Any time you notice the air conditioning is not blowing cold air in your Subaru, there is a problem with the AC unit. While not necessarily critical to your car driving from point A to point B, having a problem with your AC can easily ruin your day, especially in hot climates like Arkansas.
Whenever the air conditioning system is not performing as it should be, a diagnosis must be performed. There are a number of issues that can cause your AC to not blow cold air, the common issues are low refrigerant, a leak in the AC system, or an issue with the AC compressor.
If your AC has a low charge, you may simply need an AC recharge. This is very common and happens on most cars. The air conditioning system requires a specific amount of refrigerant, your Subaru loses about 2 ounces of refrigerant out of its system every year, even without having a leak. So it’s possible the AC system might just be low enough not to function correctly after a few years. You could also have a leak in your system or a larger problem.
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Typical Subaru air conditioning service costs start at $180. If you are having any issues, contact a trusted shop to troubleshoot your vehicle A/C.
In the short term yes, having low refrigerant will not cause damage right away, but over a longer period of time, other seals in the system may become damaged and need to be replaced. This will drive up the cost of your repair when it is finally done.
Typically you won’t need your AC recharged before your vehicles 100,000-mile mark. After that, you will likely need more refrigerant to be added every few years as long as there is not a leak or any other issues with your AC system.