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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings Suby Doo fam!
I'm the original owner of this 2015 Forester (bought in July 2014), & it's my first car. I took really great care of it, went with the dealer's bumper to bumper coverage & now, am having some major financial challenges.

#1: control panel. At first I thought my heat went out just over a year ago (not a BIG deal, I live in AZ), then, last summer, my AC would go in and out (not awesome cuz I live in AZ & would nearly die). To be honest, the AC has always been mediocre in the suby doo since day 1. So, I take her in to check the AC, pay for a freon charge, within a week, same poop. Take it back, make sure it's not the compressor (occasionally, if I floored the gas, like when merging on expressway, my AC seemed to kick on colder). It's not the freon levels or a compressor issue.

My repair guy says it's a control panel issue and common among Subaru foresters between 2013-2017...

really!?
Anyone else heard of this?

I'm looking at $250 to replace & not happy about it...

Especially because now, my control arm and bushings need replaced (& they diagnosed my front and back struts as weak).
Is this typical?
95,000 miles
Mainly highway (or my short 3 mile commute)
Occasional off roading (~6x/year at most, mainly ungrated fire marshal roads.

For control arm, bushings and struts, the bill is $2-$3000... :-/

I'd like to confirm or dispel the control panel rumors and hear from anyone with similar AC/heat issues

And are these replacements average (timing/cost)?
 

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1998 Forester
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951 Posts
Why are they recommending the control arm bushings and struts?
Noise? Bushings tearing or torn?

I've never changed a control panle for a heat a/c issue.
suspicious...


Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
 

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2010 Forester Premium 2.5x Automatic 4sp
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237 Posts
Don't know your situation, but I drive a 2010 Forester now. Original owner bought it Nov 2010.
156k with original everything except breaks,tires,ac, sparks,wires and coil.
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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1,767 Posts
In my experience, at 6 years of age and 150,000 Km (95,000 miles) is when suspension parts start to go. Hot climates are harder on rubber than cold ones.
Also, I thought Freon was banned in cars sometime in the 1990s. Who was it that checked your system? Maybe you can find an AC specialist for another opinion.
 

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non-subaru
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911 Posts
Regarding the AC, I'd make sure the clutch is indeed operating correctly.
With the AC on and it not providing cool air when it should, is the center of the AC pulley spinning?
If not, poke it with a something like a stick or screwdriver (not your fingers!) and see if it starts spinning.
If so, it likely just a shim adjustment.
If so, your AC guy is full of isht because he should know to check for this, unless he wants to charge you for something more expensive but do that adjustment.
 

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2019 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT Ice Silver Metallic
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Greetings Suby Doo fam!
I'm the original owner of this 2015 Forester (bought in July 2014), & it's my first car. I took really great care of it, went with the dealer's bumper to bumper coverage & now, am having some major financial challenges.

#1: control panel. At first I thought my heat went out just over a year ago (not a BIG deal, I live in AZ), then, last summer, my AC would go in and out (not awesome cuz I live in AZ & would nearly die). To be honest, the AC has always been mediocre in the suby doo since day 1. So, I take her in to check the AC, pay for a freon charge, within a week, same ****. Take it back, make sure it's not the compressor (occasionally, if I floored the gas, like when merging on expressway, my AC seemed to kick on colder). It's not the freon levels or a compressor issue.

My repair guy says it's a control panel issue and common among Subaru foresters between 2013-2017...

***?
Anyone else heard of this?

I'm looking at $250 to replace & not happy about it...

Especially because now, my control arm and bushings need replaced (& they diagnosed my front and back struts as weak).
Is this typical?
95,000 miles
Mainly highway (or my short 3 mile commute)
Occasional off roading (~6x/year at most, mainly ungrated fire marshal roads.

For control arm, bushings and struts, the bill is $2-$3000... :-/

I'd like to confirm or dispel the control panel rumors and hear from anyone with similar AC/heat issues

And are these replacements average (timing/cost)?
I know this might sound a little strange, but my wife's Toyota Sienna started showing similar issues with her AC a couple of summers ago. :confused:

AC compressor would kick-in, but no cold air. Her AC would blow warm even after re-charging the AC system. But on acceleration, she would feel "some cold". Turns out that her coolant level was low and her AC compressor would be shutoff by some internal sensor that sensed an 'overheat' condition (even though her water temp gauge looked mid-range).

Earlier this winter, she complained to me that her heat was not working (only blowing cold air) even though water temp gauge was mid-range. I checked her coolant level and sure enough, it was low - the overflow tank was empty. I topped off the coolant tank and heat was back to normal.:) I also then noticed a very small coolant leak from the radiator that wasn't noticeable previously, but explains "where the coolant went".;)

At any rate -- its a long shot, but might be worth checking your coolant level, water pump operation, thermostat, etc.

Good luck! (y)
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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3,150 Posts
Especially because now, my control arm and bushings need replaced (& they diagnosed my front and back struts as weak).
Is this typical?
95,000 miles
Mainly highway (or my short 3 mile commute)
Occasional off roading (~6x/year at most, mainly ungrated fire marshal roads.

For control arm, bushings and struts, the bill is $2-$3000... :-/
It's not unusual to crack control arm bushings if you drive rough roads, especially wash-boarded roads.
If you are in the Phoenix area get a second opinion/estimate from Sergei at SubiWorks in Tempe. If you are in the Flagstaff area get a second opinion/estimate from Brian at SubieService.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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2,769 Posts
@NixForester2015 - It sounds like your issues are in the "they don't make them like they used to" category.
My daughter is still driving the 2004 Foz I bought her that has done lots of off-road use and the suspension is still original, without issues at just over 250K on the clock.
The MY'12 I'm driving travels on some of the worst dirt/rock "roads" you have ever seen, and it is about 3 miles just to get to pavement.
Still have all original suspension parts, still in excellent condition.
There seem to be more suspension issues with the later model years, especially in the 2014+.
Unfortunately, your story is not unique.
As far as what the "stealership" is quoting you, go somewhere else for repairs, and at least get a second opinion.
Dealers are only good for warranty work, and that's because it is free.
You can get a LOT better deal at an Indie shop if you look around.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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1,911 Posts
I would use oem parts. Maybe you can find a good deal and bring parts to an indie shop or ask for updated oem parts. Subaru has issued a lot of superseded parts that may be better than what was originally installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why are they recommending the control arm bushings and struts?
Noise? Bushings tearing or torn?

I've never changed a control panle for a heat a/c issue.
suspicious...


Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
i have lifetime warranty on tires at firestone for alignment/tire coverage
they put it up on the lift and gave me this estimate for bushings, control arm and struts.
bushing was def trashed, when i was going 70+on HWY, it would shake really bad with the slightest drift/turn to left


brother-in-law is a mechanic hobbyist and had us order the control arm and bushings, so that's replaced now

at subiworks in tempe, the mechanic there mentioned a control panel issue for foresters from 2013-2017...after he charged the AC, it didn't work and after he checked the compressor...

so, i dunno.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's not unusual to crack control arm bushings if you drive rough roads, especially wash-boarded roads.
If you are in the Phoenix area get a second opinion/estimate from Sergei at SubiWorks in Tempe. If you are in the Flagstaff area get a second opinion/estimate from Brian at SubieService.
Thanks!
Sergei is who i have do most things on the subidoo. he's the one who checked the AC, recharged it, checked the compressor and suggested replacing the control panel to fix the heat/ac not working properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I know this might sound a little strange, but my wife's Toyota Sienna started showing similar issues with her AC a couple of summers ago. :confused:

AC compressor would kick-in, but no cold air. Her AC would blow warm even after re-charging the AC system. But on acceleration, she would feel "some cold". Turns out that her coolant level was low and her AC compressor would be shutoff by some internal sensor that sensed an 'overheat' condition (even though her water temp gauge looked mid-range).

Earlier this winter, she complained to me that her heat was not working (only blowing cold air) even though water temp gauge was mid-range. I checked her coolant level and sure enough, it was low - the overflow tank was empty. I topped off the coolant tank and heat was back to normal.:) I also then noticed a very small coolant leak from the radiator that wasn't noticeable previously, but explains "where the coolant went".;)

At any rate -- its a long shot, but might be worth checking your coolant level, water pump operation, thermostat, etc.

Good luck! (y)
thanks for sharing! may be worth checking out! :) (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Regarding the AC, I'd make sure the clutch is indeed operating correctly.
With the AC on and it not providing cool air when it should, is the center of the AC pulley spinning?
If not, poke it with a something like a stick or screwdriver (not your fingers!) and see if it starts spinning.
If so, it likely just a shim adjustment.
If so, your AC guy is full of isht because he should know to check for this, unless he wants to charge you for something more expensive but do that adjustment.
worth noting! thanks, will look into it! (y)🙏
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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995 Posts
Also Subis in the 2010-present range have AC seals that tend to go bad after about 5 years, got all mine replaced under warranty....plus the expansion valve and a couple lines, low quality parts to go out this fast. :/

Definitely use a good independent shop over the dealer. Surprised your bushings etc lasted this long, my front lowers were ripping at 45k miles and had to fight with the dealer to warranty replace since they weren't completely failed and ruining my new tires lol.
 

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2015 forester 2.5ipremium ~99,000 miles
had to recently replace the L&R lower control arms. Bought at rock auto as well ($160 for both) Paid for the labor ~$320.
 

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2014 2.0 XT Touring
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162 Posts
not surprised to hear about the suspension components. my $0.02 is that by 100k miles, all of your suspension components are pretty well-worn and could/should be replaced.

as mentioned above, i recommend buying the parts yourself and having a mechanic install them. dealership quoted me $2,500 ish to do both front upper/lower control arms, tie rod bushings, ends, etc. (and alignment). i bought the parts myself, paid a local shop to press in the new bushings and install, got it aligned at a local tire shop - all for $500-$1,000 ish total. just my experience though.
 

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2017 Subaru Forester 6MT Base
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8 Posts
My front control arm bushing went out at 43k miles, bought the vehicle second hand so unsure of prior owner's care. Replaced front control arms and sway bar links/tie rods all by myself. Overall cost about 200-250 bucks plus I had a lifetime alignment.
 

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2009 Forester Base
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274 Posts
I don't think front lower control arms after 5 years, 100K is unusual. You are in rust free AZ, its not a hard DIY job. Cost in part is about $250 if you buy new control arms with ball joints, and end links.
 
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