2017 Subaru Forester AC / heater problems: air conditioner stopped working

Air Conditioner Stopped Working

2017 Subaru Forester

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Subaru dealer.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
30,150 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace condenser (3 reports)
  2. recharge system (2 reports)
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2017 Subaru Forester AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2017 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 012018

Forester Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 48,000 miles


From what I have read there was a certain amount of Foresters that left the factory with bad AC condensers and my car was one of them. Too bad I found out after my warranty ran out. On the other hand, recharging the system works for a little while.

- suebee, Parksville, US

problem #4

Jun 022020

Forester Limited 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,901 miles

This is a known problem that should be a factory recall. Instead Subaru is choosing to solve each problem on a case by case basis to lower their costs. Honda had a similar problem and issued a recall on their own covering all repairs for 6 years and 100K miles I think.

This is our first Subaru. My wife and I bought it for her because of the safety features and the higher ground clearance. Consumer Reports labeled this model and year as reliable and I paid the dealer almost asking price for this used car. I have been sorely disappointed with its reliability. The battery failed at less than 2 years, and 41,000 miles just outside the warranty period. Now the AC condenser has failed.

I spoke with Subaru who acknowledged the problem and offered me a goodwill adjustment of $750 toward the $1061 cost of repair. The TSB on this problem, 15-223-18, lists the labor at 1.4 hours to replace the condenser and drain and re-pressurize the system. If you look at RockAuto, an after-market condenser is $93.79. The cost of the Subaru condenser is $431.95, 2 o-rings for $6.75, refrigerant R134A for $19.32 and labor 487.88 (includes diagnostic fee of $169.00) so labor on this is not inexpensive. All in all, I am thankful Subaru offered the adjustment, and I appreciate it, but I am disinclined to repeat the same mistake twice. One more major issue, and I will eliminate Subaru from consideration in future car purchases.

Update from Jul 13, 2020: Problem cost $1025 to fix Subaru gave $750 'courtesy' reimbursement and dealership ate the remaining $250 out of pocket cost was 0, but would have been $275 if dealer didn't want to retain me as a customer Ganley Subaru in Wickliffe, OH was the dealer.

- Ron E., Beachwood, OH, US

problem #3

Sep 082019

Forester Tour 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 18,641 miles

Bought Subaru Forester 2.0XT almost 3 years ago. Two months ago noticed the A/C not blowing cold air at all. Brought to the dealer, they checked and told me that the system is not leaking, but the refrigerant needs to recharge. Charge me $200. The car is still under warranty, but the refrigerant only warrant under 1 year and 20,000 km. I have a Cavalier, already drove 300,000 km. The A/C is still working fine. Just annoying if I need to recharge refrigerant every two or three years for my SUBARU.

- Joseph W., Sherwood Park, AB, Canada

problem #2

Sep 162018

Forester Limited 2.5L 4-cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 20,000 miles

This was my second time taking in my Forester because the A/C stopped working. The first time they just replaced an O-ring on the condensor, but it stopped working again after a few months. 2nd trip they replaced the condensor. I am seeing a lot of this issue with other who bought the new refresh model in 2017 right when they started taking orders... Vehicle only has 20k miles

- Jon P., Rochester, US

problem #1

May 012018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles

Beginning of summer and AC was blowing warm air. My mechanic said it's a common problem on Subaru's where some liquid has been sitting around all winter and gels up. Dealer fixed it.

- Raj R., Somerville, US

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