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Old 07-22-2011, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default AC sometimes doesn't work and sometimes works

Not sure if best category to post under. But my '04 Subaru Forester XS has yet another (and quite annoying) problem. My AC as of 4 days ago, does not always work (and New England is in a heat wave, 100 degrees F, feels like 110F.)

So I park it outside in the driveway in the sun. But it sometimes works, sometimes does not. I turn it on, and often it is the same temp. as with the AC off. But if I turn the AC off for a while, then hit it again, sometimes I can get some cold air, sometimes for a short while (2 minutes), sometimes for a longer while (10 - 15 minutes) then it often goes back to not cool air and just fan blowing temp. The AC light stays on though. I have tried running it with the circulation on and off. Blasting it or just slowing running it.

When my AC works normally, I use to never blast it as this reduces mileage so I would only turn it on slowly.

Any ideas. not sure if the AC fluid needs be changed? Or whatever. If I bring this to my local shop should they be able to figure out what is the problem easily?
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Replace the compressor clutch.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"Blasting" your AC will not reduce milage, as it's just an electric fan.
Have it serviced by a pro.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like you may be low on r134a refrigerant and there isn't enough pressure to kick on the switch on the compressor. Take it in and have it tested and charged.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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OK thank you. I thought blasting AC does reduce mileage. Anyone else can back this up that it doesn't reduce it?
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Simply running the AC compressor will reduce mileage.
Having the fan on high draws more current which would also use more fuel. However the amount is negligible.

Turning off you headlights during the day would probably have a more positive impact on mileage than not running the electric fan.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well i notice that my mileage is better when I do not use AC and rely on windows open. However I keep windows closed on the highway due to drag.

My forester's lights are always on during the day. Anyway to turn them off?

Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The load of the AC compressor will reduce your gas mileage a bit, but I'm going to guess not any more than driving with the windows open.

As to lights on during the day... if you're referring to Daytime Running Lights (DRL), the headlights operate at reduced power & it a safety feature. I personally like them on, but they can be disabled & you can find the "how to" by searching the forum.

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Old 07-23-2011, 10:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonopolyBag View Post
My forester's lights are always on during the day. Anyway to turn them off?

Thanks!
As mentioned they take very little power bc they are fed by a lower voltage as Daytime Running Lights.

You might want to consider reading up on your manual.
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