I have a new 2015 Subaru Outback. A day after I got it, I noticed a faint crackling noise coming from the air conditioning vent when the AC is set to high. It's very faint but it's very noticeable. Additionally, the the left vent in the center of the dash is blowing considerably less air than the right vent.

I took the car to my dealer and the service guy said the crackling was due to coolant cycling through the lines and that it was normal (apparently his brand new truck does it as well). Also, he said there was nothing he could see that could cause the left vent to be weaker than the right and there was nothing official from Subaru pertaining to this. He also said that the left and right vents in the center use the same duct which originates from the right of the car, so some weakness in the left vent is normal.

I checked with some other owners of the same model Outback but they don't have this issue.

Does anyone have any clue what could be causing this? My dealer is brushing everything off as it being "normal" but I'm trying to gather more info about possible issues before taking it back to them.


1 Answer 1


There is something in the vent which is blocking proper air circulation. I think you have two recourses available to you:

First, talk to the service manager. It sounds to me the mechanic doesn't want to take the time to figure out what the issue is. It may be involved where they have to pull the dash apart to get at the problem area. It is my bet there is a piece of ducting tape which is in the road causing the obstruction. Something which is not readily noticeable.

Secondly, if you are not getting satisfaction at the dealership which you bought your car from, it is completely within your rights to go to a different Subaru dealership to have it looked at. Tell them what your issue is and go from there. Some service departments are better than others.

This whole thing falls under an "adjustment period" which comes with new vehicles. Here in the US you have 12 months to find anything you do not like and have it fixed. The dealership should not have an issue with it because the labor and parts for fixing this is paid for by the manufacturer (same thing with any warranty item). The difference here is, if you find things like there is a paint streak which should be there, it can be fixed. If you find that the upholstery is not exactly right, you can get it fixed. If you find that there is a squeak somewhere, you can get it fixed. You do have recourse. Just because you have purchased a car does not mean they no longer have responsibility for the vehicle.

As for the noise you are talking about, what they said could very well be true ... not having heard the noise myself, I couldn't tell you for sure.

  • Thank you for the reply Paulster. Others I've checked in with have neither the low-wind problem nor the noise issue I'm facing. I've made an appointment later this week to take the car in for another look.
    – Nishant
    Oct 5, 2014 at 13:51
  • 1
    I ended up going to another dealer for a second opinion. Turns out the grill assembly was not installed into the dash properly. The mechanic removed and re-installed the assembly and that solved the problem.
    – Nishant
    Oct 11, 2014 at 20:50
  • @Nishant ... Good on yah ... this is something many people do not realize is an option. I'm glad here in the States we have a lot of options towards that end, especially here in the DC area. We have a lot of duplication of different brands. It's very easy to find another dealership which will want your business. Oct 11, 2014 at 21:33

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