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'06 Forester Heater/Mode Cables Deform

The manual mode control stopped operating on this '06 Forester with around 75K; the cable had bent. After replacing it with another "official" Subaru cable from the local dealer, it deformed again.
Discovery ? We installed a complete heater and mode control system including the dash panel from a 2003 Forester ( $50. thanks to a used parts yard here in Maine). The complete OEM system from Subaru was about $300. The newer cables and our 2006 cables were thin gauge single strand wire.
The older '03 cables were thicker, more rigid, multi strand.
Our '06 cable wire had simply deformed around itself. Yes we're in Downeast Maine, BUT ?

Any others with this 'problem' ?

Looks like Subaru beancounters wanted to save a few pennies.

Comments

  • This can't be: is this Forester the ONLY one to have this manufacturing problem ?
    Impossible ! :mad:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hadn't heard of any complaints on the HVAC system besides having to succumb to the "HAL"-like controls.
  • I've been attending a couple of forums for over 4 years and never heard mention of deforming cables. It must take considerable force. I would look for the reason that so much force can be applied. Perhaps whatever the cable operates is stuck.
  • pulphookpulphook Posts: 5
    NO "force" other than normal user use.
    Hey, it's a machine. Engineers and manufacturers often cut corners as in this case.
    The wires for the mode and heater controls were a thicker gauge in earlier ( e.g. 2003 ) Foresters; this replaced the weak, thin, cheap wires that deformed on our 2006 Forester.
    That's the beginning and end. You enthusiasts sound too "enthused" about this vehicle.
    " Never heard any complaints about the Olds front ends breaking." The above account is accurate, correct, detailed, honest. Period. Don't get offended. :sick:
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... the weak, thin, cheap wires that deformed on our 2006 Forester.
    That's the beginning and end. You enthusiasts sound too "enthused" about this vehicle. " Never heard any complaints about the Olds front ends breaking." The above account is accurate, correct, detailed, honest. Period. Don't get offended."


    Not offended, just trying to figure out what happened. Had not heard of it on any Forester in the Edmund and and subaruforester.org in the past four years, nor has is happened on my '08 Forester, so it sounds unusual.
  • fleet1fleet1 Posts: 1
    My fleet runs a 05 Subaru Forester and it has had 3 heater/vent controller failures. The cable binds and or breaks. Local subaru dealer has fixed this 2x using oem parts and it just malfunctioned again. My main repair shop has informed me that this is a common failure on this vehicle, so the problem is not unusual at least not in this neck of the woods.
  • This sounds very much like the problem I currently have. But I'm being quoted close to $700 to repair. This is from a 'reputable' Subie repair shop, but it seems a bit steep. The mechanic did mention that in the extreme cold we have here in AK it is pretty common problem. The cable gets rigid and stressed when the car is started in harsh temperatures.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,679
    edited December 2012
    It is not uncommon to have cable issues in Alaska during cold weather, for sure. I always make a point to set my HVAC to how I want it running when I next start the car so that I don't have to make any adjustments until the car's interior is reasonably heated up (the HVAC components will tend to warm faster than the general cabin due to direct contact with the warm air).

    For me, that means ensuring the system is set on defrost/footwell split with fan speed at '2'. I wouldn't even think about changing that setting with the temperature at -20 to -30 (or lower) like we've been having in Fairbanks for the last week and a half!

    So far, I've owned four Subaru vehicles (not of the second gen Forester, though), all of which have lived outside, with no cable problems. (Is this the part where I knock on wood? :blush: )

    $700 does sound spendy, yet it does take some time to dig into the stuff packed behind the dash.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • Here's my experience with this OEM heater cable [non-permissible content removed]'y problem. SOA CHANGED the spec and manufacture of all the heater cables starting with the 2005 Foresters. In our 2006 the broken/deformed cables were first replaced with the OEM set from a dealer......THEY ALSO DEFORMED/BENT/STOPPED FUNCTIONING. Our non-dealer A.S.E. Subaru mechanic here recommended that we get an older set from used parts a.k.a. "junk yard". The cables in this set from an 04 or 03 Forester were thicker, durable, and exactly matched the OEM set on our 2006 except for the thicker cables.
    Conclusion ? The SOA beancounters decided to save a few $$$ on decreasing the quality and reliability of the heater set cables in the 2005-2006 models. The "older" set works perfectly.
    Note: dealer says: "we've never had that problem." Customer says: " the check is in the mail", and...." I will love you in the morning dear."
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 685
    Our non-dealer A.S.E. Subaru mechanic here recommended that we get an older set from used parts a.k.a. "junk yard". The cables in this set from an 04 or 03 Forester were thicker, durable, and exactly matched the OEM set on our 2006 except for the thicker cables.
    Conclusion ? The SOA beancounters decided to save a few $$$ on decreasing the quality and reliability of the heater set cables in the 2005-2006 models.


    It would have been the weight watchers, not the bean counters. Every ounce of extra weight is being removed to improve fuel economy. There may have been no decrease in cost. Expect many more such weight reductions in new models.
  • NO.
    Weight of a full set of cable [non-permissible content removed]'y weight including knobs is less than a couple of pounds. Decreasing the thickness and material quality of cables of less than 12" for each cannot be a weight decision on a vehicle weight or "fuel economy". Give us a break: SOA wanted to save a buck.
    Now if it is weight, the poundage of the hood for example has been lightened by near 1/2 from the 2001 Forester to the 2006. Now that's a weight consideration for fuel savings.
    In any product, the CFO rules.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 685
    Even windshield thickness and carpet padding is decreasing for weight reasons. The new, very thin, transparent back bumper abrasion cover is another example.

    Certainly cost is also very important: We are Subaru rather than Audi buyers.

    Audi , for example,went too far on early model year 1974 Fox models' window crank mechanisms and had to retrofit heavier and sturdier versions. My new 1974 Audi Fox was one of those getting the fix.
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