Last post on Nov 06, 2011 at 8:44 PM
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Subaru Impreza, Heating / Cooling, Interior, Sedan, Wagon
#1 of 26 Subaru Impreza Interior & Passenger Comfort Concerns
by PFFlyer@Edmunds HOST
Nov 07, 2006 (7:10 am)
From seating adjustments, to cleaning up that strange stain on the carpet, this is the place to discuss interior issues with your Impreza.
#3 of 26 Subaru auto climate control weirdness (STI and maybe others)
Aug 15, 2006 (4:37 pm)
Hi all. This is my first time starting a discussion here so I hope I'm doing this right.
I recently bought a 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and I have a question about the automatic climate control system. When operating the air conditioner, it doesn't seem to settle on a comfortable "moderate" temperature; instead, it turns the compressor on and off repeatedly, resulting in very cold air alternating with lukewarm air, and never a great degree of comfort.
I have found this mentioned online, and even in the car's manual, but I am lacking a clear answer:
Motor Trend did a long-term test of a Legacy with, I believe, the same climate control system. They had the same problem. After several trips to the dealer (and being told everything was fine), they finally got it fixed with a new HVAC control unit. They said a new AC compressor RPM sensor fixed a reader's car with the same problem.
I found at least one other mention of the AC compressor RPM sensor fix online.
But then it gets confusing. The car's manual says the system is supposed to operate this way in automatic mode. But I detect no difference whatsoever in manual mode; the compressor still turns on and off, and the temperature still fluctuates within an uncomfortably large range.
I have a service appointment with the dealer next Monday to look at a few issues, and I mentioned this. The service advisor said the compressor is supposed to turn on and off (to prevent the condenser from freezing), even in manual mode.
To my knowledge, this is different from every other automatic climate control system I've seen. If other cars turn the compressor on and off, at least they do a better job of maintaining a steady temperature. Even my previous car's manual HVAC controls gave me greater control (and comfort), and it shouldn't be that way.
So, I have conflicting sources. Motor Trend (and other web sites) say this is a problem that can be fixed in a documented way. The car's manual says the system is operating as designed in auto mode, but that manual mode lets you control the compressor. The dealer says it's supposed to operate this way in auto AND manual mode.
And no matter how you look at it, the current style of operation detracts from occupant comfort, and I'd like it remedied if at all possible.
Can anybody settle any of this confusion? Anybody have the same experience?
#4 of 26 Re: Subaru auto climate control weirdness (STI and maybe others) [nightvzn]
Aug 21, 2006 (10:40 am)
Ah, welcome to HAL, the climate control-freak.
There are some minor changes you can make to get it more accurate, search on Scooby Mods.
Some Forester owners have installed tiny fans to get the air moving around, and your car shares the interior with those.
#5 of 26 Re: Subaru auto climate control weirdness (STI and maybe others) [nightvzn]
Aug 21, 2006 (10:46 am)
I have a 2005 Legacy GT wagon but I have not experienced the problem that others have mentioned. In my case, I have not seen the fluctuation -- or at least I don't notice it. I find that I typically only need to adjust the temperature between a 2-3 degree range to get a comfortable setting.
Not quite sure why there are so many different experiences...
#6 of 26 Re: Subaru auto climate control weirdness (STI and maybe others) [kens]
Aug 21, 2006 (11:32 am)
Well, my car is at the dealer today for several small issues, and they gave me an Outback as a loaner. It has manual climate control and, guess what, it does the same thing! If I put my hand by the vent, I can feel a back-and-forth between "super cold" and "kinda lukewarm." Each cycle lasts 5-10 seconds.
And the service advisor said all cars cycle the compressor. When I pointed out that my last car (Maxima) didn't do that, he said all Subarus do, anyway.
But like you said, strange that people have different experiences with the same hardware.
#7 of 26 Re: Subaru auto climate control weirdness (STI and maybe others) [ateixeira]
Aug 21, 2006 (11:36 am)
So are you saying it's behaving correctly (or at least, "as designed")?
The only part that confuses me is the conflicting information I'm getting from various sources. Motor Trend supposedly got this problem fixed at the dealer (after several attempts), and reported having received mail from many readers who also had it fixed (either by replacing the control unit, or looking at the RPM sensor on the compressor).
The manual says the system cycles the compressor in auto mode, but doesn't in manual mode. I detect no difference whatsoever between the modes.
The dealer service advisor says it cycles in all modes.
No wonder I'm confused. I'm the type who is mostly willing to live with the problem if the system is at least functioning as intended, but that's the big question here.
Oct 19, 2005 (7:22 pm)
For me, the driver's seat is not all that comfortable. My seat and others I have sat in (at the Chicago auto show and in dealers) feel like there is a stiff ridge running across the seat cushion, right where my pelvic bone contacts the seat when I sit all the way into the seat (like you are supposed to do). I have sat in other maker's seats that are firm (sporty), but are contoured to not have pressure points. Even the aluminum driver's seat in my race car is marginally more comfortable..... Doesn't sound like rocket science if other car makers can do it.
Does anyone else have front seats like I am describing?
#9 of 26 Re: 2002 seats comfort [flamencoracer1]
Oct 20, 2005 (9:42 am)
I've had my 2002 since new and have aboslutely no complaints...in fact, they are the most comfortable car seats I sat in....
#10 of 26 Re: 2002 seats comfort [flamencoracer1]
Nov 04, 2005 (3:09 pm)
From the 2 replies to my post, I fear that there are people out there that have never sat in comfortable seats. All of the seats from that vintage WRX were similar, and even the mechanics at the Subaru dealer agreed. The seat bottom at the back of the seat was malformed, too stiff. If my seats were made badly, so were the seats in the WRX at the Chicago Auto Show......