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Discussion Starter #1
I'm now going into my 3rd winter with my 2011 Outback and as it gets colder I'm reminded of how my poor or, let me say how pathetic my heating system is, particularly the lack of lower heat by my feet. When I have the heat flow selector set on lower heat, more heat comes from the defroster area! I have had my Subaru to the dealer multiple times however the dealer has not been able to address this issue. The only partial solution I have found is to set the heat flow selecter on the front (middle) / lower vent setting and close the front (middle vents) forcing the air flow to go to the lower vents. Still, the air flow is not that great. I know this is a known problem as I have read about this issue in many places on the Internet. Has Subaru admitted yet that there is a problem with the lower heat air flow and has anyone been successful at getting a Subaru dealer to fix this isssue?

I would like to keep my Outback for a few more years so I would like to be able to get this issue corrected if possible. My Outback is now out of warranty so I guess I will have to pay if there is a fix.

Any solutions, recommendtions, thoughts, on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Al
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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340 Posts
Must not have a fix yet because my feet freeze in my 13, I keep the heat cranked until from the knees up I am hot and can't stand it but my feet never do get warm.

I also tried closing off most of the other vents but it is little help
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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4,682 Posts
...I agree...to a point. With floor heat on just zipping around town there is not a lot of noticeable heat. I attribute this to opening and closing doors etc as I go from place to place...lose any heat that was there because cold air is heavier and sinks to the floor. On the highway...long trips, I prefer floor heat because it heats the entire car from the floor up. Very toasty.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 CVT premium with sunroof
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120 Posts
I had sucess in making mine a little better. I noticed the cover under steering wheel column is only supported by the screws that attach to the dash. Mine was hanging down covering 1/2 of one heating floor vent. I used a couple zip ties to raise it up some. Another thing I tried was to velcro a small plastic screw container next to one of the vents that I cut a hole in it to deflect the heat to the front of the foot well. That worked very well, but the heat distorted the very thin plastic container.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,711 Posts
Aldo, have you changed the cabin air filter? It might at least boost the flow of air a little if the present filter is clogged. Or perhaps run without the filter in the coldest weeks of the year. We've driven cars for 90 years without filters in the HVAC systems.
 

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2011 Outback 3.6 Premium
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723 Posts
It's not that the total volume of air is insufficient, it's how it's directed. I just wear boots or heavy shoes in the winter.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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yeah, I've read auto reviews in the past in Consumer reports and they would frequently mention such&such car roasts your right foot while the left is freezing or the hot air just hits your leg or otherwise the heater is insufficient w'ever.

redirecting the flow with some kinda improvised deflector might be your best hope.
 

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2011 Outback Premium
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40 Posts
Lack of heat directed towards your feet.

I had sucess in making mine a little better. I noticed the cover under steering wheel column is only supported by the screws that attach to the dash. Mine was hanging down covering 1/2 of one heating floor vent. I used a couple zip ties to raise it up some. Another thing I tried was to velcro a small plastic screw container next to one of the vents that I cut a hole in it to deflect the heat to the front of the foot well. That worked very well, but the heat distorted the very thin plastic container.

I to have the same problem and have been thinking of a way to deflect the air down also. This sounds like a good idea.
 

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2011 Legacy 2.0L
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56 Posts
Poor heating

I recently had a similar problem. I have replaced thermostat, then heater, without result.
When last I accidentally removed heating valve of the chasis and got a look inside i have seen a piece of rubber beetwen ant this piece did not allowing flow of coolant to do heater.
Now i have remove this piece my heating is ok.
 

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Cold feet in 2018 Outback

Just bought an 18 Outback. My feet are freezing. Taking it to the dealer tomorrow but based on what I am reading I am not hopeful.
 

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I bought a brand new 2019 Outback 3 weeks ago. I took it back to the dealership to have them look at the floor foot vents. I didn’t feel any heat on my foot. They did max heat, foot only mode, max fan and closed all the body dash vents. In this setting, yes, there was heat coming out but it wasn’t pointing to my feet and it was so loud because of the max fan. Plus, do you really expect me to do all that AND mess with the vents? Once you set it to half fan, I couldn’t feel anything down there. Was told there was nothing they could do about it. This is how the car was made. Now I’m seriously regretting getting this car. This would have been a deal breaker for me.
 

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Same issue here on my '11. It seems closing down the center upper vents about half way to create more pressure helps push more air out the bottom, and helps with the feet issue for me. I might close the side ones depending on how the side windows are doing frost wise.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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919 Posts
I have the opposite problem. I am a polar bear (I wear t-shirts and shorts all year long including while out running errands in this morning's 17-degree weather and I do not own a coat). If the HVAC system is set any higher than 60 degrees in the cabin, I roast like a pig on a spit. My wife is completely opposite and likes her side of the dual climate control set at 74 degrees during the winter months. But her dual setting cooks me in the drivers seat because I can feel the heat from her passenger side intruding into my drivers side.
 
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We have a '14 3.6 Limited and the floor heat is pretty good for us and my wife has COLD feet. Maybe we got lucky? We live in the mountains of WV and have consistently cold weather in winter - today the high was 10.
 
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