Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
2007 Outback H6 Bean Edition
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an 07 Outback Wagon LL Bean, and I don't like the automatic climate control all that much. I'm wondering if anyone has tried replacing the control unit with one of the manual units, and what might be involved. Or if it's even possible.
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
You'd have to replace the air box and blower assembly as well. Possibly part of the dash wiring harness. It would be a major undertaking.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
And IIRC, 3rd Gen OB ('05-'09) have an integrated stereo and auto climate unit. So you can't replace one without the other. Which is a real PITA if you want to upgrade stereos, as it's one big piece when you remove it. I had an '08 Legacy GT and it is discussed at length at legacygt.com

Here's a thread showing what it takes just to upgrade the stereo... now imagine sourcing parts for the HVAC too..
http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/official-dual-hvac-double-din-jdm-kit-thread-113589.html

I don't know about the mechanical differences that rasterman alluded to, but I do know it would be more involved than just switching the controls... at the very least you'd have to source the stereo and all other pieces too....

And I don't doubt much more as Rasterman pointed out...

Just curious, but why don't you like it?

One way to override the "automatic" part is to turn it off, then turn it back on in "pieces". i.e. turn off everything, then choose a fan speed and air path. Then press A/C to turn on the A/C.. then it will stay at whatever fan speed you choose, unless you press Auto again. I believe the temperature stays consistent too.

Here's a thread with LOTS more detail
http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/dual-zone-climate-control-works-6515.html

The one thing I wish I could have gotten in my Premium is Auto Climate... especially the Dual Controls..
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
And IIRC, 3rd Gen OB ('05-'09) have an integrated stereo and auto climate unit. So you can't replace one without the other.
Good catch- yes, you'd have to swap stereos as well.

I wound up installing the JDM auto climate controller so that I could install a generic aftermarket stereo. Expensive, moderately difficult, and extremely rewarding. Very glad I did it.

I happen to like the auto climate system- it seems to work as advertised. Having the ability to split temps between sides has kept the peace on many roadtrips.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
I debated back and forth between doing the swap on my LGT, but in the end I'm no audiophile and the OEM stereo met my needs just fine.

And yes, dual control can be a lifesaver on long trips.. As it is now I just stay warm or cold.. it's much more comfortable than trying to take control of the temp dial ;)
 

·
Registered
Outback 2009 2.5i Ltd 4EAT NAV
Joined
·
260 Posts
The dual is a nuisance where you want the same temperature on both sides, as you must adjust two knobs each time. The 2010+ allows you too run with a single temperature setting with the click of a button.

I thought I read somewhere on this site that the 2008-2009 AC and stereo electronics were already separated for easier stereo replacement.
 

·
Registered
2007 Outback H6 Bean Edition
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for the replies. I was afraid it would be too complicated a project to tackle, and it sounds like it is.

Just curious, but why don't you like it?
Several reasons:

1. Complicated things tend to break more often. The automatic controls have a known issue with the display failing, and mine is beginning to show symptoms of it. Sounds like it takes the radio with it when it goes, and the solution is complete replacement of the auto climate control unit.

2. Temp only goes down to 65 and sometimes I want it lower than that (wearing a coat, etc). This is especially an issue when running the fan only (no AC) on a cool day, as the system is anxious to warm the outside air to 65 when all I really want is the fresh air to come in at the same temp it is outside.

3. Front defogger only blows warm air, even when the temp is on 65. I'm guessing this is to warm the windshield a little and prevent fogging on the outside of the windshield on cool wet days. However, it is annoying on warm summer days that are very humid or rainy because your choice is either no defogger, or car that is too hot. Also annoying on cold days when you're wearing a coat as the inside temp quickly moves into the 70's.

I guess I could sum it up by saying the system tends to make a lot of assumptions and it gets some of them wrong.

On the other hand, the dual controls are nice for marital harmony. Can't deny that.

Thanks, vr4Legacy, for the link to the detailed workings of the auto climate system. I'll experiment a little more with manual mode and hopefully it will help. I don't use Auto mode at all, but I didn't realize that actual temperature (degrees) control could be overcome in full manual mode.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
1.) I understand completely

2.) As I understand it 65 is simply "lo" it doesn't stop blowing cold when the car reaches 65. Same goes for the highest temp. As I understand it Subaru finally changed it from 65 to LO and Hi on the upper end. And if you believe half of the AC argument on the Gen 4, you might have the advantage of a consistently colder air flow ;)

3.) I can't argue that, but never noticed it myself. However I tended to use the AC in "manual mode" so hopefully that will help you.

I'm not trying to tell you Subaru has the perfect auto-ac unit. It definitely has it's faults. Just trying to help you alleviate some of the problems.

And yes ths258, that IS annoying. My wife used to change her temp 1 degree just to see bug me. I couldn't stand two different numbers on there if I was in the car alone lol.

And, no, they didn't change anything in 2008 w/ Auto Climate. I removed my Legacy stereo a couple times, and it is definitely one unit. Now if you have manual controls, you can buy an adapter and swap out the stereo. But with Auto Climate, it's all one board.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,819 Posts
Can't help but see the irony of modern can/bus/bcm technology vs old school analog controls. We see lots of enthusiastic posts about their USB, Bluetooth, eyesight, MP3, throttle by wire, smart fone connectivity, skid control, touch screen GPS, ABS and other nanny coddling gizmos that make driving full of dangerous distractions. Here we have a post by someone who wants to go back in time with manual climate controls. Hallelujah, finally evidence that we may have gone too far.
Hey, SOA bring back radios with real push buttons, wind wings and windows that have cranks. I agree, there is too much to go wrong and expensive to repair when it does.
 

·
Premium Member
I has car.
Joined
·
4,621 Posts
I'm rather fond of my power windows, thanks.

(and my auto HVAC)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I have had 2 cars with pushbutton, Auto-Climate control and I disliked both of the climate control packages. the wifey's 07 OB is fickle, the whole stereo & climate control console just goes bonkers once in a while, especially when cold. Sometimes if its off it wont turn on. If its on it wont turn off. sometimes the LCD lights just start flashing like disco lights.
However you had it set when it goes into a fit is how you are stuck until it wants to behave.

The other beef I have with pushbutton climate controls is that you have to take your eyes off the road to adjust them. You cant tell what button you are pushing without loooking at them. With good old fashioned knobs you can reach down and feel them and adjust, no distractions needed. One of the requirements when I bougth the '14 OB for myself was I needed to see that it had knobs for the temp and fan speed.

Cars should be basic transportation devices. All the fluff is just that.
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
I'm rather fond of my power windows, thanks.

(and my auto HVAC)
Hear hear!

My XT is the first car I've owned with any sort of automation to the HVAC and I love it. I set it to what I want once, and rarely touch it again over the course of a trip... or several trips. And it just works. I feel like I need to alter the aim of the vents occasionally, but almost never the temp or flow settings.

Mind you, it wasn't that much of a workload to manipulate the all-manual stuff in my previous cars but it's just one less distraction with the auto.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
Hey, SOA bring back radios with real push buttons, wind wings and windows that have cranks. I agree, there is too much to go wrong and expensive to repair when it does.
With steering wheel controls, push buttons on stereos really aren't as needed, but I definitely think they should keep knobs (which they have), as it makes it easy to do the main function easily. Otherwise you are looking at the stereo whether you push a button or touch a screen.

I'm rather fond of my power windows, thanks.

(and my auto HVAC)
I love auto AC in my Forester. All I ever adjust is the temp occaisionally, then I let the system take care of the rest. That's the one thing I wish I could have paid extra for on our Premium, without needing to goto a limited.

I have had 2 cars with pushbutton, Auto-Climate control and I disliked both of the climate control packages. the wifey's 07 OB is fickle....
That whole system was just bad. It was all one unit (stereo and HVAC) and just seemed to have it's nuances. It's not really a reflection of how bad auto HVAC is, but rather how bad that execution was.

Cars should be basic transportation devices. All the fluff is just that.
I'll have to wholeheartedly disagree with this one, and I don't think you feel that way either. Otherwise you would be driving a base Kia Forte with no AC or stereo. Some could argue that AWD and extra cargo space is just fluff if all you need is basic transportation.

I do understand the argument against too much assistive technology such as assitive braking and warning systems, as I firmly believe they allow drivers to become too reliant on them and let themselves get even more distracted because they expect the car to save them. Ideally they would be great if human nature didn't interfere and all drivers tried to stay as alert as possible.

I'll argue all day that an alert driver with no assistance is safer than a distracted driver with the best assistive technology.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I'll have to wholeheartedly disagree with this one, and I don't think you feel that way either. Otherwise you would be driving a base Kia Forte with no AC or stereo. Some could argue that AWD and extra cargo space is just fluff if all you need is basic transportation.
Actualy, no I dont. Dont take this the wrong way, but will all due respect you have no idea as to what I really like in a vehicle. I am not a typical car buyer. The 07 OB is my wifes and was bought new for her. When I bought the '14 OB for myself it was to address a specific transportation need. The '14 OB replaces my Jeep Wrangler. That my friend is a box on wheels and I loved it. The A/C didnt work and I didnt care, becase the doors and side windows generally came off in May and were re-installed in late September. No power windows or locks. For that matter, I owned the Jeep for 7 years and never once locked the doors. Why would you lock a convertible? Climate control? I only had one speed on the blower (high) becase Jeep's have a tendancy to burn out the resistors on the voltage divider circuit that gave you the lower speeds. Its only a $15. part to buy a new resistor card at the dealer, but it takes 2 hours to install, so I bougth one and didnt get around to installing it until I went to sell it.

I actually prefferred the jeep, and stil miss it and all its quirks. Wranglers catch my eye every time one goes down the road. I took mine out in the woods on a regular basis and would ford small streams, rutted mud roads, single track, had a flat out blast with that thing. I will eventually get another one.

So perhaps this gives you a better visual picture of the type of vehicle i really like.

The Outback serves the need in that I have an office that is 65 miles away, and I was constantly finging myself driving over there, unable to lock my computer bag and diagnostic tool kit, or I would have to do a short 2-3 day business trip and it was not workable to have a vehicle I could not lock.
So I was constantly borrowing my wife's outback for trips to PA and such. She would drive the jeep.

I shopped for a clean used 2004-2008 Non-Turbo, 5 speed manual transmitssion outback for 3 months. They are hard to find. After drving 150 miles each way (twice) to look at supposedly clean cars, I realized it was easier to buy the new one. I really would have prefered a clean used Gen 3. Better handling, tigher turning radius and snappier off the line response, even if I have to do a HG job.

Eventually I'll get another jeep. That will be a happy day.

Sorry for the rant, I hope you dont think I'm trying to flame you or anything thats not my intent. I really miss that jeep. The Subaru is a great car and all that, but it can never fill the shoes of a 2 door Wrangler.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
I'm not saying you aren't justified in buying your Subaru or that it doesn't meet the needs you have. I take no offense to your "rant". I welcome the discussion.

You're explanation as to why you bought it, and why you want another Jeep underscore my argument. You don't buy your vehicles to simply be a "basic transportation device". You buy them to meet your needs and desires, which is great. A Jeep is a horribly inefficient vehicle when it comes to being a "transportation device". They are, however, a great vehicle if you enjoy driving with the top down and being able to run over just about anything you want. My ex had a '03 TJ V6, it was a hoot. And I agree about locking the doors, after we got the rear window slit twice, we too quit, the honest thieves don't care to cut a piece of plastic. A Wrangler is on my short list of "extra" vehicles I'd like to have in my stable someday (right behind a CTSv and 60's Chevy Truck). For my needs, I'd never want to drive one daily, but would love to have one when the weather or conditions are right (for me).

I spent 9 months finding my '06 Forester MT with a Sunroof, I understand how hard and desirable MT Subarus can be to find. But again, the fact that you had a specific set of criteria and hunted so long, shows that you think a little more of your cars than a "basic transportation device", otherwise you could have swiped up a gen 3 OB with decent mileage and a super reliable 4EAT. It might have some options you don't want, but what would that matter if it just needs to get your from A-B, as you mentioned you didn't care to fix a cheap fan problem on your Jeep.

I'm not trying to blast you either, I understand having certain requirements in a vehicle, but your requirements are certainly at least a notch above a"basic transportation device".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
thats cool. the LJ or one of my motorcycles was my main daily transportation until I changed jobs a couple years ago and started with the long commute across state lines.

If gas were cheap again I probably just have bought a hard top for the LJ. As it is I cant complain, I did ok on the jeep. I paid 18k as a second oner with 28k miles. drove the snot out of it for 7 years. Buried it in mud past the axles in Wharton State forest more times than I can count. Sold it this past summer for $13.5k. Not too many cars out there have a resale like that. They are horribly inefficent. Not terribly reliable (especially if you go 'wheelin). Noisy as all get out on the road with 33" dunlop mud rovers. But they are a blast just the same.

The new offerings from Fuji Heavy Industries have little appeal for me. I briefly considered a WRX impreza. While I was shopping I drove a standard impreza but it was dull, the wife's older OB handled as well or better and had better low end grunt.
The dealer I have been buing Subaru's from had both a WRX and a STi model on the lot as used cars. I ran the VIN number of the more plain jane WRX through my insurance agent.....there's no way I'm paying those rates - they wanted DOUBLE what the
'14 OB costs, and I have an impeccable record, and I'm an old fart. Jersey is the pits for insurance.

So if I want to go fast and light through a corner I'll stick to 2 wheels. It costs far less and the fun factor is exponentially higher.

I'm looking to leave the state in another year or so; been stuck here 23 years now. pretty much anything I'm considering is going to have lower cost of living than New Joisey.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top