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The air conditioning of my 2017 Subaru Forester stopped working so I took it to my local auto repair shop. The vehicle has less than 21,000 miles but is out of warranty since it was purchased in April of 2017. The condenser was leaking and it cost around $700 (parts, labor, and tax) for a new condenser. Since the condenser appears to be a faulty part I decided to contact Subaru of America to see if I could get some reimbursement. I first tried via email but nothing happened when I hit the send button so I phoned. I was told the vehicle was out of warranty and I had not taken it to a dealer so there was nothing that could be done to reimburse me.

The vehicle has really surprised me with its quality control problems, starting within the first week of purchase (when the body side moldings started coming off). It's my first Subaru and most likely my last.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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When it comes to some items - like the body side moldings - vs. some other items - like the AC compressor - you're going to have to go a little "lighter" on thinking of the problems as being from the manufacturer...

I'll explain...

Some items are "DEALER INSTALLED ACCESSORIES" that are done just there - at the dealership. Some are done at the point of entry (port) by 3rd party companies or even Subaru Of America technicians.

So the body side molding was applied by somebody local, the surface may not have been prepped right or he waited too long after pulling the tape cover off before attaching to the painted surface or -------.... Same could be said for the roof rack cross bars - as they're installed locally, could be that the installer didn't tighten it all the way down.... of for that light up function on the side mirror, could be the guy didn't seat the plug correctly in to the socket.

And sometimes it can be an issue where the service department doesn't do a complete job when replacing one component of a system (like AC) and so while you got a shiny new compressor, could be that some of the fault was the valve and that valve should have been replaced at the same time...

When I had my 94 Chrysler Town & Country with front and rear AC units and the AC system up and died, the warranty covered EVERY PART - except for the vacuum hoses and the controller inside. But the compressor, condenser, the valves, the high-pressure lines, all of it was covered by warranty. Then I replaced the vacuum hoses myself (just in case). But that was over 20 years ago. Costs have been cut by everybody since then so now they only replaced the one part that failed...

I had a 2008 Mazda 3 and every summer - without fail - at some point, when the engine was running, AC was on and I was backing out of a parking space, the electrical system would fail, discharge the battery and stall. And every summer, the car was at the local Mazda shop getting a repair... They'd fix item 1 and it would be fine all that summer. Then it would fail the 2nd summer and they'd check item 1 was still good and then check the next part... and replace it.... and so on and so on and so on for FIVE YEARS. It didn't qualify for a lemon law return because of each of the repairs being a different part and component.
 

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2017 Forester Premium ES CVT
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Thank you My dealership said it is 4 hours labor and that is where some of the cost escalates. Leave in Frederick MD, so we might be pricier? It is sad. I love the Subaru, but I have had really bad luck. My first one back in 2012 was a lemon (the oil issue where it would run out of oil at 3,000 miles)
I took my car to my independent mechanic. I left it there for around 2 hours I think. I paid $320. In my mind, if a factory component fails due to defect, then you need to use an aftermarket component to solve the problem. Genuine parts are not always the best.
 

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There is another 2017 ac condenser thread in this forum. Perhaps the moderators might merge the two.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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The Subaru oem condenser has been updated several times now. I always go with oem, or at least 99%. Any part can fail, but I have a lot of trust in Subaru oem parts. Subaru doesn’t always have total control for outsourced oem parts, but they should stand behind them when they fail en masse. Especially when the part has been superseded. Most aftermarket parts are made in China, of dubious quality. I’ll stick with Subaru oem for now.

This ac/condenser/compressor issue has been a real problem that Subaru should address. IMHO.
 

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Exact same issue with my '17. I brought it in to the dealer September 18th for the same issue (no cooling) and they diagnosed a faulty AC Condenser that caused the refrigerant to leak out, which would be covered under warranty. They re-charged the system in the interim, which lasted only for a day or so.

There must be a bad batch of them (perhaps a faulty weld?), since I also was told the part was back ordered nationally. I just got a call yesterday that the part had been shipped and should arrive at my dealer early next week.

Not sure whether it's relevant, but I have an early model year '17 that I bought in August 2016.
I bought ‘17 Forester in August as well and my condenser is shot. While dealer agreed they have had issues with them it is not covered under warranty( mine timed out anyway) they have a new part number so supposedly have updated condenser model. $540 repair.
 

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I bought ‘17 Forester in August as well and my condenser is shot. While dealer agreed they have had issues with them it is not covered under warranty( mine timed out anyway) they have a new part number so supposedly have updated condenser model. $540 repair.
Wouldn't hurt to talk to Subaru America as I am sure they are aware of the problem and they might cover the repair under good will. I spoke with Subaru Canada and got my condenser replaced without cost. My warranty was also expired.
 

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I purchased my 2017 Subaru in August 2016 & as of May 29 2020 only have 45,000 miles on it & guess what? A/C wasn't working & Subaru service at the dealership advises it is a bad condenser & will be approximately a $900 bill. Has anyone started a class action suit yet on this issue?
Sorry I created another thread on this, didn't realize this was an ongoing problem. I'll post my thread content here.

2017 Subaru Forester purchased August 2016.
Summer of 2019, my AC stopped working was blowing only hot air.

June 2019: went in to Subaru maintenance for bi-annual tire swap and have the AC looked at. Still covered by warranty but just barely (ends August 2019). They injected a dye and filled it up with freon and asked me to let them know when it stops working again. They said even if it happens after the warranty, it will still be covered since I brought it in before warranty expired.

The problem is I hardly use my car, about 30 min to 1 hour per week. So by the end of summer, the AC was still working so I didn't bring it in. Obviously over winter I never used AC so during Dec 2019 tire swap, I didn't bring up any AC issues since there weren't any.

June 2020: AC stopped working again. Brought the car in for tire swap and they said it's been almost a year since warranty expired and AC problem can no longer be covered. They said the AC condenser is where the leak is and it will cost ~$1000 to fix it.

What should I do? Am I screwed?
 

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Wouldn't hurt to talk to Subaru America as I am sure they are aware of the problem and they might cover the repair under good will. I spoke with Subaru Canada and got my condenser replaced without cost. My warranty was also expired.
Can I ask the details on how you managed this? Mine was also in Canada. See my post above.
 

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Sorry to hear this. I knew as I read this story, that Subaru dealership was going to balk. For others, be forewarned and check your ac system even if you don’t drive much. Especially in the winter months, the system needs to stay lubricated.

I would definitely fight this. Kindly explain your situation, show them the odometer. I’m sure or fairly certain, that they wrote it down. Keep records of all visits. Contact SOA, and explain what happened.

The dealership should honor their warranty promise regardless. It was documented that you were having a problem with the ac system. They know these condensers are bad. Be persistent. You are on good ground. Keep us updated. Good luck.
 

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Sorry to hear this. I knew as I read this story, that Subaru dealership was going to balk. For others, be forewarned and check your ac system even if you don’t drive much. Especially in the winter months, the system needs to stay lubricated.
Remember that the front defroster will USUALLY kick on the AC compressor - as it's used to dehumidify the moist air - and so using the defroster could and should help keep the AC system lubricated and healthy...
 

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I leave my ac on all year and just use the thermostat to regulate the cabin temps. Not sure if thats good thing to do or not


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I leave my ac on all year and just use the thermostat to regulate the cabin temps. Not sure if thats good thing to do or not
For the AC system? Probably not. For your gas mileage? maybe not SO good but ... if it works and if it keeps you from having AC issues - all the power to you..
 

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Can I ask the details on how you managed this? Mine was also in Canada. See my post above.
What happened was that I found out that my AC was not putting out cool air the first warm day this year, and my warranty expired in February, and the last time I used the AC was last year. Took the car to the dealer who informed me that I will need a new condenser. The dealer suggested that I should call Subaru to see if they could provide assistance. So I did and talked to a representative who then contacted the dealer regarding the case. You can Google Subaru Canada in Mississauga for the phone number. The whole process took me 2 weeks because someone in Subaru dropped the ball. Should've taken 1 week.
 

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Well, add me to the list of people with A/C problems. I just bought a 2017 forester limited with 29k mi on it. A/C wasn’t working and the dealer told me it just needed a charge. They charged it and it went out two days later. Did some research and ended up on this forum. I took a peek at the condenser and correct me if I’m wrong but it looks like it’s definitely leaking refrigerant right?? I don’t need green dye to see that something is leaking in to the foam. I’m going in tomorrow and I’m going to request that they replace it or they can take the car back and I’ll buy somewhere else.
537118

537120

537122

am I right? Definitely leaking?
 

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Maybe. They’ll have to clean the area well then shoot some dye in the system, and check with Uv light. These Oem Subaru condensers are having problems. I read that rust was causing some failures. You do have a good case. Just be diplomatic and state your case. SOA should know about the condenser issue by now.
 

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Maybe. They’ll have to clean the area well then shoot some dye in the system, and check with Uv light. These Oem Subaru condensers are having problems. I read that rust was causing some failures. You do have a good case. Just be diplomatic and state your case. SOA should know about the condenser issue by now.
Ok cool. I’ll update after I talk to them. Thanks!
 

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Well, add me to the list of people with A/C problems. I just bought a 2017 forester limited with 29k mi on it. A/C wasn’t working and the dealer told me it just needed a charge. They charged it and it went out two days later. Did some research and ended up on this forum. I took a peek at the condenser and correct me if I’m wrong but it looks like it’s definitely leaking refrigerant right?? I don’t need green dye to see that something is leaking in to the foam. I’m going in tomorrow and I’m going to request that they replace it or they can take the car back and I’ll buy somewhere else.
View attachment 537118
View attachment 537120
View attachment 537122
am I right? Definitely leaking?
Update: dealer (not Subaru) replaced the condenser after seein that it appeared to have been leaking. A/C seems to working fine now. They said if it goes out again to bring it back and they’ll replace the compressor. Good thing because I only bought the car 4 days ago! Kind of glad this happened now instead of 6 months down the road..
 
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