Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
2017 Forrester XT CVT
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My FXT is barely 18 months old with under 18k miles. Everything's been great until 2 days ago driving to work in a mini LA heatwave (90F @ 9am) I notice the AC is barely cool. By the time I got to work it wasn't blowing cool at all. On the return drive I found that even with Dual control off, it was a little cool on the passenger side and not at all on the driver side (a very noticeable difference).

I took it in for service today. Told them I'd also noticed what looked like a fresh oil drip in the driveway (familar because it was at the same spot my old car marked frequently). I was told the condenser had a leak and it was replaced under warranty. The not cool at all(L)/a little cool(R) was explained that the right side vents are closer to the condenser so they got whatever cool air the damaged system could manage. No other fluid leak was found anywhere. AC works like it should now.

My questions are:

What could possibly cause 18-month old condenser to fail? The AC does get used a LOT, this is Los Angeles after all. Is this a common experience for new Subaru owners? Should I just chalk it up to a defect and be glad it happened now or be concerned that there's a likelihood of a recurrence after the warranty runs out? IOW, is Subaru known to have condenser issues?

Does the L/R temperature difference explanation before the fix make sense? I was a bit concerned there was an issue with the vent controls or airflow. All seems to be OK now but I've only driven the 15 minutes back from the dealership so far.

I know AC refrigerant evaporates quickly into the air when released but it does contain oil. Is it likely the driveway oil stain i saw was coolant oil? There's no way an 18-month old car should have an engine oil leak...

The FXT's been great to this point and I've been very happy with it. Hopefully, I'm just overthinking the condenser failure.....?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
My FXT is barely 18 months old with under 18k miles. Everything's been great until 2 days ago driving to work in a mini LA heatwave (90F @ 9am) I notice the AC is barely cool. By the time I got to work it wasn't blowing cool at all. On the return drive I found that even with Dual control off, it was a little cool on the passenger side and not at all on the driver side (a very noticeable difference).

I took it in for service today. Told them I'd also noticed what looked like a fresh oil drip in the driveway (familar because it was at the same spot my old car marked frequently). I was told the condenser had a leak and it was replaced under warranty. The not cool at all(L)/a little cool(R) was explained that the right side vents are closer to the condenser so they got whatever cool air the damaged system could manage. No other fluid leak was found anywhere. AC works like it should now.

My questions are:

What could possibly cause 18-month old condenser to fail? The AC does get used a LOT, this is Los Angeles after all. Is this a common experience for new Subaru owners? Should I just chalk it up to a defect and be glad it happened now or be concerned that there's a likelihood of a recurrence after the warranty runs out? IOW, is Subaru known to have condenser issues?

Does the L/R temperature difference explanation before the fix make sense? I was a bit concerned there was an issue with the vent controls or airflow. All seems to be OK now but I've only driven the 15 minutes back from the dealership so far.

I know AC refrigerant evaporates quickly into the air when released but it does contain oil. Is it likely the driveway oil stain i saw was coolant oil? There's no way an 18-month old car should have an engine oil leak...

The FXT's been great to this point and I've been very happy with it. Hopefully, I'm just overthinking the condenser failure.....?
It's a common failure on the Forester. I just had the condenser on my '17 XT replaced not long ago. If you search on these forums you'll find other similar complaints.
 

·
Registered
2017 Forester
Joined
·
312 Posts
Obviously no way to predict but let's hope so. Had same issue and have been good for 6 months since replacement.
This said, think I recall a few others having same issue with lack of cold air about a year after initial condenser replacement.
( there's a similar topic if you Search).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hey guys. On Saturday I took my 2017 Forester XT Touring for an Oil change and tire rotation. The car has 9200 miles. Had it for a year. Since I bought the car there I told the advisor I have an issue with the AC. It’s not cooling as much as it should. He said it’s been a common problem with these cars. Sure enough he came back 30 minutes later and said the condenser is leaking. Thank god they had the part in stock. They changed it. I hope the new part they put is better. So far so good. I hope the compressor doesn’t go now.
 

·
Registered
2017 FXT Touring
Joined
·
215 Posts
I had a leak in the hoses when I had a complaint about the air not being cold consistently, but no replacement. Seems to be better, but I still think it could be colder. I have a 14 year old Chevy that blows much colder air.
 

·
Registered
2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
Joined
·
113 Posts
The A/C sucks in the SJ. I've had mine charged multiple times, and had the condenser replaced. No matter what it still ends up blowing lukewarm air when it's 100+ in Texas.
 

·
Registered
19 19 Touring, 17TrgXT CVT
Joined
·
632 Posts
Heads up, as the OP recapped above, if you are noticing a difference in your right versus left center vent temperatures it could be an issue with your freon charge level, and possibly your condensor. I just posted my experience with our 2017 XT Touring here at this thread:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I am sitting at a Subaru dealer now getting this same problem fixed. I have a 2017 Forester Premium. They said the condenser is leaking. I thought it was strange to have a 2 year old car already have air conditioner problems. I live on the East coast so I don’t use it as much as the Texas and California folks. I hope this won’t be a regular occurrence. I replaced my air conditioner 4 times in my Honda CVR and was hoping it would be better with Subaru. Time will tell.
 

·
Registered
2017 Forester Premium
Joined
·
92 Posts
I have both a 2016 and 2017 Forester and the AC is blowing hot. I juiced up the Freon and it works again. They are going to the dealer to check the condensors and the dealer said it’s a common problem with Foresters. Cost to replace each is $900. My questions are

1) Is suberau making good on the obvious defect if out of warranty?

2) Does it make sense to spend the money fixing it if it’s just going to happen again?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Coming from 2016 fxt premium. Condenser leak and was replace today for $550 AUD aftermarket. I have ordered the grille to cover from debris, hope this last much longer
 

·
Registered
2017 Forester Premium
Joined
·
92 Posts
Coming from 2016 fxt premium. Condenser leak and was replace today for $550 AUD aftermarket. I have ordered the grille to cover from debris, hope this last much longer
SOA extended the warranty on the condenser and is picking up the cost to replace them.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top