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2009 Forester X AWP Automatic
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

recently, when I change the vent direction from the knob its not doing anything, once you turn the knob to be blowing air towards the driver face, its still sending air towards feet only, the temperature knob is working perfectly, cold and hot, except its the only the direction of the air vented is not working.

my forester is manual climate control since its 2009 model, i am wondering how hard is it to fix this problem? something that I can do myself? or shall i take it to the dealer :icon_rolleyes:

I read online it seems mostly is the linkage cable that is properly broken between the adjustment knob on the panel and the air diverted inside the dash. has anyone had this kind of problem before? any photos or links for DIY will be great.
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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8,054 Posts
If it's a manual linkage (not sure about the 09 some are vac operated) the mode cable could have just come off of the little clamp that holds it in place. This just happened to my 2001 Forester the other week. It's not too hard to check and fix if this is the problem. The cable that moves the mode switch is visible with a flashlight, if you look up at the drivers side of the center stack under the dash. The best way to do this is to move the drivers seat all the way back and put your head down where your feet go near the pedals, back on the floor. Shine the flashlight up and left at the center console. Move or have someone move the mode lever. There is a cable with a thin rod inside that may be moving around as the lever is moved. That indicates it's out of it's holder. The holder is a small clip on the side of the HVAC stack. The cable should stay still but a flexible wire will slide inside sticks out the end and move the lever for the mode. I'm attaching a pic it may look something similar to this but not exactly the same. But you'll get the idea. The clip on my 01' was metal but my 04' it was like the pic, plastic. The area marked #2 is where the cable clips in place and is held. When that pops out it won't move the levers around. There is always a possibility that the cable has come off at the #1 location but I think that's not as common.

 

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2009 Forester 2.5X
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5 Posts
I have this same problem with my 2009 X. Peaty is correct - I can see the yellow cable and the wire within it with a circular end that should attach to the white vent door mechanism. I can barely get my hand on it though. The yellow cable has a clip that should attach to nearby framework to hold the cable in place, but I am not sure how that works, and for that matter whether there is anything that holds the round wire end on the little post on the vent door.

Does anyone have a recommended path to all this so you can repair it? I can find plenty on taking the radio out, but not how to get to that driver's side vent mechanism. Thx.
 

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592 Posts
Try taking out the driver side low instrument panel, the one under the steering wheel which has the fuse box cover and mirror controls in it. That should give you a view of at least some of the mechanism.
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,751 Posts
@Peaty nailed it. On vehicles with 'manual controls' (as opposed to 'climate control') both the vent position and coolant flow through the heater core are controlled by push cables. The passenger side knob controls the vents (the vent levers are near the driver's right knee) and the driver's side knob controls the coolant flow valve, which is near the passenger's left knee. Here are some pictures of this mechanism from an O5X... first is the coolant flow control (because the image is better ;-)



The way to disassemble this is as follows. With one hand, make small back-and-forth adjustments to the console temp knob. At some point, the loop can easily be pull off the white plastic post. Then, pull the tab straight out. When you do this, the silver disc (adjacent to the tab - it looks like a flat washer) will slide out of it's slot. Reassembly is the reverse - silver washer, push-in-tab, loop-on-post.

Here's are pics of the vent control mechanism (by driver's right knee). These parts are not so photogenic, but the idea is exactly the same as above. Ditto for disassembly.





 

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2012 2.5X MT
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2 Posts
Hi, just had the same problem with my '12. Got the idea from this thread and found that the other end, below the radio, bent and popped out. Straightened the cable and hooked it back in.



 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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39,438 Posts
One cause for the cable to bind, bend or pop out of the retainer. An aftermarket head unit was installed & the cables were not reinstalled... routed exactly as they came from the factory.

The other members have damaged the linkage by trying to pull the panel out far enough to install the new head unit, without disconnecting the manual climate control cables!

If you need instructions, take a look at the PDF I attached at the bottom of this Member Journal post: Audio Upgrade - Part 4

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 
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2007 Forester X 4EAT
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9 Posts
The 07 X vent mode knob failed the other day, so I am reading up before I take the dash apart to check it out.

I've got this thought in my head about lubricating the cable and/or fittings, to prevent binding in the future.

Any thoughts on this? TIA
 

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I'm having a similar problem on my 2012 Forester (base model). When it's cold outside (less than about 0 Celsius or 32 F), the two HVAC knobs (temperature control and vent selection) are extremely tough to turn. Last week I was very slowly turning the knob that selects where you want the air to come out of, and something made a small "thunk" noise, and now when I turn that knob, it moves without any resistance and doesn't change where the air comes out of.

The temperature knob still works, but it is still extremely stiff when i turn it when it is cold. It does turn more easily once the car warms up - but that can take 10 minutes and by that time I've often already arrived at my destination.

I'm surprised that I haven't heard of many others with this same problem. It seems like a design flaw; why else would I have the same problem on both knobs? Am I the only one with this problem only occurring when it's cold outside?
 

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Hi all, I am new here but have experienced this same thing so thought I would shed some light. I just bought a 2008 Forester X with the manual climate controls. For those asking about the two part numbers referencing the cables, that is correct. One cable is for the temp control and the other for the mode select. One is slightly smaller than the other. I replaced my cables after my original ones did the infamous bend when you crank to hard when cold. Put the new ones in and same thing within a day. So I read on another post about someone using the heater controls off of a 2003-2005 because the cables are stronger. I have a local hookup at a junkyard who provided me with the entire heater knob assembly and cables for free. And yes!!! Huge difference! The ones from the older models are not just one weak cable but braided cable with an actual linkage at both ends. I couldn't find any pictures to do my homework before so I snapped some for those who need it. As you can see, the older are a lot stronger than the newer ones! No issues at all and working better than before. Hope this helps!!

@Murdoc13, take a look at my post and hope this helps!
 

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2012 Forester automatic
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2 Posts
I just want to thank rjr_king for posting those pics. I had issues with my vent selector this morning and was able to resolve the problem with the use of the pics. Thank you!!!!!!!
 

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2010 Forester X
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2 Posts
2010 X

Immediately following the airbag recall: no heat. Everything was getting hot, radiator, heater hoses, etc, all climate controls worked except the temperature knob. Discovered the temperature knob cable was no longer connected to the heater door.

In my application I removed the glove box and the trim panel above the passenger footwell. Peeking in towards the center of the climate ducting there was a blue cable hanging free, the only cable there. Apparently the metal clip that holds the cable sheath only stays anchored with the teeth oriented UP; with the teeth down it will stay put until the temperature knob is operated, then it falls off, the cable pops free and here we are.

Thank you Peaty!
 

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2007 Forester A/T
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7 Posts
On my 2007 Forester, I just half-fixed my HVAC blower control cable (mode control) issue. My root issue is that the plastic gearing by the drivers side seizes up when the knob is in the far right position. This is the defrost position, and where the gearing in the dash/console would be at it's most counter-clockwise position. With that thing hosed up, cranking hard on the knob just bent the control cable, making things worse.

I first tried to unbend and reinsert the cable, thinking that was the root of the issue. That of course caused it to kink even more. It was so beat-up at that point I just ordered a new one. Part number 72331SA090:


A couple of notes on that.

- The disc-ring that is at the end of the cable is not required for proper functioning. It's the cable sheath being properly seated into that retaining clip that does the actual holding. This diagram has a call-out note stating its only there to assist in the manufacturing process - so don't spend 15 minutes like I did trying to get it off the bad one and then somehow onto to the new (spoiler alert: it ain't happening).


- You can remove the control cable from the AC control assembly pretty easily using snap-ring pliers. I used some that go the "wrong" way for this case, and squeeze in. But it didn't take much pressure pushing the plier grips out to be able to release the tension on the plastic to free the cable. See image:

subaru forester 2007 - ac control cable removal.jpg

Currently, what I have done temporarily is manually push the gearing into a more useful position for the summer months. Will have to remove some dash trim pieces to get a better look to see what's going on, and why it gets seized up when in the far right / counter-clockwise position.

HTH someone.
 
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