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Subaru Forester Air Conditioning Problems



  • dahs10dahs10 Posts: 6
    The problem with my Subaru Forester AC was the head gasket. I had that replaced for $2500.00 and now it works great. No more overheating.
  • quark613quark613 Posts: 5
    See my post # 16 above. Had to cancel my appointment late last summer to have my a/c checked out by my mechanic because my daughter had a baby early and I went to help her; by the time I got back we figured we might as well wait till the next cooling season to deal with it. Finally brought it in. Took some sleuthing to find this: "a/c clutch develops an open circuit and disengages." Replaced a/c clutch and I've got nice cold air blowing as long as I need it to. Yay! Total cost was $410 plus tax.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Glad to hear both of you found a fix. :shades:
  • Hi - have a 2009 Suby Forester with 47000 miles (mostly highway) and the air conditioner which isn't used all that much has stopped blowing cold air. I took it to my local dealer who informs me that the compressor doesn't work, the clutch doesn't function properly, etc. $1400++ to repair!! I live in No. California so AC doesn't get used constantly, but it gets at least weekly use in summer/early fall (85+ and the dogs start panting...)
    Naturally the car is just out of warranty, but no way should this be happening after only 47000 miles?!! Any advice on what if any recourse I might have with Subaru? Thanks for any suggestions.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That is very, very unusual.

    I have heard that you should use the A/C once in a while to keep the seals lubricated. There's an additive in there that cycles around the system.

    $1400? Yikes!

    Call 800-SUBARU3 and tell them how new your car is. Be super-nice - you get more flies with honey. I used to work in a Help Desk so trust me on that one.

    Hopefully they will cover at least a portion of that cost.
  • I don't believe it for a minute. There's no way the compressor AND the compressor clutch are shot, and that figure is absurd. Take it to a reliable, independent mechanic.
  • baires60baires60 Posts: 30
    Hi, I bought a 2010 subaru forester in January 2010 and I went to start my AC on those hot muggy days last week and nothing. I had used it a couple of weeks ago or maybe a month now and it seemed to work fine but may have been that I was going over 60 and the air was coming in colder. But is anyone else experiencing this on the 2010 AT Premium X? I bearly have 9K on the car. Thought it could be the freon but isn't it too early to be replenishing that? I don't drive anywhere that I would have punctured something - I do city and highway driving - though some potholes can be like craters in NY.

    TIA, Silvia
  • mgoltramgoltra Posts: 2
    my 09 forester's a/c broke around 28K. Sprayed Freon all over my face and my wife's. Dealer said it was the condenser. It was replaced eventually but A/C is not the same, it doesn't get that cold.
  • nbg2nbg2 Posts: 1
    My air conditioner works well for a while, blowing very cold air. The, suddenly the compressor seems to shut off and only warm air is emitted. This seems to happen especially on hot days, and especially if I am headed downhill (i.e. when my engine is revving down). If I accelerate, raising RPMs, the compressor seems to kick back in. I can do this 5 or 6 times. Eventually, even that fails. Then I have to turn off the system and let it rest. About 10 minutes later I can restart the air conditioner, and it cools perfectly. I have 100,000 plus miles. I recently started using a phone charger in my cigarette lighter and recently had the head gasket changed. Could either of these two changes be responsible? A post I saw on this site mentioned something about an air conditioner clutch and another post mentioned a coolant temperature sensor. Does anyone have an opinion about my problem?
  • dahs10dahs10 Posts: 6
    When my air conditioner started acting like that, I had to have the computer module for the a/c replaced. Not cheap but after that the a/c worked fine.

    I'm still having problems with the car overheating when I run the a/c. I can turn it on but if I travel on the interstate when I get off, it starts to overheat. I've replaced the head gasket so I didn't expect this to happen again. Any ideas?
  • mjb59mjb59 Posts: 1
    The AC on my 2009 Forester (58,000 miles) quit working. The compressor makes a lot of noise (rattles) when the AC is turned on. I took it to the dealer and was told I had a clog in the system. They said the rattle was due to the compressor pulling vacuum on the low side and that pressure on the high side was over 200 lbs. I was told there was no way to find the clog and the only sure way to fix it was to replace all components in the system. Total cost around $3,000.

    I would like to know if there are any other options.
  • dahs10dahs10 Posts: 6
    I had another problem with my a/c this summer. When I would drive on the interstate with the a/c on and then get off, the car would overheat. I just had the head gasket replaced 18 months ago so I didn't think it was that again. I took it to an awesome mechanic and discovered the connection to the second fan was not working properly. He fixed that at minimal cost and now it works perfectly.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "The AC on my 2009 Forester (58,000 miles) quit working. The compressor makes a lot of noise (rattles) when the AC is turned on. I took it to the dealer and was told I had a clog in the system. They said the rattle was due to the compressor pulling vacuum on the low side and that pressure on the high side was over 200 lbs. I was told there was no way to find the clog and the only sure way to fix it was to replace all components in the system. Total cost around $3,000."
    This does not sound right. In 5 decades of car ownership I have not heard of a "clog" in the AC system. Also, being unable to find the problem, and needing to replace the whole system, and the cost of $3,000, all sound wrong. It is well worth seeking a second opinion from another dealer or a good independent shop.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I can imagine debris causing a clog, but the price sure does sound high.

    Funny thing is they usually leak...
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    Over the years on various cars we have had such problems as a plugged evaporator drain, intermittent cooling, minor refrigerant leaks, an untended leak where loss of refrigerant and its lubricating properties ruined the compressor, and a couple of failed compressor clutches. But no clogs.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had a leaky compressor on a '91 Ford Escort GT.

    I was mad because the A/C was a $460 option, but fixing it cost $700 at the time. And I had just serviced the A/C the year before.

    The shop gave me a break and didn't charge me for the freon the 2nd time.
  • Hello, my Forester is doing the exact same thing and dealer recommends head gasket replacement. Can you tell me exactly what second fan connection was not working properly on your car? What is the "second fan" and where is it located? Thanks very much - you might save me a ton of money!
  • dahs10dahs10 Posts: 6
    The second fan is located on the passenger side of the car at the very front right behind the headlight. Good luck
  • My AC in my 2009 Forester started blowing hot air about a year after I bought it (bought it in July 2008). I took it to the dealer and they couldn't find a leak but did replace what they called a Shrader valve on it and they put more freon in it and it worked pretty good for 2 years. Now I have about 72,000 miles on the car and it stopped working at the beginning of the summer. Didn't take it to the dealer because it wasn't under warranty. Took it to another garage and they said that my compressor made a lot of noise and the pressure was off on it and they quoted me about $700 to replace the compressor. I actually found a used one and had another garage put it on and paid about $400 total. It worked for about a week and half and now all the freon is leaked out again. The garage that put the compressor in thinks it is something else. I believe this all stemmed from the first time I took it to the dealer. I think they give you outrageous prices I know that when I talked with them about the compressor they said it would be between $1200 and $2000 to fix it. I am emailing Subaru because I keep being told by mechanics that this should not be happening on this new of a car.
  • baires60baires60 Posts: 30
    WOW that is a new car practically, my car 2010 subaru forester had a problem and blew hot air at the beginning of the summer - I took it to the dealer and they said they found a leak and replaced the evaporator? Whatever it was, they needed to wait for a part to fix it. It works great now but after hearing your story I am waiting to see what happens in a couple of years, I got the extended warranty so I guess if it does happen again I am covered either way - well as long as it's not over 70K or 7 years old. I don't like it when things that major already go out within the first 15 months of a car's life.
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