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2003 Forester XS
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having difficulties with the cabin air circulation in my 2003 Forester XS with automatic climate control. When I switch from one ventilation setting, say "Feet" to another, say, "Mid-level and Feet," and also with all the other settings, the circulation does not necessarily change to the selected vents. Trying to get a clue, I pulled the glove box out, then eye-balled the visible components as I cycled through the selections on the knob. The doors to the right side of me (as I looked into the void where the glove box usually sits) appear to be operating properly. However, this little motor (see photo) on the left-hand side did not function, no matter what setting I selected. So I thought I would disengage the metal link to see if the motor was bad or if the door was jammed. Almost immediately, I broke the retaining tab on the motor arm. Yay! What fun! So, I removed the motor and went to my local pull & save auto wrecker, and found one in a 2004 Forester, for only five bucks! Yay for me! Back home again, I discovered that the door was not stuck, so I assumed the first motor must have been bad. I put the replacement motor into position, put the plug into the socket, and ran the selection knob through all the settings. The replacement motor did not engage to open the door in any setting, same as the original motor. I then went back to the original motor on my workbench, and applied power from the battery to the various pins in every combination, and in one of those combinations, the motor functioned, moving the arm. So, the original motor appears to be a functional motor, which points to something other than the motor being the problem with the door failing to open. The most likely next item (to my mind, at least) is a problem with the selector. Does this sound sensible to you folks? Or, from your vast knowledge-base, can you tell this noob to this forum about a common issue with the '03 Forester that causes this problem? And if it seems likely to you that the selector is the issue, what procedure do I follow? I have no idea how the selector is accessed, etc. (Also, I have checked all the fuses inside the cabin, behind the little door on the lower left side of the steering column area... No blown fuses there)

And on a related issue, I found there to be no cabin air filter. The language in my owner's manual says, "If your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter...." So, not having one may just be the way it came from the factory, and that's perfectly okay?

Thank you for any assistance you can offer!

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Registered
2003 Forester XS
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I suppose it's possible that years ago when this same (or very similar) issue arose with air circulation and I took the car to the dealership to fix it, maybe they removed the filter and never replaced it with a new one?
 

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2003 Forester XS
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for this! I am not that much of a mechanic or electrician... this may be over my head, but I can possibly enlist my brother to help me with this. First of all, though... the actuator I pictured in my posting... is that the Air Mix actuator? Looking at the schematic for the plug (i65) on page A-28, it does look to be so. Where is the Auto A/C control module located? Is that just a fancy name for the knob on the dash to change modes?
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,360 Posts

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,360 Posts
@GrumpyGeezer the Subaru technical service documents aren't real specific where modules are located. My "guess", that the auto A/C control module may be on the HVAC control panel. Take a look at the picture below from my project pictures.

Bobby...
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