Heater slow to warm car

Hi Guys, first post here. The Outback (2016, 2.5 NA engine) is my wife’s ride, but I end up driving it a lot for various reasons. Anyway, let’s get into it!

I’m here because of the odd a frustrating engine temp characteristics of this car. And remember that I’m driving a non-turbo 4 cylinder, so your experience may vary.

First, this is not a problem.

Second, is this your first vehicle with a station wagon body style? There is a lot of volume in a station wagon to heat, or cool (I am anticipating the opposite complaint come spring/summer).

Not a problem? Well no, not in the sense that it creates a safety issue or prevents the car from performing its most basic duty (getting you from point A to point B). But it is a problem if you expect your car to provide you with a comfortable operating environment. It is a problem if you simply want some heat in a reasonable amount of time on a cold day.

And no, it has nothing to do with the body style. The engine simply isn’t warming up at a normal rate (more on “normal” below), and so the ducts simply aren’t blowing warm air. It doesn’t matter what the cabin/body style is if there is simply no heat coming in.

… I leave mine set on ‘auto’, and it comes up to temp relatively quickly, same as any other car.

First, on “same as any other car,” no. Just no. I’ve a pretty wide variety of cars (including non-cars, ie motorcycles), and none of them have displayed characteristics even close to this. I’ve driven American, German, British, Italian, French, Spanish and Korean cars, and none of them have been like this. The 2.5 NA is an outlier. This engine not only takes an inordinate amount of time to warm up, it also cools down very, very quickly.

And again, no, this isn’t a problem per se, it’s just very annoying when you want heat from the engine, and when you want to drive in a relaxed way because the engine is fully up to temperature and you don’t have to worry or take it easy.

As for the settings for the climate control system. It may make a small difference, yes, but the underlying issue is the engine not warming up quickly (despite the obscene and frankly embarrassing high idle that persists).

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