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      11-27-2009, 01:41 AM   #1
elp_jc
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Thumbs down Is your automatic climate control like a hot/cold switch too?

Didn't move the dial from 60 until now. Took my car on its first cold trip a few days ago, and it was 14º in the morning. My daughter set the temp at 72. All my other cars (past and present) blow fully hot air until interior reaches set temperature, then it's maintained; not this car. Apparently air comes OUT at the set temperatures, but we didn't know. At about 27º ambient temperature, all of a sudden cold air starts to come out. What? Daughter cranks it up to about 78 and it starts coming out warm again. At around 35º, BAM!, cold again. Crap. All the way to 83, and THEN it feels and stays somewhat hot, but never remotely close to all other cars.

Remember reading that auto climate control system on BMWs were crap, and I have to agree. With near freezing temperatures outside, HVAC is not supposed to blow cold air all of a sudden at a 72 setting.

The system obviously works, but only seem to have 2 temperatures: hot and cold. And they only work consistently at the 2 extreme settings: 83 and 60, respectively. All other settings just switch between hot and cold at much lower temperatures than set. Had the system in manual because auto throws the air just at the feet, and I like the front vents too. At least the stupid thing has dual settings, as my daughter wanted it hot and me cold (well, wanted it warm, but no such luxury ).

Not a big deal, but curious if it's 'normal'. Or am I missing anything? Comments welcome. Take care.

EDIT: Now that I remember, the stupid 'wheel' in the middle of the dash is on 'cold', but that should just affect the middle vents, not everything, right?
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      11-27-2009, 02:17 AM   #2
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I'm guessing the wheel control is causing the fluctuation. In the summer I just keep the wheel at full cold. In the winter I keep the wheel at the halfway point. I find the car gets too warm with the wheel at full hot.

Experiment with that wheel as it seems to affect more than just the vents.
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      11-27-2009, 03:00 AM   #3
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I have mine set at 70 and hardly ever touch it, summer or winter. Works just fine.
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      11-27-2009, 03:05 AM   #4
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Mine is set at 68, no matter what the outside temp is. It works fine for me. When its cold out, it wont blow any air until engine warms up so you wont be hit with cold air.
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      11-27-2009, 03:08 AM   #5
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No issues on mine. Seem to work fine, and better than our Toyota's system.
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      11-27-2009, 04:35 AM   #6
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mm, i leave mne at 66 all the time and it's fine, but then it's always hot here
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      11-27-2009, 05:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
EDIT: Now that I remember, the stupid 'wheel' in the middle of the dash is on 'cold', but that should just affect the middle vents, not everything, right?
Yes, it just affects the middle vents, making them a little colder or a little warmer relative to what the other vents are doing. Don't forget you also have the same kind of wheel on the rear center console vents (for those of you with the E92). I throw mine over to the red side in the winter and leave it there. Blue side in the summer. Never feel the need to mess with it beyond that.
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      11-27-2009, 08:04 AM   #8
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I keep mine at 24 Celcius during winter and 22 during summer. During winter what I also do is to adjust the wheel in the middle vent from half-way cold/hot when the engine is cold to fully cold when the engine has warmed up properly.

That does it for me perfectly!
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      11-27-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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I've found that little wheel to be pretty important for adjusting temp. When it is on cold the car will blow cold air even though it is in the low 40s outside and the climate control is set at 76. If I move it to the middle things feel great. I agree with a previous poster that it gets too hot if the wheel is all the way on red.
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      11-27-2009, 02:43 PM   #10
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I agree with the OP that the climate control in my M3 coupe sucks. First of all, when it's cold outside, it starts blowing cold air before the engine has warmed up. Our Toyota is clever enough not to do this and to wait until it has some warm air to blow. Secondly, I always have to adjust the temp away from the desired temp to actually get to the desired temp. Never had to do this in my 997S or our Toyota.
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      11-27-2009, 04:40 PM   #11
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Thank you for all the replies gang. And the tips . Will play with the auto setting (as long as it doesn't turn the compressor on), the temperature, and the 'wheel'. Nothing seems to be intuitive on this car, but that makes us 'bond' with our cars more, right?

I like to blow cold air in my hands while driving, but have the car warm in winter, and that's exactly what the wheel is supposed to do, but I think it might affect the temperature in all the vents. Will check that out. But the idea of turning the rear wheel to fully hot was great, since that might keep the car warm. Thanks again for all your help, and keep enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend .
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      11-27-2009, 05:47 PM   #12
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I find the fan is a little weak on full fan setting.
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      11-27-2009, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlue View Post
Yes, it just affects the middle vents, making them a little colder or a little warmer relative to what the other vents are doing. Don't forget you also have the same kind of wheel on the rear center console vents (for those of you with the E92). I throw mine over to the red side in the winter and leave it there. Blue side in the summer. Never feel the need to mess with it beyond that.
I thought the wheel adjusted where ALL of the vents were getting their air from: the hot air in the engine bay or the cooler air from under/outside of the car. Does anyone know for sure?
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      11-27-2009, 10:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackman View Post
I thought the wheel adjusted where ALL of the vents were getting their air from: the hot air in the engine bay or the cooler air from under/outside of the car. Does anyone know for sure?
Yes, I know for sure. Wheels just adjust temperature of the middle vents relative to the the other vents and have nothing to do with where the air comes from.
There is another button that determines where the air comes from. It toggles through 3 positions... normal (which is filtered outside air), recirc, or auto. I just leave mine in auto.
btw, I also leave the air conditioner button on all the time, for obvious reasons in the summer, and to help keep the windows (and myself) dry and fog free in the winter or rainy conditions.
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      11-27-2009, 10:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlue View Post
Yes, I know for sure.
There is another button that determines where the air comes from. It toggles through 3 positions... normal (which is outside air), recirc, or auto. I just leave mine in auto.
btw, I also leave the air conditioner button on all the time, for obvious reasons in the summer, and to help keep the windows (and myself) dry and fog free in the winter or rainy conditions.
Cool, it's nice to know what that wheel truly does. That's weird
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      11-27-2009, 10:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackman View Post
Cool, it's nice to know what that wheel truly does. That's weird
Supposedly, it's designed so you can keep the cabin comfortably warm but still have cool air blowing on your face to keep you alert, or as someone mentioned, cool air blowing on your hands to keep them from getting sweaty.
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      11-28-2009, 01:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlue View Post
Supposedly, it's designed so you can keep the cabin comfortably warm but still have cool air blowing on your face to keep you alert, or as someone mentioned, cool air blowing on your hands to keep them from getting sweaty.
Interesting. I was wondering last week why the center vents seemed to be blowing cooler air compared to the other vents.
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      12-03-2009, 12:02 AM   #18
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I am glad that others think that the climate control system on the M3 is suboptimal. I asked my SA to check it out too but she told me that it was normal operation. I have the old I-Drive on my 2008 M3 and it has the annoying low-med-high setting for the fan everytime you mess with the temperature. I know that the system on my wife's old Lexus was much better.
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