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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had this '14 XT since May and have 19.5k miles with no major factory issues until now. I noticed last week after some really serious rain here in NJ that first thing in the morning, there was an INCREDIBLE amount of water on the inside of my windshield, it was confined to about a 9" radius just above the vents in the center of the windshield. Almost as if there was a bucket of water in my dash and it had just been evaporating and condensing into a puddle on my windshield. I cleaned it up and have had my eye on it ever since. Now I am noticing excessive amounts of moisture build up inside ALL windows. I've driven a ton of cars and have never had such issues with the windows staying fogged up for hours.

Now, the really concerning issue was this morning. We've had heavy snow and rain the last 3 days. I started the car today and let it warm up and defrost all the ice on the outside of the windshield. I come back 10 min later and the ENTIRE inside of my windshield, corner to corner, is DRIPPING wet. Had to get a towel and wipe it all away.

What the heck is going on?
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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272 Posts
Try running the A/C with recycled air for the next few days and see if it dries out. You could also try one of those dehumidifying canisters that they sell at home depot intended for damp basements. If it persists bring it in, either way please follow up. I'm in SE PA so I have similar weather and I have found that if I don't run the defrost I fog up really quickly, a lot more so yesterday than before. Could be the weird weather.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will try running the ac heat the next few days. Perhaps the internal ventilation system is filled with water and thus acting like an extreme humidifier. Either way, what is happening is a problem and not the way Subaru intended, that's for sure.
 

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2014 Impreza Premium 2.0 AT w/ Manual Mode
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Couple weeks ago I had would I thought was a huge build up of condensation (frozen) on the inside of my windshield. I would say it came up as far as yours did from the vents, it's happened a few times but nothing major like that. I've also noticed a hard rattle coming from that area when the temp plummets below zero... Maybe the windshield needs resealed?
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
That is my other hypothesis, that the windshield is not sealed properly. Today it seemed like it was dripping from the upper seals, though I could not confirm the source of the water dripping down the inside of my windshield. It was evenly dripping from edge to edge however, which would suggest a poor seal, perhaps exacerbated by the cold weather.
 

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2014 XT Touring CVT
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18 Posts
This happens to me occasionally too in winter. I always thought it was normal, all my cars have done this at times.
 

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'21 ISM Crosstrek Limited
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Use the AC. The air conditioning removes moisture from the air inside and deposits it outside. Using defrost also uses the AC and should do the same, but when the defrost is turned off the AC should be turned on.

There was a time, living in New England, that I thought AC was superfluous. (I only liked manual transmissions, non-powered rack and pinion steering, etc) After I finally got a car with AC I discovered it was not a "pampering me" wimpout, but was a safety feature that all cars should come with standard. This awareness came during a very very rainy season, where without the AC the interior glass was simply wet.

Years earlier, with my VW micro bus, I found winter impossible and traded it. I had to scrape the inside of the windshield to see. No AC there, nor heat really.

Air conditioning is the solution.
 

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2014 Impreza Premium 2.0 AT w/ Manual Mode
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Your problem sounds pretty nasty, if I were you I would take it to the dealer and see if they will reseal it for you. I plan on doing that myself, I've never had this much condensation on the inside of my previous cars or anyone else's for that matter.
 

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2011 Touring 4EAT
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307 Posts
It could also be moisture from the floor condensing on the windows. If it's cold and dry try leaving your windows cracked open an inch or so. I realize this may not be easy if you park outside. If/when temps are below freezing the relatively dry outside air is great at drying out the inside of the car. If you have these conditions you could try driving with the windows cracked open and the heat on full.

At any rate leaving your windows cracked open when temps are below freezing will stop the inside of your windows from frosting up.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So here's a video of the moisture on the windshield last night. The floor and seats are dry, so it's not like my floor is soaking wet and evaporating on to the windshield. I've had many cars and never ever had moisture build up like this. It's dangerous, I have to get a towel to wipe it all away, but then the second I turn off defrost it starts to fog up as the glass is now dirty as all hell. I am seeing more videos on youtube though with this same issue, and even on some cars that I've had in the past. Perhaps this is just a circumstantial situation that will not turn out to be the norm. Good news is after blasting the ac, recirculated and heat for about 2 hours yesterday I had no moisture this morning!

The video is longer then necessary (my editing skills are nonexistent), you only really need the first 15 seconds.

 

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2019 Forester Touring
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FWIT, living in NJ where humidity is pretty bad during the warmer parts of the year and occasionally during the winter when temps changed radically, I used my AC sparingly (to save gas, I thought back then) and NEVER had anything like what you're indicating on my windscreen or windows.......NEVER.

I really doubt if this is normal. Using the AC to defog your windshield, at times, is advisable BUT you shouldn't have to run the AC all the time.

I wonder if the windscreen was not installed properly at the factory and some water is accumulating somewhere down in the duct work, releasing copious amount of moisture over time.......

Puddling as you describe it is abnormal......period.

Take it back to the dealer pronto and let them see the problem......and fix it. My guess is that the glass is going to have to be re-installed after being removed and the channel cleaned.

Steve
 

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2014 2.0 XT yes
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It's easy to test for a leaking windshield with a garden hose. Maybe after the temperatures go up a bit.

An alternative explanation is that some melted snow got into the fresh air intake by the back of the hood, and this is your source of moisture. Keep that area clear of snow accumulation, and see if the problem comes back.

In my experience, you also get a lot of snow packed into all sorts of unusual locations after wheel-spin happy low-traction vehicle dynamics test. I filled my airbox full of snow during one of these sessions once.
 

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'21 ISM Crosstrek Limited
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Besides the opportunity to introduce moisture into the inside of a car through tracked in water or snow, the average human expels three cups of water a day through perspiration and exhalation. Per Person. That's a lot of water, especially during a time of year when open windows are not normal. It accumulates if it isn't removed.

All modern cars' dehumidify the air when in Defrost mode, and also when the Air Conditioning is used. Other than leaving the windows or doors open and letting the accumulated moisture evaporate that way, the Defroster and AC are the only methods that will remove inside moisture.

This is an ongoing condition, not a temporary one. That means an awareness of the reality of biology and weather, and enough use of the car's functions to deal with it.

I'll bet there are few who have camped out in a "pup tent" overnight in freezing temperatures. Those that have will verify the unavoidable lessons learned about moisture and humans. Or how about those couples on Lover's Lane with the windows up... :)

Use your Defrost and AC every day and you won't have an issue.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Thanks, Dr. Science, we've all heard that humans emit water…….BUT the fact remains that this degree of puddling is abnormal.

AC will help BUT is not the cure. Not unless the owner has a huge perspiration problem going on……

I must have a special Forester since I haven't run my AC in several weeks including thru some heavy fog and rainstorms and still have a dry interior……..my luck, eh?
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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320 Posts
^^^ Forester is not some kind of biodome. Fresh air comes through heating/cooling ducts and escapes through the rear vents. With that said, bring with you hygrometer and check humidity outside vs inside with vents on and off.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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3,004 Posts
An excellent idea, mjsub!

It'll be interesting to see what the hygrometer shows in terms of interior humidity.

Steve
 

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OP, i'm in Philly and had the exact same thing happen in mine. Mine is parked outside all the time. It was just the weather we had. Heavy rains caused high humidity and then it got cold fast. Any humidity within the cabin condensed on the inside face of the cold windshield first.

I finally got mine dried out by running the heat with the AC on for about two hours. Still have the drop marks on the windshield that i've been meaning to clean off.

and FWIW, I have a $500 hygrometer. Maybe I can report.
 

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2014 2.0 XT yes
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I must have a special Forester since I haven't run my AC in several weeks including thru some heavy fog and rainstorms and still have a dry interior……..my luck, eh?
If you turned on your window defogger, then you've run the AC. The light does not turn on in this situation, but it's running.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Thanks, I already knew that back in the 1970s………BUT, I repeat, I rarely have to use my AC OR my defogger very often ( in anything but the hot and humid summer months) and have NEVER seen the amount of condensation that the OP and Inspector have…….

I've had very little fogged windscreen glass in over the years BUT zero dripping……none at all.


Since 1976, my Japanese cars also automatically switched on the AC w/o the AC lamp illuminating. I think this has been pretty much SOP for many years and across all brands.

Perhaps the later SH/SJ cars are much tighter than the SG cars were.

That's why I suggested that water must be getting into the OP's car, one way or the other…….OR he exhales more moisture than I do.

Whatever, it'll be interesting to see what the dealer finds, if the car goes back for the issue.
 
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