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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm looking for some help with the A/C system on my 2005 Outback. It's currently over 100 just about everywhere in California, which makes driving my otherwise trusty wagon just barely tolerable with all four windows open. Mechanic in the North Bay gave a rough estimate of $1,400 for a fix in the worst-case scenario. I moved to CA about a year ago and haven't had to do any major repairs, so don't have a mechanic I trust yet.

I don't mind taking it in for a fix if I:

- can't successfully DIY it
- understand what the problem is so I don't get taken for a ride

Vehicle has 87,000 miles on the odo.

Problem:

A/C is blowing hot air most of the time. It works about 10% of the time, and when it does work, it's usually from when the car starts, although it will sometimes kick in while driving if I have the system running (though this is very unpleasant as this means blowing hot air into the cabin, so I don't usually attempt to wait it out).

Details:

1. When the A/C does work, it's accompanied by a musty smell that comes through the vents. This smell is a sign that the A/C is about to start working if I've got it running, and fluctuates in strength the whole time the A/C is blowing cold.

2. The compressor appears to be working, as there's a little bump in the RPMs when I switch the AC on when the vehicle is idling.

3. The vehicle is equipped with manual climate controls.

Questions:


1. Does anyone have experience with this type of thing, and can offer some advice/explanations?

2. Can I chase down problems with the A/C by using a code reader off of Amazon? Should I buy a manual with said codes or can I find them easily online?

3. Can anyone recommend a Chilton's for the 2005 Outback Wagon, 2.5i? The closest I've found is 64304 for Forester/Legacy 2000-2009. I understand that the Outback basically is a Legacy, just want to make sure there isn't a better option out there.


Your help is appreciated! I'm melting over here :crazychef

ms
 
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