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Hi folks,
I bought my 2014 Crosstrek Hybrid used about 4 months ago. It has about 85,000 miles on it now, and my air conditioner is pretty much dead. From reading other posts, this seems to be a pretty common problem. The A/C works sometimes randomly,but most of the time it just blows hot air. I'm not a happy camper, because the service department at my local dealer says the compressor needs to be replaced. They quoted me around 1500ish for the compressor replacement, a relay, and going ahead and replacing the serpentine belt while they were at it. It sucks, because I always heard that Subarus were reliable. I choose a used Subaru Crosstrek because I couldn't afford another Toyota they had. I had gotten into a bind, because I had wrecked my other car, and had to be able to get to work at my job that is over an hour commute one way.
I had a local mechanic that I trust try to see if he could fix it cheaper, but he could not even get the part cheaper than the dealer. I live in Alabama, so without a/c, I'm fighting a heat stroke right now. I just want to live in an ice chest
It looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet, and let Subaru just fix it, but any ideas or comments are appreciated..
 

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2015 XV Crosstrek Touring Hybrid 125,000 miles
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I know this sounds weird, but when I replaced my stop/start battery the A/C started working again. It might be worth getting this battery checked out for free at AutoZone to see what kind of condition it is in. This is about the time when they go out, anyway. You can get the Prius battery for $200 vs. the Subaru battery for $800 as per the other thread. There is some kind of feedback loop between the A/C and EV mode, since it kicks you out of EV mode if you need power for A/C, which is the only explanation I can think of for this behavior. I had expected to have to fix the A/C after replacing the stop/start battery and was pleasantly surprised to have both problems resolved at the same time.
 

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I had a forester that had an issue with the A/C clutch failing to activate because it wasn't aligned/spaced exactly right. The fix was a $0.10 washer and a pulley removal tool borrowed from Autozone, so I could stick it in there. I don't know if that's your issue, but it might be something to look into/ ask about. I was quoted for a new compressor like you and was just hoping the adjustment would put off having to spend money for awhile, but the original compressor was still working fine when I totaled the car nine years later.
 

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I’ve noticed that dealerships seem willing to tell you it's the compressor and offer to repair it for a tidy sum. For my Mazda, I took it elsewhere and they diagnosed a fusable link, which was about a $10 repair.
 

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I know this sounds weird, but when I replaced my stop/start battery the A/C started working again. It might be worth getting this battery checked out for free at AutoZone to see what kind of condition it is in. This is about the time when they go out, anyway. You can get the Prius battery for $200 vs. the Subaru battery for $800 as per the other thread. There is some kind of feedback loop between the A/C and EV mode, since it kicks you out of EV mode if you need power for A/C, which is the only explanation I can think of for this behavior. I had expected to have to fix the A/C after replacing the stop/start battery and was pleasantly surprised to have both problems resolved at the same time.
Many 2014-16MY a/c compressors had bad magnetic clutches, as noted in this TSB:

The faulty clutches have weak windings, which is why a new battery corrected the condition.
Some people have found the clutch gap is out of spec and solved the problem with shims.
SOA's solution is to change out the compressor with the clutch, which costs more money.
I'd take it to an auto mechanics shop and see what they charge to change out the clutch only.

If the compressor serial number shows a faulty OEM clutch was installed (info in TSB), you might be able to get SOA to pay for part of the repair as a goodwill gesture.
 

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2015 XV Crosstrek Touring Hybrid 125,000 miles
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Many 2014-16MY a/c compressors had bad magnetic clutches, as noted in this TSB:

The faulty clutches have weak windings, which is why a new battery corrected the condition.
Some people have found the clutch gap is out of spec and solved the problem with shims.
SOA's solution is to change out the compressor with the clutch, which costs more money.
I'd take it to an auto mechanics shop and see what they charge to change out the clutch only.

If the compressor serial number shows a faulty OEM clutch was installed (info in TSB), you might be able to get SOA to pay for part of the repair as a goodwill gesture.
This is fascinating! Thanks for the information! If my A/C goes out again, I have an idea of what to follow up on.
 
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