trip WITHOUT any issues what so ever. My 2011 Outback - I love it, it's the most comfortable riding, most reliable wagon I've ever driven. Since it's purchase in Summer 2010, it has not had any mechanical issues at all. Just gas and go. I do oil changes and regular scheduled maintenance at the Subaru dealer every 3000 miles. The service people are so knowledgeable , courteous, friendly, they even give me a loaner car for the day for free brand new outback to drive while my car is being worked on. SUBARU'S are awesome !!!!!!!
        Gerry
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Legodaddy57
        Who expects mechanical problems with a one model year old car? I sure don't. When your car hits 290,000 miles or so like my Acura, then come brag. In the mean time, I'll take a caution knowing that my buddy's Subaru wagon trashed it's transmission and awd system all over I-95 in Fairfield Conn.
      wrxfrk16
      • 2 Years Ago
      And that ladies and gentlemen, is what makes a Subaru a Subaru.
      Matrix
      • 2 Years Ago
      im guessing the interior and all the other electronics are probably ruined, but the good thing is the car is still drivable.
        Hello Master
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Matrix
        actually its like a cell phone, if you let it dry out then the electrics should work, they may not be perfect like the clock might not work but the radio should as well as the power windows and locks
      wukkuan
      • 2 Years Ago
      WOW and my 1970 chevy monty carlo would not start if it was raining
        whamhammer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wukkuan
        Probably a bad distributor cap, a crack in the cap lets in moisture and messes with the spark.
        tnickms70
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wukkuan
        I thought that only happened to VWs back in the 70s!!
        underdoneone
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wukkuan
        "I thought you were going to buy a Suburu son." "But Dad, I did. " Wow.. That is really something.
        tnickms70
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wukkuan
        I thought that only happened to Volkswagens back in the 70s!! :-D
      RON
      • 2 Years Ago
      My first car was a 'olds 88....cost $50.00. aways started. Once it started moving.....s.o.b. to stop. I gave it to my dad, he worled on sewage pies. He ran that car over every hill and mud patch......I think it is still running...though it's forty years later..
      Djalil Stig
      • 2 Years Ago
      try to do that with a Hyundai or a Kia
      sanmusa
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why ja? Yes is Finnish is kyllä.
        LEDfoot
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sanmusa
        They must have been on the Swedish-speaking side of Finland...
      KJ
      • 2 Years Ago
      ROFL, love it!! Scuba-ru!!
      Matthew
      • 2 Years Ago
      No, I believe Ford holds that honor and always will. God bless Ford Motor Company for bringing us all into the automobile age. The Model T and Model A were the most durable cars ever. New cars are just disposable plastic junk.
        Gerry
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Matthew
        Baloney. While those ancient cars brought private transportation to the masses, they were by no means reliable transportation compared to today's cars. Show me which Model T or A could go 110,000 miles on one set of spark plugs, 150,000 miles and counting on the original exhaust system, alternator, radiator, water pump, power steering pump, a set of tires that last for 80,000 plus miles etc. We are currently living in a Golden Age of automobiles when it comes to quality.
      glassguy2
      • 2 Years Ago
      crap ,i had a gran prix that would not start after every rain till the sun came out ! but thats my luck
    • Load More Comments