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2003 Forester 2.5 XS 5spd 2012 FXT
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104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I purchased a 2012 XT for a great price due to it was sitting for some time and needed some work but mainly due to a rodent infestation inside the vehicle. Shortly after bringing the car home I began to tear it down and replace all the suspension components in the front new coils all around sti steering rack 4 pot front brakes a whole lot of other parts and a 15+ wrx exhaust since the exhausted had rotted off. Now I then tackled the interior which wreaked of rodent. Had the car detailed by a friend of mine just to start then I removed the entire interior headliner and all and found so much rodent droppings and nests. Now that all that is good I am getting a foul odor from the hvac mainly when the heat is on. Now my biggest concern is when the a/c is on the odor is not as strong and air blows out strong. When the heat is on I get an odor and the air barely blows out the vents. I cycled the temperature and can see the blend door actuator on the passenger side moving all the way. My idea is that there is possibly a nest on the heater side causing the smell a lack of air or the blend door is stuck and the condenser just needs to be cleaned. I’m curious as to where the blend door is so I can possibly replace it and put a snake cam in to see the heater core. Sorry for the long post but I’m getting frustrated and tired of doing odor bombs in the car. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP. Current pics of the car added also
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'14 Forester XT Touring
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1,413 Posts
Nice find, looks hella good.
As for the AC smell, you can buy this on the vid.
If it really is bad, you might have to use an Ozone machine for a day or two. Not sure if your detailer has it, but I'm sure they can point you in the right direction.
 

· Registered
2003 Forester 2.5 XS 5spd 2012 FXT
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104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice find, looks hella good.
As for the AC smell, you can buy this on the vid.
If it really is bad, you might have to use an Ozone machine for a day or two. Not sure if your detailer has it, but I'm sure they can point you in the right direction.
Thanks the car was stock when I got it on stock wheels. I have my own ozone machine lmao I had to buy it. I actually used it last weekend and it works great to remove all odors but the hvac lol. The smell actually got worse for a bit because I used one of those foam cleaners and I guess it wasn’t able to drain all the way. I have looked all over the internet and can’t find a how to on replacing the blend door which is one of my biggest issues currently besides the smell.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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2,606 Posts
Unfortunately, you may have to pull the dash, and remove the HVAC module, and take it apart to get it clean.

Even if you can kill the odors, there may still be carcasses in there, slowly releasing bits of bodies throughout the HVAC and into the cabin.

This will most likely require evacuating and recharging the A/C.

I had to do this on a neon. A little time consuming, but overall not a total nightmare of a job.

At least I know everything in there is sanitary.
 

· Registered
2003 Forester 2.5 XS 5spd 2012 FXT
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104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately, you may have to pull the dash, and remove the HVAC module, and take it apart to get it clean.

Even if you can kill the odors, there may still be carcasses in there, slowly releasing bits of bodies throughout the HVAC and into the cabin.

This will most likely require evacuating and recharging the A/C.

I had to do this on a neon. A little time consuming, but overall not a total nightmare of a job.

At least I know everything in there is sanitary.
The smell is more of a urine/droppings smell no carcasses lol. I have ozoned and used chlorine tablets to eliminate the smell also used a pressure steamer with an alcohol misxture to sanitize everything. I want to eventually take it all out but want to Atleast replace the blend door and see if anyone knows where it’s located and best way to get to it.
 

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'14 Forester XT Touring
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1,413 Posts
Dam.. well if the ozone machine didn't work..... guess it time to remove the hvac parts. Pain in the butt, but do able.
You can google the factory repair manual for step by step instructions. That's your best bet. Or there is some Youtube vids out there.
 

· Registered
2003 Forester 2.5 XS 5spd 2012 FXT
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104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dam.. well if the ozone machine didn't work..... guess it time to remove the hvac parts. Pain in the butt, but do able.
You can google the factory repair manual for step by step instructions. That's your best bet. Or there is some Youtube vids out there.
I have not found one helpful YouTube video for this gen forester lol. I’m actually trying to find a service manual because I’m definitely doing this on my own lmao.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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2,606 Posts
The Dodge neon HVAC module was like a clamshell. You had to separate the top and bottom to remove the air door(s). It wouldn't surprise me if this is the norm.

Come to think of it, I have a 2010 Impreza service manual in CD, I can look tonight if it has any useful information. I think that era they were very similar in the interior.
 
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