AZ or NV Outback owners question re: heat sluggishness?

Hmmm. I have a 2017 with a 2.5 and I have noticed the same issue with the air conditioning, but not the acceleration. It’ll seem to take off from a traffic light as well at 114F as it does at 85F. On the other hand, I avoid jackrabbit starts and hard acceleration unless necessary.

As to the air conditioning performance, I’ve noted a perceived reduction in cooling at idle in front of stores and so on. The phenomenon is most noticeable when running short errands when I turn off the A/C and engine often. I’ve stuck a stem thermometer into the center dash vent to watch the response, so this is not just a matter of perception. It takes the car a while to re-cycle the A/C system back to comfortable cooling. After driving it at about 40 mph for a mile or more, it’ll cool the interior back down. At idle in front of stores, the quality of cooling drops. It’ll be putting out 40F air when the idle begins (and it’s 110+F outside), but that will slowly rise to 80F air.

I have encountered this phenomenon in other vehicles. After checking to be sure the refrigerant pressures were OK, I installed a switched electric pusher fan in front of the A/C condenser. That solved the problem. And I’m looking at doing the same thing with the Outback, with one or two 14 inch pusher fans. When sitting at idle, the only airflow through the A/C condenser and radiator comes from the fans. At even a low speed, there is some–sometimes a lot–of airflow just from driving.

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