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2018 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m pretty pissed off.
I have a ‘18 Forester that the air conditioning compressor has seized after having been on the road for less than 4 years (100,000 kilometres).
Asking Subaru for relief from the $2000.00 bill.
Had a few issues with this car now, questioning Subaru quality.
Just thought I would vent. Please excuse the pun !
 

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Super Moderator
2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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4,656 Posts
Well, a few things ....

The AC Compressor has been a somewhat common issue with Foresters. But Subaru doesn't make the compressor - it comes from some supplier. But as it is NOT a part subject to a recall, you have TSBs about repair/replacement under warranty - if it's still valid.

Did you get the extended coverage from Subaru at the time of purchase or before the regular bumper to bumper warranty expired? If so, it would be covered minus a deductible (if in your plan). This is the exact reason to make that purchase and get the Subaru Gold or Gold-plus coverage on the car. My own AC compressor was having issues (it did not fail but was less than proficient) and was replaced under the extended care I bought at the time of purchase.

Not to be mean or sound like a donkey's butt, but you had a part that failed and you have to replace it. If this was some other component that was not as expensive, would you be as ticked off and needing to vent?
 

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2018 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No offence taken. You have a valid point, but had a lot of cars in 50 years of driving, but never had so many issues with a car. Past winter had water leaking through the courtesy lights where Eyesight is located. Took to a dealer in Florida (I’m in Canada) who found drains were blocked around the sunroof (which I hardly ever open). They kindly fixed no charge, cleared the drains for me. Makes me think about going back to Toyota for next car. Will see how Subaru Canada responds. Will keep you posted.
 

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Super Moderator
2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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4,656 Posts
I will say that the drains around the sunroof would / could also happen with a Toyota. As could the AC compressor issue.

Even if you do not open the roof up, you'll still possibly get a bit of dirt and dust and "stuff" in the channels (hence the need for drains) and yes, they can get clogged.

I've had over a dozen cars in the last 30 years and can say that I've had some that have been absolute piles of junk but supposedly came from vaunted makers and others that were stellar but from less than reliable makers. Sometimes it is just luck of the draw. I've had pals with Toyotas and Hondas that were in the shop regularly and some with Hyundai and Kia and Fords that never broke at all.

Sorry you're going through this. If you do a search online, you can see that the compressor and/or condenser can be problematic on the SJ generation (particularly) and other generations (less so).

One other thing - my Mazda had the worst AC system of any car I've had, never seemed to be able to cool down the interior of the car in a short time - and I live where it gets REALLY hot. My old Dodge Raider (a rebadged Mitsubishi) did really well, and my even older Subaru did a great job. As we've gotten newer and more ecologically sensitive as a community, the AC systems sill surely have taken a hit in capability.
 

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2017 Forester Premium CVT
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79 Posts
Had the A/C evaporator go bad on my 2017 2.5I Premium in February. Car had less than 60K on the clock and less than 5 years old at the time. Big bill to fix because most of the dashboard had to be taken apart to reach the evaporator which is mounted high on the inside of the firewall. I took a chance and called SOA customer service at their headquarters in New Jersey. I laid out the problem, and said I thought the part should have lasted longer than it did, and asked if they could give me some help on the repair cost. I must say that I was shocked when they agreed to pay for the whole repair. Subaru does stand behind their products. Yes they have no obligation to you to pay for the repair, but you have absolutely nothing to lose by asking nicely. As you are in Canada, don't know if this will work for you, but I wish you luck!
 

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2017 Forester Premium ES CVT (Sold and replaced with Camry Hybrid)
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165 Posts
I must say that I had trouble with my AC on my 17 Forester. Replaced Condenser and then a year later it's blowing hot air in the 115 degree heat in Vegas. Dropped that sucker like a hot potato. An AC that doesn't work is indeed something that pushes many of us over the edge. Although, you could think of it as a way to lose weight while pouring down sweat.
 

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18 Forester Limited 19 Forester Premium
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725 Posts
FozzyB,
No disrespect, and let me say I own a 17’ thats been pretty much flawless with a Gold Plus and I love it, but your walking a fine line of sounding like a salesman for Subaru. Keep it real, just sayin.
Keep it real? Kind of funny..... I get shouted down on a regular basis because I advocate for buying the warranty - especially if you purchase a TOYOTA. Don't like surprise component failures or runaway costs? Get the coverage I say. Then the crowd chimes in about self insuring, taking the risk and how Toyota and Subaru vehicles don't break. And yet here we are.... Complaining about the cost of repairs and knocking those that simply say to buy the extra coverage. Keep it real! ;-)
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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1,281 Posts
drains were blocked around the sunroof (which I hardly ever open)
I've always wondered how this worked. We had an Audi and we never opened the sunroof and 1) the drains got clogged by magically appearing dirt and 2) the water got in (somehow) and came into the passenger compartment because the drains were clogged. In a car without air conditioning it's nice to have a sunroof but these days most cars have a/c so we should be able to purchase cars without sunroofs.
 

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2017 Forester Premium ES CVT (Sold and replaced with Camry Hybrid)
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I've always wondered how this worked. We had an Audi and we never opened the sunroof and 1) the drains got clogged by magically appearing dirt and 2) the water got in (somehow) and came into the passenger compartment because the drains were clogged. In a car without air conditioning it's nice to have a sunroof but these days most cars have a/c so we should be able to purchase cars without sunroofs.
Sunroofs have nothing to do with people actually using them. They are designed for pure profit. Another tid bit I learned when doing a tax return for a car salesman - sport models. The Camry LE generates $800 dealer profit while the SE generates $2,000 dealer profit. That's what the salesman's commission is based on. That's why nearly every Camry on the road is a sport model, because nobody wants to sell an LE. I routinely see 80-90 year olds driving sport models with sunroofs. I highly doubt they were actively seeking those features when car shopping. Now an AC that actually works - priceless!
 

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2022 Forester Sport
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148 Posts
I get shouted down on a regular basis because I advocate for buying the warranty.......
I agree with you 100%. My wife is on her 3rd Subaru. I've always insisted she purchase the Subaru gold warranty. We are fortunately in a position where we could self insure, but having the warranty just makes life simpler when you have an issue.

I participate in multiple vehicle forums. Rants like the OP's are not uncommon and are always relative to the price of a repair. Owners just don't realize that these days it does not take long to rack up a $2k repair, repairs that would have been covered under warranty for a couple pennies a day

We had an Audi and we never opened the sunroof and 1) the drains got clogged by magically appearing dirt.......
For some reason, spiders love nesting in those sunroof drain hoses. This issue is certainly not unique to Subaru.
 

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2017 Forester Touring CVT
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1,453 Posts
Keep it real? Kind of funny..... I get shouted down on a regular basis because I advocate for buying the warranty ;-)
If you read my post Fib, I also have a Gold Plus ( thats the extended warranty) and love it. Haven’t needed it yet, but glad I have it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i Touring AKA BronzFoz
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118 Posts
@Ralphy1950 You're not alone on this. My compressor is very loud but still works however I have a feeling that it'll go out eventually. Already had the condenser replaced under recall. I also had the sunroof drain clog too while I was in Florida lol. Current problems now are the left rear wheel bearing, front cv axels, death wobble when breaking and (maybe?) an oil leak. This is all happening at 70k and I'm questioning if I should keep the car at this point. It was fun in the beginning but now these issues are starting to give me a headache. I think I'll go Mazda for my next car.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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1,357 Posts
The Sun/Moonroof glass is only sealed with a felt gasket. It is not water or spider proof.

That's why it's important to check the gutter and drains occasionally.
Our '17 is on its 3rd condenser in 7000 miles now. The original was replaced under warranty, with the same part.

Then the Recall/TSB was issued, and I sort of had to talk my wife into taking it in, as it was "working just fine". It's primarily her car.

On the way there, the A/C began falling off. I got that "I don't want to hear it" look. 😆
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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I am not sure what the Canadian dealer price is for an AC compressor, but Subaruparts online shows $962 US, so it's pretty safe to assume close to $1300 CAD with taxes. The other 700 is probably some extra gaskets, refrigerant, and labor. If Subaru is not helping or covering it, you could always look into taking it somewhere else that does ac work. You can buy a new compressor for less than $500. Heck, you also have the possibility of finding a used one from a wreck since the fitment guide shows the same part used since 2014 on most Subaru models.
In your shoes, I would call around and seek to get another opinion and estimate.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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My 2015 has had everything in the AC system all replaced at least once under warranty, everytime it's failed again within 1-2 years. I had to tell them about the TSB for upgraded compressor on the last repair visit! Everytime the schrader valves on Hi/Low fill ports were deemed as bad and also replaced. The other day I discovered oily dirty stuff around both these caps, removed them one at a time and hiss out came refrigerant...the Low is rapidly bubbling out and there's an oily mess all around both schrader valves! Seems the mechanics have ruined the seals during installation or these parts are very poor quality LOL.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester
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23 Posts
All sunroof drains get clogged over time and leak into the car. Doesn't matter what brand.
No offence taken. You have a valid point, but had a lot of cars in 50 years of driving, but never had so many issues with a car. Past winter had water leaking through the courtesy lights where Eyesight is located. Took to a dealer in Florida (I’m in Canada) who found drains were blocked around the sunroof (which I hardly ever open). They kindly fixed no charge, cleared the drains for me. Makes me think about going back to Toyota for next car. Will see how Subaru Canada responds. Will keep you posted.
 

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2018 XT Premium automatic
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17 Posts
I’m pretty pissed off.
I have a ‘18 Forester that the air conditioning compressor has seized after having been on the road for less than 4 years (100,000 kilometres).
Asking Subaru for relief from the $2000.00 bill.
Had a few issues with this car now, questioning Subaru quality.
Just thought I would vent. Please excuse the pun !
I have an XT Premium 2018 and I purchased the extended warranty making it five years. I've had my front lower control arm bushings replaced three times though technically it should have been twice. Less than 48K miles. I don't know if it's the crap California Highways or the bushings just plain suck. I also question the quality and compared to my 2005 4Runner, hands down, the 4Runner wins except for the incredible visibility of the Forester. Good luck with your ride.
 

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2003 Forester X 4EAT
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92 Posts
I’m pretty pissed off.
I have a ‘18 Forester that the air conditioning compressor has seized after having been on the road for less than 4 years (100,000 kilometres).
Asking Subaru for relief from the $2000.00 bill.
Had a few issues with this car now, questioning Subaru quality.
Just thought I would vent. Please excuse the pun !
That happened to my 2003 Forester. Was driving on the highway when the compressor seized. That took out the serpentine belt, so power steering went with it. But the first thing I noticed was the alternator light came on. Then, I felt the steering was stiff. So, had to steer the car with a firm grip (still going 65+mph). Wouldn't be so worried if the ABS light didn't come on next... hard to steer, hard to stop ... then the airbag lights came on ... Drove straight to my mechanic and left it there overnight.
 
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