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2014 Forester Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, this is my first post on this forums so I'd like the thank the mods for maintaining these boards and allowing me the opportunity to join them.

Something weird happened to my Forester recently, the hose running from the windshield washer fluid tank to one of my nozzles has disconnected. I want to try and fix this myself as the dealership told me it would cost 300$ just to connect two little pieces of plastic back together. The problem I am having is removing the cover over the windshield wiper motors, etc, to get to the hose and reconnect it. I have been scouring the internet looking for anyone who has done this one a 14+ model, but I cannot seem to find anything nor any literature describing how this part is assembled. Has anyone else had this issue or needed to replace a windshield wiper motor and know how to get that cover off between the hood and the windshield? Thank you in advance for any help.

The cowl panel is the part I am trying to remove.

-Baxter
 

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2014 Forester Limited
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9 Posts
Hi...

Bumping the question back up...

I think I've got a similar problem. 2014 Forester... I'm getting spray before the left windshield washer nozzle.. it looks like a broken hose or connection.

I assume it's an easy fix but I'm not clear as the OP how to access the distribution hose underneath the cowling between the windshield and the engine compartment. It looks like there is a series of fasteners along the bottom of the cowling. Is it simply a matter of opening these fasteners?

Any advise or online image to getting access to the windshield fluid hose line? Thanks!
 

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2014 Forester
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2 Posts
Did you find out how to remove the cowl? I also need to, to replace the sprayer nozzles. Thanks for any info you can share!
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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53 Posts
I have the same problem. Just yesterday, it looks like a white plastic connector between 2 black rubber hoses has ruptured and caused a loss of function along with spraying fluid before the nozzle.

Has anyone else had this problem and fixed it themselves? This seems like an odd failure for a 5 year old Subaru, and like others said, it is not as accessible as typical.
 

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'06 Forester LL Bean
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168 Posts
Pop the wiper arms off, then check for bolts and covers holding the cowl panel down. It's probably no more than 4-6 or them on the whole panel, and possibly a few push clips inside the engine bay on the very top of the firewall, and it should come right off.
 

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I have the same problem with my 2014 Forester. My connector ruptured as well and for a 5 year car I strongly believe this is defective! I have driven many cars but never had I have this part broken. Anyway, I am also trying to figure out how to replace it myself. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
 

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After searching around I found this YouTube video that shows you how to remove cowl on Forester albeit for a 2008 model. I thought this might help. I'll definitely try it out.

 

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2014 XS CVT
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14 Posts
The video is accurate regarding the clip locations. The removal of the cowl retainers need to be done one by one, they need to be opened a bit by a flat screwdriver or the retainer will break.
 

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2014 Forester Touring
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Experienced the same windshield washer issue with my 2014 Forester Touring. Both of the white plastic Y-fittings in the washer hose (under the cowling) had failed; plastic deteriorated. I also found the above mentioned video sufficiently accurate to make the repair with little difficulty. New hose and extra clips cost about $50 from the dealer. Only experience point to add is that the washer hoses are different for the Touring model compared to other 2014 models (3 spray nozzles (and hose ends), not just two); worth knowing which you need before you buy.

Thanks to others for sharing your experience and knowledge here. It's very satisfying to repair something myself and I could not have done it without this resource.
 

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2014 Premium Manual 6-speed
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32 Posts
I think I posted on this topic before, yeah I had the same issue the white Y connector ruptured/crumbled. This was in the winter and I broke the two side cowlings trying to get them off. The side cowling replacements were $6 each or so at the dealer. I replaced the Y with either a Y or T vacuum connector that you get in an assortment set for like $3 at any parts store or HF. Those push pins holding the main cowling also weren't very cooperative for me, maybe due to the freezing weather. I simple replaced them with zip ties, holds it on tight without any movement, and figured I can easily get it off again if needed.
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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I did this today - replaced the Y connector on a 2014 - following (mostly) the video above.. I used a Rainbird drip T-connector since I KNOW these stand up to weather. The side cowlings don't need to come off - just lift/pry them up from the main cowling - they have a single block tab that snaps into the main cowling. And the middle 6 push pins are more like rivets - I don't think they were ever meant to be removed. I replaced them with ones that CAN be removed.
 

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2015 Forester Premium
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And the middle 6 push pins are more like rivets - I don't think they were ever meant to be removed. I replaced them with ones that CAN be removed.
On my 2105 Premium, these push pins were easily be released by compressing the two ears on each pin assembly from underneath with a small pair of pliers. Squeeze the ears then push the whole pin assembly out from the square hole in the metal tray. The pin assembly stays with the plastic cowling. At reassembly time they all went back in and held.

While I had the cowl off I noticed that there was a big wad of leaves and stuff (at least 2 handfulls) sitting over the hole down behind the fender where water from the cowl area drains down (driver's side). The only place these leaves could have come from is the hole around the splined wiper arm shaft. I have vacuumed leaves that I could see out of there before. I've decided that the hole needs some kind of screen to prevent garbage from getting in there in the first place. Anyone have ideas?
 

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Same same problem 15 Forester. That has to be bad plastic as that part should last decades. In fact, I didn't have a spare so I replaced the y with a t borrowed from my 98 Jeep.

I didn't have to remove the cowl. I removed the wiper arms, popped off the side pieces and then pulled the cowl forward from the glass and fished the hose/connectors out from the gap. I first tried to remove the connectors on the front of the cowl but they weren't cooperating. I disconnected the hose in front of the cowl first. Easy peasy.

The videos mentioned above helped even though they aren't perfect.
 

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2015 XT Touring CVT
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47 Posts
Although this YouTube video is about replacing a windshield, the installer shows how to remove the cowl as part of the procedure. His tips on using bent needle-nose pliers and/or a 6mm deep socket to remove the cowl clips are good to know. I haven't gotten around to pulling the cowl on our 2015 XT Touring yet, but I plan to do it soon, since the middle and right-side windshield washers aren't squirting properly. The driver-side one works the best out of the three, but not as well as it should, so I suspect that it's a leaking connector or bad hose. Here's the link to the YouTube video:
Windshield Replacement Video
 

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2015 XT Touring CVT
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I never got around to pulling the windshield wiper cowl to address the windshield washer issue, our windshield was badly sand-pitted, so we had it replaced at Palm Springs Subaru. Since removing the cowl is necessary as part of the windshield replacement procedure, we had the washers tended to at the same time. The dealer used an outside vendor to do the windshield, as expected. It all looked great until yesterday when my wife drove to Orange County, and the passenger-side plastic panel next to the cowl came loose, flapped in the breeze, then subsequently broke apart. When she got home, I checked the driver-side one, and it lifted right off when I pulled on it. Looking at its underside, I saw that the plastic tabs are broken, probably because the panel hadn't been removed or reinstalled correctly, so either the glass vendor or whoever fixed the windshield washers just stuck the panels back in, called it good, and went on. I called Palm Springs Subaru yesterday, told them what happened, and they're ordering replacements, Part Numbers 91423SG000 + 91423SG010, and we won't be charged, which is as it should be. I was told that these panels get broken while being removed now & then, but that the glass vendor usually alerts them of the problem and it gets handled. They told me that the vendor who replaced our windshield will be scolded, but I hope that he also has to pay for the parts! The video that I posted above shows how to get those plastic panels off without damaging them, maybe I should forward it to the vendor who broke ours! Here's a link to that YouTube video again:

Windshield Replacement YouTube Video including Wiper Cowl Removal & Reinstallation
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring
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574 Posts
Replaced it this morning. Was able to get away with just prying up on the cowl which is good because the front strut brace would have made things harder to get to all the lower clips. The hoses were all in good shape with plenty of flex but the white plastic Y was cracked and brittle. The hardest part was getting the white bits out of the hoses as they broke so easily. Also snapped one of the little "wings" that helps blend the cowling to the sides of the windshield as it was too brittle to flex when taking off. Replacement part was minimal from online parts store. The hose coming from the engine bay separates just before feeding up into the cowling and undoing this let me have enough slack to work on the parts without taking the cowling fully off.
 

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Thanks for the link. That video was great, the socket/pliers worked well for me! In my case the wiper hose y-connector was cracked (no surprise as it's nylon or polypropylene and exposed to sunlight through the cow grill). I replaced it with a brass 1/4" t-connector that I got at my local hardware store for $6.50 (3/16" or 1/8" would probably have been a better fit but that's the smallest one they had).
 
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