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2009 Forester Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I am new to Subaru and need some help. The girlfriend recently picked up a 2009 forester base model. It has a significant water leak soaking the passenger floor. I am familiar with the A/C drain problem and immediately checked this out, it was free and clear. I removed the plastic tray under the blower and saw some remnants of water right under the blower. Also the blower looked to have rust on the shaft as did the blower regulator which coincidentally also failed with a broken solder joint. Today it rained pretty hard and I took everything apart again. When I removed the cabin air filter I found it to be soaked with water and water pooling around the top of the blower. My research into this issue has pretty much exclusively blamed the AC drain which I know to be free. Because my cabin filter is soaking I suspect the water to be coming from above the filter. Any ideas about how to approach this?
 

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Ice build up on the cowl can lead to water entering the HVAC system and collects on the cabin filter.

Usually I see this after a really sever wind snow storm. I'd start by inspecting the cowl on the passenger side to see if there's any damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Burwood, I removed the cowl today and simulated the rain. Water ran down the windshield and over a flap of sheetmetal which is supposed to cover the hvac intake area. Problem was as it hit this sheetmetal it just ran over the sheetmetal like on a covered rain gutter and poured straight down the intake for the hvac system. Is the cowl supposed to be sealed to the windshield to control how the water runs into the trough area? I can clearly tell there is nothing wrong or broken and this seems like a design flaw? Anyway I can say with certainty in a heavy rain the water is not directed away effectively from the hvac intake opening. My solution was to add some silicone to the lip of the cowl where it joins the windshield to try to get water to run away from the hvac opening. Hope that works.
 

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Subaru forester 2008 MY09
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The foam on the cowl can deteriorate to the point it sits lower than the windshield. Water flows behind the cowl and straight into the hvac......currently getting new carpet to replace mine as I had this issue. A small piece of plastic bottle over the hvac can help as long as there's still sufficient airflow.
Plant Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Twig
thats the cowl with the foam being the dirty line down
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Automotive design
thats the hvac intake hole which leads straight into the glovebox.
 

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2009 Forester X
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Hi I am new to Subaru and need some help. The girlfriend recently picked up a 2009 forester base model. It has a significant water leak soaking the passenger floor. I am familiar with the A/C drain problem and immediately checked this out, it was free and clear. I removed the plastic tray under the blower and saw some remnants of water right under the blower. Also the blower looked to have rust on the shaft as did the blower regulator which coincidentally also failed with a broken solder joint. Today it rained pretty hard and I took everything apart again. When I removed the cabin air filter I found it to be soaked with water and water pooling around the top of the blower. My research into this issue has pretty much exclusively blamed the AC drain which I know to be free. Because my cabin filter is soaking I suspect the water to be coming from above the filter. Any ideas about how to approach this?
You are right on the problem. The little shelf of metal is supposed to let water go past intake, but most don’t,

Solution; get some aluminum flashing 8-10 wide about a foot long. Take off cowling and bend flashing to roughly mold to the shelf shape. Then dry fit the flashing to see that it extends out past the cabin air intake- (and about an inch on each end right and left.) And can extend past the cabin air intake collar to the front of drain Pan. It should be long enough to also touch the inside bottom of the drain tray. Then, rivet the flashing under the shelf with about 1-2 inch overlap. Once that is done, gently push the flashing downward to contact drain Pan inside shoulder. Now check that there is adequate space between your arched flashing and the air cabin intake collar by about 1.5-2 inches above it and that it is open on both sides. Eyeball it and if it looks good, drill and add a rivet or 2 at the front drain collar to keep it from flapping around. That should eliminate cabin air water leaks forever.
Tip- For added measure once you dry fit everything add some silicon caulk to the body shelf/flashing area before riveting, and dab some on each rivet after installation. Also, leave glove box and molding off and get a 5x7 ft tarp and fold it to make a catch basin on front Passenger side floor, push the edge of it up between the fan cage and inside firewall- keeps it from falling down. Also, take a hose and test it before you reassemble everything. Clean out body drains and run hose water into R/L sides and check that they flow freely out at bottom.

One last thing- all Foresters have this leak problem to some degree. That is why many used Foresters smell slightly moldy. It is a manufacturer defect- the body shelf metal is not long enough to direct rain from cowl drain to the body drain Pan, and the water just dribbles into the cabin air cowling and then into floor Pan. Most dealers don’t even consider this when charging hundreds/thousands to try to correct the problem and/or start replacing fans, relays, etc.. Try this method - it is time tested.
Hope this solves your problem- it did on my Forester and it has gone thru 2 small hurricanes and a 7 inch rain in 12 hours as a final test. Still dry as a bone and smells fresher too.
Beerad
 
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