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AC cycling rapidly


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Simon Bennett

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 11:24 AM

I have a 2005 Outback XT Ltd that has fairly weak AC. On further investigation I find that the AC appears to blow cold for about 3 seconds, and then warms up for about 7 seconds, repeating indefinitely. On a 90 degF day, driving down the free-way, after allowing the system to stabilize for 10 minutes I find the air from the AC duct has a temperature of ~45 degF while cold, rising upto ~57 degF as it warms up. If I stop at a light, the temperature slowly climbs upto ~65 degF.
Is this normal AC behavior for an Outback? If not, what is likely to be wrong? I have a 2002 Outback Sport that shows similar trends, and the Dealer tells me its fine.

Thank you
Simon

#2 Midwst

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 11:35 AM

Possibilities. The low pressure cut off switch might be kicking in...if low on r134a
Or, if the system has been serviced/opened up and not vacuumed out properly, it could be excessive moisture.
Or, the vanes in the compressor might be sticking. Try turning it on/off 8 times in a row, see if that helps.
Or high pressure switch...if the subaru has one...could be kicking in...multiple causes.
Have pressure checked at independent ac place, or even jiffy lube. Not expensive to just check pressures.

#3 Legacy777

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:56 PM

More then likely it's overcharged. If they're low on refrigerent, the compressor typically just runs all the time.

I'd tell the dealer it's not normal, and that they need to fix it. If they won't, tell them, they'll be getting the bill when you take it to another shop. May also be worth complaining to SOA about the dealer and your problems.

#4 Midwst

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 02:18 PM

I agree with Josh. Not normal. Still under warranty. They should fix it.

#5 Msk

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 08:32 AM

I just took delivery of a 2005 Outback 2.5i 5 days ago. I noticed the A/C cycles more than I think it should. I haven't timed it but maybe 30 secs on 5-10 secs off. Although it does seem cool on a 90 deg day. Does this seem normal?? Or could I have problem too?

#6 Sweet82

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 09:37 AM

I just took delivery of a 2005 Outback 2.5i 5 days ago. I noticed the A/C cycles more than I think it should. I haven't timed it but maybe 30 secs on 5-10 secs off. Although it does seem cool on a 90 deg day. Does this seem normal?? Or could I have problem too?


My 01 Forester does just the opposite...

I can hear the fan on for just a few seconds ( >5 sec) then it turns off for about 30 seconds. It does this endlessly.

Is this normal?

Glenn,
82 SubaruHummer--open air buggy
01 Forester--A/C seems to cycle fast???

#7 Legacy777

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 07:01 PM

Are you guys talking about the fan or the ac compressor. Did you have the hood open and looking at the ac compressor clutch watching it cylce? If not, do that, just to make sure you are looking at the correct thing.

#8 Sweet82

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:28 AM

Are you guys talking about the fan or the ac compressor. Did you have the hood open and looking at the ac compressor clutch watching it cylce? If not, do that, just to make sure you are looking at the correct thing.


Good point,

I'm talking about the A/C fan cycling off and on rapidly...

On for 3-4 sec then off for 30 sec then it does it all over again....

Is this normal :rolleyes:

Glenn,
82 SubaruHummer--A/C? ya...right...
01 Forester L--A/C with the funny fan

#9 Simon Bennett

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 11:11 AM

I haven't looked under the hood yet, though if someone can give me some pointers as to where to look, I'll try. I've arranged to take my 2005 Outback to the dealer next week, and I'll post what happens. I don't hold out too much hope though, based upon my experiences with my 2002 Outback Sport.

I spoke to a SOA rep on their 1-800 number, and he told me it was my fault for having too short a commute. Apparently he thinks I'll have to drive for at least 30 minutes before I can expect the AC to cool the cabin to a reasonable temperature! Is the AC in Subarus usually this weak?

#10 Legacy777

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 11:30 AM

Good point,

I'm talking about the A/C fan cycling off and on rapidly...

On for 3-4 sec then off for 30 sec then it does it all over again....

Is this normal :rolleyes:

Glenn,
82 SubaruHummer--A/C? ya...right...
01 Forester L--A/C with the funny fan


Are you talking about the HVAC blower fan? Do you have auto climate control?

Its speed should stay constant on which ever setting you have it on.

#11 Legacy777

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 11:32 AM

I haven't looked under the hood yet, though if someone can give me some pointers as to where to look, I'll try. I've arranged to take my 2005 Outback to the dealer next week, and I'll post what happens. I don't hold out too much hope though, based upon my experiences with my 2002 Outback Sport.

I spoke to a SOA rep on their 1-800 number, and he told me it was my fault for having too short a commute. Apparently he thinks I'll have to drive for at least 30 minutes before I can expect the AC to cool the cabin to a reasonable temperature! Is the AC in Subarus usually this weak?


You're kidding? That's BS! I would've asked to talk to a manager right then and there.

Yes if the car has been sitting in the hot sun, it will take a little bit to cool down, however the air coming from the vents should be cold.

As for where to look. If you open the hood, the ac compressor is the furthest right thing that has a belt going to it. With the ac off, you'll see the front part of the compressor (clutch) not moving. With the AC on, you should see that clutch moving. Watch that clutch and see how often it engages/disengages.

#12 Sweet82

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:16 PM

Are you talking about the HVAC blower fan? Do you have auto climate control?

Its speed should stay constant on which ever setting you have it on.

Blower works fine...

I'm talking about the fan noise I can hear coming from under the hood when I turn on the A/C.
I'm sure it's the A/C one on the radiator that seems to cycle quickly?

Thanks,
Glenn

#13 Legacy777

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 07:40 PM

The radiator fans will cylce depending on engine temp, as well as whether the AC compressor is engaged. Either way, you gotta watch the fans/compressor.

#14 Msk

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 08:43 AM

I have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday on my 4 day old car. Hopefully they will find something. I'm leaning toward possible low charge or low charge specified by Subaru. Had similar experience on new Ford F-350 last year, short cycling caused by charge requirement by Ford too low. Low pressure switch was cutting out prematurely. Don't want to touch it during warranty period, although I'm tempted. We will see...

#15 Simon Bennett

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:17 PM

I took a look under the hood and I can see the AC Clutch engaged and disengage as I turn the AC on and off. Obviously, I can’t see what it’s doing as I drive down the freeway and the AC is cycling rapidly, but it is fully engaged when the car is at idle and the AC is blowing weakly.

I took my 2005 OB XT Ltd to the dealer on Monday and they checked the AC temperatures and pronounced them within specifications, though they can’t actually find the specifications in writing from Subaru. Here are the values they reported:



After 10-15 minutes of idle: Outside = 97 degF, Cabin = 68 degF, Vent = 56 degF

After 10 minutes of driving: Outside = 92 degF, Cabin = 65 degF, Vent = 52 degF



I don’t know where they took the cabin temperature, but I doubt it was in the back seat! The thermometer they used had so much thermal mass that it only reported average temperatures. The dealer told me he couldn’t get the AC to work more efficiently. Does anyone have any temperature for their 2005 OB? Since the dealer believes the AC temps are OK they won’t check the pressures…any suggestions as to how to proceed?



Interestingly the service loaner, a Dodge Stratus, had a vent temp of 40 degF while driving, and 45 DegF at idle. It seems a real shame to have my OB creamed so badly…



Cheers

Simon

#16 Cougar

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:31 PM

I would get your own thermometer and see what it says your vent temperature is at. Then ask the dealer for a demo ride to compare another new car the same as yours. I think the air temperature should be slightly lower (I would guess in the high 40's).

There is a outside air mix in my system so yours may be same. There may be problem with that.

#17 NorthWet

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:47 PM

I would get your own thermometer and see what it says your vent temperature is at. Then ask the dealer for a demo ride to compare another new car the same as yours. I think the air temperature should be slightly lower (I would guess in the high 40's).

There is a outside air mix in my system so yours may be same. There may be problem with that.

"Back in the day" when I did air conditioning repair (last millenium), high-30's to low-40's was what we considered acceptable. Had a retrofit on a Japanese car back in '76 that blew 32degree air right off the bat (gotta worry about evaporator icing...). mid 50's is, IMHO, totally unacceptable. Within spec, but no spec????

I didn't look back throught this thread to see if midwst posted, but he/she is an AC tech. You might want to see what midwst thinks...

#18 Cougar

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 04:55 PM

I agree NorthWet. The low 40's at least, would be a number that I would like to see out the vent. I think if he checks another new car the numbers will be better.




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