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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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Discussion Starter #1
I get the feeling that the A/C unit on my Forester is on (maybe just partly on) even when the A/C button is off. A couple of things I have noticed.

1) With the A/C button off, and the Temp turned all the way down, the air coming out is Very Cold. Certainly feels much colder than the outside air. My other car has A/C too, but when it is off the vent air is never colder than the out side air.

2) With the A/C button off, and the Temp turned all the way down, I noticed lots of water coming out of the A/C drain, as if the A/C was on. I know it is water, since I did the taste test. (my High school Automotive teacher taught us that. Just don't swallow). Again my other car, maybe a little water would come out on a really hot day with the A/C off.

What is going on here? I am guessing that the air should not out be colder than the outside air with the A/C off. If the A/C is on all the time, then it is adding unnecessary load on the engine (ruining my mpg). I might take the thermometer out there some time and test with the AC on and off.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I'm going to assume you have the manual controls like on my '03, if not, this reply will not be pertinent to your '07.

Even with the A/C button off, the A/C will be used if you have the right control set to or near the setting that have the "orange" markings. This is so the air directed to the window is dry... free of moisture, via the A/C. The extra load of the A/C compressor will degrade your gas mileage. I personally don't care for this feature, so when I was installing a new head unit, I removed the linkage that controls the A/C via this control knob (very easy, pops off). Now when I use those settings that show orange, the A/C does not operate, unless I manually turn on the A/C.

The picture was for another thread (arrow), but it shows the 3 manual controls, specially the right control with the orange markings.

Bobby...

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

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2007 Forester Sport XT 5MT
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I hate the automatic controls.

What I wonder is - when the A/C is on - does the compressor cycle? or does it stay on and mix warm air in to balance the temperature?

I understand how the A/C can help keep the fog off of the inside of the windshield, but if I've selected heat up there, it insists on running the compressor too.

If they would let me choose, they should follow through with it.

El Sid
 

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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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Discussion Starter #5
I'm going to assume you have the manual controls like on my '03, if not, this reply will not be pertinent to your '07.

Even with the A/C button off, the A/C will be used if you have the right control set to or near the setting that have the "orange" markings. This is so the air directed to the window is dry... free of moisture, via the A/C. The extra load of the A/C compressor will degrade your gas mileage. I personally don't care for this feature, so when I was installing a new head unit, I removed the linkage that controls the A/C via this control knob (very easy, pops off). Now when I use those settings that show orange, the A/C does not operate, unless I manually turn on the A/C.

The picture was for another thread (arrow), but it shows the 3 manual controls, specially the right control with the orange markings.

Bobby...
That must be it. I like to have a little bit of air circulating in the cabin, but hate to have it blowing directly on me, so I almost always have the air directed towards the windshield, full time. If I need to defog the windows, I'd like to be able to decide for myself when I need AC assistance (not have some designer in Japan or who knows where to decide for me that it has to be on). I will look into disabling this right away.

Thanks so much. Mystery solved.

PS That image looks exactly like my 07 (except I have heated seat switches where the arrow is pointing).
 

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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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Discussion Starter #6
Why you would need to do this is beyond me? What else were you expecting?
Well in auto class, we had to taste test Water (from the AC), Coolant, Brake Fluid, Engine Oil, Transmission Fluid. All of these can be leaking in that area. I don't think we did Differential Fluid, but on the Forester (or any AWD) that is right in that area too. I have used this half a dozen times to quickly diagnose problems on cars (mine and others). Especially useful if the whole underside of the engine compartment is more or less wet and dirty.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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That must be it. I like to have a little bit of air circulating in the cabin, but hate to have it blowing directly on me, so I almost always have the air directed towards the windshield, full time. If I need to defog the windows, I'd like to be able to decide for myself when I need AC assistance (not have some designer in Japan or who knows where to decide for me that it has to be on). I will look into disabling this right away.

Thanks so much. Mystery solved.

PS That image looks exactly like my 07 (except I have heated seat switches where the arrow is pointing).
If you have the manual controls & you want full control of when the A/C is used, remove the linkage shown on my attached picture. The picture sucks, but once you get behind the manual control panel, you will see how easy it to remove this small piece. It can also be replaced if you decide you want what the factory provided.

Once this modification is performed, you will need to press the A/C button whenever you want the A/C to operate. This means you can have the vent controls anywhere you what them & the A/C will not operate unless you press the A/C button.

Here's a link to the post in my son's '03 X Member Journal: A simple MOD to disable the A/C when defrost is selected :wink:

Bobby...

Here's a picture of the linkage.

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

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08 Forester X
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What really annoys me is that when you set it to windscreen demist, the air is not recirculated but automatically switches over to "fresh air". There are a lot of trucks on my way to work and the air is anything but fresh! Diesel fumes are not very pleasant!
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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^^
I'd guess you have the automatic climate control?

Bobby...
 

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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
^^^
A lot of cars (or maybe just Japanese cars) do that, I find. Happens in both my Mazda and the Forester. And neither have Climate control.

Speaking of "Automatic" uncontrollable "features"; The most annoying car I ever drove was a Toyoda Corolla (rental car). I could not for the life of me stop the air from blowing in the Cabin. When I turned the fan off it automatically opened up the outside vents full, and at highway speeds (I was traveling from Houston to Austin TX) it blew like crazy. I must have tried every possible Vent/Heat/Direction/Fan combination,. Eventually I gave up and I ended up leaving the fan on low. Defeated. :(
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I think more people with the automatic controls have more issues than us with the "cheapo" manual controls. Once I removed the A/C linkage (see post #7), I have no issued with controlling how the air flows. When I want no outside air, on the manual controlled vehicle, you just press the recirculate button.

As to how the designers set up the controls. Even my son's '95 Neon Sport has the A/C on with defrost, or when the air is directed up to the windshield. On the Neon, a wire is used to tell the ECM that the A/C should be on. It was a simply a matter of placing a switch on this control wire to have full manual control of the A/C. I have to say removing the "linkage" on my '03 was easier.

Bobby...

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

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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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Discussion Starter #12
I removed the AC linkage a few weeks ago. It was a PITA to get the center console out, but I hate not being in full control of when the AC is on even more.

Here is some Photos. First I had to remove the Lower center cover (over the shifter) which is shown in the manual I downloaded online. Then released the clips around the upper console, which is also in the manual, but I couldn't for the life of me pull out the upper console. The manual that I have didn't say anything more, but after some head scratching I finally figured it out. (Note: the time on the clock is 1:35 AM, and I haven't even started putting it back together at this point)


Here is the Upper Console removed. You see the two cables that pass out the back sides? These are the temperature and Vent linkages, which need to be disconnected before the console will come out.


To disconnect the two linkages, I ended up having to remove the Glove Box (I needed to clean out the cabin filter anyways) and the two panels on the drivers side (below the steering column and on the left of the center console). See the first picture.

This is the bottom view of the upper console. The black linkage on the lower left is the one that needs to be removed. The Green button is the secret AC enable button.


It was fairly easy to put back in. The whole thing took about 4 hours (including cleaning the cabin filter). The hardest part was figuring out that I had to disconnect the Temp/Vent linkages on each side of the upper console, so if you know that already you can do this mod in half the time. Now I control when the AC is on, which is how it should be. Early indications show that I am netting a 1 MPG improvement already.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Great pictures for those that may want to do this MOD! When I originally did this MOD, I didn't think anyone else would be interested. Save that linkage, you never know when things need to be replaced. I have a special container where I save all the parts I remove on modifications... more than one time I've decided to restore it as it was! :icon_eek:

As to the disassemble of the dash, it gets easier every time! I've been in there so many times changing to different head units that I can reach in & disconnect/reconnect the control cables without looking!

Bobby...

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

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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I hate the automatic controls.

What I wonder is - when the A/C is on - does the compressor cycle? or does it stay on and mix warm air in to balance the temperature?

I understand how the A/C can help keep the fog off of the inside of the windshield, but if I've selected heat up there, it insists on running the compressor too.

If they would let me choose, they should follow through with it.

El Sid
The AC cycles in my MY10. Great thread btw. :)
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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Modded mine by removing the little plastic dogleg piece behind the switch and working great for years, thanks! :)
 
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