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2019 RUN, Forester...RUN! Well...it varies!
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, what's up with my temperature setting not working unless the fan is on. I leave the fan off on the highway, and cold air comes in the vents regardless of me pegging the dial to the hottest setting. I have the basic dials setup in my forester. If the fan is on any speed, the heat comes in as desired and set. If I turn off the fan and leave the vent open, I'll get cold outside air coming in. Does this not work like every other car in the world where temperature of the non-fanned vent can still be controlled?
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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110 Posts
Every car I’ve had will have air coming in when the hvac is set to off.

If you want to stop it from having air come in, press the recirculate button while the hvac is off.


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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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36,360 Posts
@harlenm77 if I'm reading @mirageman post correctly, he wants to turn off the blower fan, but still have the incoming air heated to where he has the temperature setting set.

When he turns off the blower, the incoming air is cold & not heated as it was when the blower was turned on.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@harlenm77 as he noted, his previous vehicles allowed heated air to enter, with the blower fan off. I suspect on these newer vehicles, when the blower is turned off, the system assumes you don't need heat.

The cost of all the automation incorporated in newer vehicles...

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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2019 RUN, Forester...RUN! Well...it varies!
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
@2.5x_sleeper But that doesn’t make any sense. If the system is turned off, why would the temperature be regulated?


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Sleeper got it right, thanks. FAN off. Heat should come in through the vents. I use the fan sparingly, defrosting usually. Then on the highway, I shut off the fan and leave the vent on the windshield and feet constantly. Free defrosting ;-). I should be able to have heat come in, but I can't. It only comes in cold. If the fan is off, I get the vent, but not the heat. If I don't want air to come in as I drive, yes I push the recirculation button.
 

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2010 Forester Automatic 4sp
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38 Posts
I don't understand what you believe you are "saving" with the fan off? Why don't you use the system as the manufacturer designed it, or is that too obvious?
It may not have anything to do with savings.
In any older car I had, when you set dial to heat or cold it simply flipped the gate to rout air either directly from outside or pass the heater radiator. Fan on or off did not change that. Now without fan you would get a trickle of air that just enough to keep car warm yet not get you overly hot.
I get too hot when fan is on. So a little of warm air is only what I need most of the time.

Now for AC it's different. When ac is off the gate swings only directly to outside.
 

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2018 SJ Forester 2.5i Ltd CVT
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1,586 Posts
On my 2018 Limited...If I have the temp set at 80 and then turn the HVAC system off, it will continue to push in 80 degree air. However I can't change the temp of the air flow with the system off.
 

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2019 RUN, Forester...RUN! Well...it varies!
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I called Subaru service and they said it is not normal to not be able to adjust temperature and to bring it in. Cheers!
 

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2019 RUN, Forester...RUN! Well...it varies!
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Discussion Starter #11
On my 2018 Limited...If I have the temp set at 80 and then turn the HVAC system off, it will continue to push in 80 degree air. However I can't change the temp of the air flow with the system off.
Thanks. It's funny because I haven't noticed this issue until the past week, mine eventually trickles down in temperature after a mile or so. Got me thinking it has always been this way and I just didn't notice until it got cold outside. Gonna try some more before setting up an appointment and waste a day for service to tell me it is normal. "Their" normal, anyway. Would love to have those good 'ol lever/cable operated actuators that actually did what you wanted them to do. I have a grand caravan that always shut the outside vent if I shut the fan off. I rigged a switch to the wire that automatically opens and closes the vent door. If I don't want the darn thing to shut my vent door, I flip the switch off, cutting power to the actuator, vent stays open. Problem solved on the caravan. Might just try to do something similar to the Forester to fix their engineering oversight if they insist nothing is wrong.
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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462 Posts
My opinion: If the fan is off, there's no way of predicting what the temperature of the air coming out of the vents will be. If there's any air coming out at all, I'm expecting it to be warm-ish (since it is air flowing in through the system and in the process flowing through the heater core.

I've noticed that when I have my AC switched on and I turn my fan to 0 (zero), the AC status light turns off. Basically saying: Oh, you don't want any air-flow, no point in cooling the air then.

For those familiar with heat-vents:
It's like having a forced-air furnace, turning on the gas-burner but switching off the blower-motor and expecting warm air to come out of the vents...
 

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2019 RUN, Forester...RUN! Well...it varies!
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
@GuusV Well, regardless of the fan setting, you certainly can predict the temperature of the air coming out of the vents since the temperature control has temperatures stamped on it! I don't need exact, though. If I want it hotter, I just turn clockwise. Too hot? Counterclockwise. If I don't want vent at all, I'll push the re-circulate button.

AC is different, you'll end up with a block of ice for an evaporator/heat exchanger if you don't have constant air flowing through it, like the old refrigerators that everyone had to roll out of the house every year or so in the summer. They rightfully demand a fan setting of "on" to allow the AC to turn on.

Unlike the furnace, the car moves. Furnace is stationary. I am absolutely expecting warm air to come out of the vents if the car is warm and the vent is open and the car is moving. Subaru apparently decided to deny access to something already there for free if the fan is off.

YoGeorge above didn't know what I meant about free defrosting in my original post. He was concerned and was wondering what I thought I was "saving". Well, many might know that using the fan is not free. It uses electricity which it gets from the alternator which becomes harder to turn with any electrical load, the fan being one of them. This puts a higher load on the engine. How much, I don't know, but it does indeed cost $$ to use the fan. I am not looking to save pennies, though. I am looking for comfortable "free" outside air venting through my cabin, at the temperature of my choosing, and cold air coming in through the vents in the winter is not comfortable.

Denissh above got me thinking. If indeed this system is electrically operated via a valve, I'll have little choice in the matter. Maybe my local Subaru service department person I spoke to is just looking for a diagnostic fee by saying it was not normal in my telephone call. Maybe YoGeorge was right when he implied that the system is intended to work that way. I know my other cars' heater core is always open with the engine, no valves cutting the coolant flow through it. Those work by simply closing a door, redirecting air at variable levels not allowing air to flow through the core, but the core itself is always as hot as the coolant from the engine. If indeed it is determined that Subaru set it up this way, I will try to map out and rewire the controls, with a switch perhaps that would keep the temperature control knob active even with the fan off. Perhaps my "free" harbor freight multimeter can find a wire that becomes hot at the temperature control knob when the fan is on. If I can do that, I'll rig something to ALWAYS keep that wire active with only "key on". Thanks all :)
 

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2019 RUN, Forester...RUN! Well...it varies!
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Discussion Starter #15
On my 2018 Limited...If I have the temp set at 80 and then turn the HVAC system off, it will continue to push in 80 degree air. However I can't change the temp of the air flow with the system off.
Would you mind verifying that the next time you drive if it indeed stays that temperature indefinitely? Mine cools down in like a mile. I just spoke to another Subaru service department and the guy there says that the fan controls the temperature, can't control the temperature if the fan is off. I also verified this on the road again. If I have the heat on high with low fan, and then shut off the fan, the temperature coming through the vents will cool down to ambient temperature in a mile or so as the heater core cools. Ugh! Somebody got paid to remove something useful. Expect a hack thread sometime soon.
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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2,694 Posts
I don't understand what you believe you are "saving" with the fan off? Why don't you use the system as the manufacturer designed it, or is that too obvious?
I agree with you, and I wouldn't use "saving" though. To me, it's more about the purpose. SO, what the purpose of not running the fan? The noise?
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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Oh, I missed that. Time to read it.

Okay, I read it. I get what he is saying, but unless he lives in a very rural area, leaving the vent open without recirculation kind of lets in more DEP and other emissions, no?
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@Nasarog it's a personal preference... like modding to make the vehicle as you want it.

As I see it, when traveling at highway speed, the incoming air pressure, blower fan off, is strong enough to exit thru the rear fender vents, so there is air flow.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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13,358 Posts
My 19 Crosstrek allows outside air to be heated with the temperature. Never have seen any different in any vehicle.
 
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