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Old 11-18-2013, 10:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation 2014 forester - no recirc with defrost?

Hi everyone. New Subaru owner, first time posting.

The new base model Subaru I got has been great, but I have one complaint. The darn recirc gets disabled when you go to defrost automatically and you can't force the car to defrost with recirculate enabled. I used this all if the time with my last vehicle. Relying on the A/C for defrost with a car that stunk ahead of me. Now if I want to see, I have to smell whatever I happen to be following.

Any idea if the car can be modified to allow this?
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by actyler View Post
Hi everyone. New Subaru owner, first time posting.

The new base model Subaru I got has been great, but I have one complaint. The darn recirc gets disabled when you go to defrost automatically and you can't force the car to defrost with recirculate enabled. I used this all if the time with my last vehicle. Relying on the A/C for defrost with a car that stunk ahead of me. Now if I want to see, I have to smell whatever I happen to be following.

Any idea if the car can be modified to allow this?
I have found this out as well recently with the advent of cold weather and frosted windshields. I don't know if there is a workaround. I have a 2010 as well that I used "recirc" on to get the job done faster. Now I think I will be condemned to wait (and wait) until the 2014 warms up enough to get it done, which BTW I have noticed has a longer warm up time compared to the 2010.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There is a difficult workaround for pre-'14 models. Probably the '14s use a similar system. I found the stock setup to be a real pain and I modified my '12 and have never regretted it.

How-to: SH Disable automatic A/C on defrost (manual controls).
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't know about Subaru, but in some cars you can disable it by holding the re-circulation button pressed for 5 seconds. It will stay in recirc for some time (anywhere between 2 and 5 min) and then revert to normal operation.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by OldGoat38 View Post
There is a difficult workaround for pre-'14 models. Probably the '14s use a similar system. I found the stock setup to be a real pain and I modified my '12 and have never regretted it.

How-to: SH Disable automatic A/C on defrost (manual controls).
I sincerely appreciate the link, but with all that is involved, I think I will suffer through it. One would think that a Subie built for adverse conditions would have thought out these things in the design stage. I do know it has something to do with circulating the oil in the AC compressor during cold weather, that would normally not be done by the operator, so Subie takes care of it for us.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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No recirc is standard on most, if not all vehicles, isn't it? The reason is, Defrost is meant to clear the windshield and front side windows. You need fresh air from outside to get it done. During warm weather it's the opposite, you use recirc to get the A/C to work better, as it is recirculating air that has already had the moisture mostly removed. I'll try it myself today, but can we turn on A/C and get recirc to work when in Defrost position? Don't think so, it's too cold to go out there right now. Just thinking outloud......
It is not too common anymore (used to be) that during damp weather you will see a vehicle with all the windows steamed up. They got recirc going with no A/C, and most likely no fan at all.
Anyway, the best way to do it is turn on Defrost, side vents open and pointed towards the front side windows, fan on, A/C on, no recirc. After they clear, turn off A/C, unless your clothing is damp.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If I use defrost in my car with recirc., it fogs the windows badly and will even create a layer of ice on the inside of the windows when it's really cold out -- and will barely defrost a little bit of the front windshield. This has been my experience on any of the Subarus I've owned. As far as I understand, if you use the recirc. button when you need to defrost, you're just recirculating the moist, cold air inside the cabin, and that's why your windows will fog up on the inside.

I always laugh at people in the winter when I see their windows all fogged up on long interstate stretches and say to myself, "yet another person who doesn't know what the recirc. button does." I only use it in the summer to recirculate the cool air of the A/C system, or, as you say, I will use it briefly in winter if I get stuck behind a smelly exhaust, but will kick it off as soon as that vehicle is gone.

Am I right about this? Can anyone else chime in definitively here?
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe it's because you have the base model? Our '14 Limited recirculates on defrost.
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