Subaru Forester AC quits when idling.


Asked by Aug 14, 2017 at 09:12 PM about the 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The AC works correctly out on the road (dealer fixed refrigerant leak under
warranty).  AC quits working and the compressor will not turn on for several
minutes or longer after idling in a take out line or in stop and go traffic. The
cooling fans turn on when the compressor turns on and when the engine is
warm.  Since there are no gauges I do not know what temperature the fans
turn on at but there are no warning lights.  I speculate that the system turns
off the compressor to avoid overheating in low air movement situations but
this is a recent development after 2 1/2 years of ownership. Any Ideas Guys?

13 Answers


I would add that so far this happens while idling in 90 - 105 temps. Can't replicate this situation in the low 70's.

1 people found this helpful.

Do you know what the pressures are? Some of those have both a high and a low pressure cutout switch, as it works when up to speed I suspect there is a possible air flow problem, possibly bugs or dirt, you might try back washing through the radiator and see what you get.

1 people found this helpful.

According to the service ticket today (25 low, 165 high at 74 degrees and 42 degree vent temp.) . It did this before when the refrigerant was really low. I will double check the condenser but it appears to be clean.


32 low and 175 high is classic text book pressures, seems low even at that external temp. I would add some and watch the pressures closely.

1 people found this helpful.

I find different numbers on the web but can't find Subaru specs for this year car. The dealer I went to has been really professional so I doubt they sent it out way low. I will be calling them tomorrow.


Double checked the condenser and radiator and they are pretty darn clean. I will wash them out tomorrow but I doubt this will change anything. My initial guess was that the cooling fans were not working but they do and they are moving a lot of air.


Called the dealer and they were no help and could not give me the pressure specs. Since we have cool weather right now I can't replicate the problem (who needs AC when it is hot?) . Dealer offered to give me a loaner so they can keep it until the weather is hot enough for the AC to quit. At this point I am guessing an electrical part fails in high temps.


Update - it looks like the entire AC system is shot. The compressor and condenser look to be bad as well as every O-ring in the system. Only TWO YEARS OLD!

1 people found this helpful.

I have the exact same problem as with my 2015 Forrester.


I hope it is still under warranty.

Mine isn't under warranty. It's going to cost about $1000 to replace the compressor after parts and labor. 2014 Forrester 75K miles.


No extended warranty from Subaru? Given the poor quality of Subies these days everyone should get the extended warranty when buying new.

Or buy a different brand ...... my AC is doing the same. 14 Forester..... after the issue they had with the engine burning oil and needing to replace under recall.... enough to steer clear of the new 3rd rower ! LOL

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