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      06-20-2011, 03:18 PM   #1
mdosu
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What's the deal with the climate controls?

I've owned my car for a year now, and I still haven't figured out the climate control functions in the car. I know how to turn on A/C or heat when i need it, and I know how to defrost my front window. But It seems like there's a lot of counter-intuitive functions and redundent functions.

The wheel knob next to the door locks, why do we have that? So if I have it on full cold, why do i have the option to adjust my temp gauge to say 82 degrees, how does that make sense? Is it a different "level" of cool? It seems like the knob has a bigger influence of air temp than the digital temperature knobs itself.


Also, I never understood the purpose of the "auto" feature. I hit that button, and it turns my fan up to full blast and it feels like I lost my windshield. i would think you may be able to adjust your ideal fan speed and wind distribution and save it in "auto" feature. But it doesn't seem like you can do that. Am I missing something with the "auto" feature?

Finally, what's the deal with the climate option in the i-drive? I can minutely set the fan distribution, but it doesn't save the setting for me, or am I missing something?


/rant
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      06-20-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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I can get behind this.
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      06-20-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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Its only putting the fans to full blast to quickly get the temperature you set via the control knob to what the current temperature in the car is. You'll notice if your in a somewhat hot car and you put the AC on auto and the temp at 70* it will blow full blast, but if you turn the temp dial to 90 the fans will stop. Give it some time for the overall temperature in the car to match what you've set. Its a bit annoying in the beginning but it will level off.
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      06-20-2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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i heard the knob also gives you the ablility to get different temp air to the driver's head and the digital knobs are for the passengers. But the question is, what about the 3 buttons that point the airflow to the head, body, or feet. Does one of them have to be activiated to fully utilize the knob?
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      06-20-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKMK5 View Post
Its only putting the fans to full blast to quickly get the temperature you set via the control knob to what the current temperature in the car is. You'll notice if your in a somewhat hot car and you put the AC on auto and the temp at 70* it will blow full blast, but if you turn the temp dial to 90 the fans will stop. Give it some time for the overall temperature in the car to match what you've set. Its a bit annoying in the beginning but it will level off.
oh geez, i never realized that's what it was doing, I've never let it go for any longer than 5 seconds. I always have the temp set to 60 in the summer and 70 in the winter...so it might take a while for it to get to temp?

So when it gets up/down to your temp setting, then what happens, it turns down to your original default setting?
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      06-20-2011, 03:35 PM   #6
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I'll be the first to say it. Read the manual.

That said, it's not hard. Here's a quick summary:

Leave it in Auto and set your desired cabin temp. If your car is hot (been in the sun all day) the fan will be on full high for a while to cool the car down but then the fan speed will drop as the cabin temp gets closer to your desired temp.

The small dial you're talking about adjusts the mixture of warm and cold air that comes just through the upper dash vents. Say you have your temp set to 74 deg but the sun is shining on you. Move the dial to the blue side and the upper vents will blow colder air. The system will still mix hot/cold air through the rest of the vents to set the overall cabin temperature to 74 deg but the air that directly hits your arms and face (that are warm because of the direct sunshine) is cooler.

It's a very nice system overall, just let it do it's "auto" thing. My wife tics me off because she jumps in the car and immediately starts hitting buttons. It's too hot so she'll turn the temp setting down to 60 like that'll make it get colder quicker instead of just leaving it where it is. Then when it gets too cold she'll turn the fan speed down instead of adjusting the temp back up to something reasonable. It can be frustrating if you think it works like a '72 Chevy AC.
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      06-20-2011, 03:37 PM   #7
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^okay thanks, I understand the auto part now.

What about the I-drive part? what's that for? It doesn't seem to save any settings.
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      06-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones View Post
I'll be the first to say it. Read the manual.

That said, it's not hard. Here's a quick summary:

Leave it in Auto and set your desired cabin temp. If your car is hot (been in the sun all day) the fan will be on full high for a while to cool the car down but then the fan speed will drop as the cabin temp gets closer to your desired temp.

The small dial you're talking about adjusts the mixture of warm and cold air that comes just through the upper dash vents. Say you have your temp set to 74 deg but the sun is shining on you. Move the dial to the blue side and the upper vents will blow colder air. The system will still mix hot/cold air through the rest of the vents to set the overall cabin temperature to 74 deg but the air that directly hits your arms and face (that are warm because of the direct sunshine) is cooler.

It's a very nice system overall, just let it do it's "auto" thing. My wife tics me off because she jumps in the car and immediately starts hitting buttons. It's too hot so she'll turn the temp setting down to 60 like that'll make it get colder quicker instead of just leaving it where it is. Then when it gets too cold she'll turn the fan speed down instead of adjusting the temp back up to something reasonable. It can be frustrating if you think it works like a '72 Chevy AC.
+1

I'm a huge fan of the Max AC button as well. Between that and Auto, there isn't much more you need to worry about...
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      06-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
i heard the knob also gives you the ablility to get different temp air to the driver's head and the digital knobs are for the passengers. But the question is, what about the 3 buttons that point the airflow to the head, body, or feet. Does one of them have to be activiated to fully utilize the knob?
Just leave it in Auto and don't worry about the three buttons and no, they have nothing to do with the wheel (knob). I've never had a reason to use them, auto works just fine.
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      06-20-2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
^okay thanks, I understand the auto part now.

What about the I-drive part? what's that for? It doesn't seem to save any settings.
The I-Drive setting just adjust the balance between the upper, middle and lower vents. I've never had a need for these either. I suppose if you're wearing sandles and the A/C is on high you might use these setting to reduce airflow to your feet.
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      06-20-2011, 03:46 PM   #11
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the HVAC in the 3 series is pretty dismal
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      06-20-2011, 04:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones View Post
It's a very nice system overall, just let it do it's "auto" thing. My wife tics me off because she jumps in the car and immediately starts hitting buttons. It's too hot so she'll turn the temp setting down to 60 like that'll make it get colder quicker instead of just leaving it where it is. Then when it gets too cold she'll turn the fan speed down instead of adjusting the temp back up to something reasonable. It can be frustrating if you think it works like a '72 Chevy AC.
My wife can't figure out the thermostat on the A/C in our home either. Maybe it's a M/F thing. I get it at work too. They can't understand that lowering the temp doesn't do anything unless the system has already cooled to the set temp already.
Set it and forget it.
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      06-20-2011, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saeyedoc View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones View Post
It's a very nice system overall, just let it do it's "auto" thing. My wife tics me off because she jumps in the car and immediately starts hitting buttons. It's too hot so she'll turn the temp setting down to 60 like that'll make it get colder quicker instead of just leaving it where it is. Then when it gets too cold she'll turn the fan speed down instead of adjusting the temp back up to something reasonable. It can be frustrating if you think it works like a '72 Chevy AC.
My wife can't figure out the thermostat on the A/C in our home either. Maybe it's a M/F thing. I get it at work too. They can't understand that lowering the temp doesn't do anything unless the system has already cooled to the set temp already.
Set it and forget it.
Climate control was obviously designed by women FOR Women. I won't get started about my wife on this one here
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      06-20-2011, 04:34 PM   #14
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Why? This is not rocket science gentlemen... This is M3Post. Try fucking with the AC unit in the X5M, and then talk to me about dismal.

3er AC unit is as simple as it gets.... how less complicated can they make it? it all seems pretty intuitive to me, but i guess thats because I know what the little buttons mean.
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      06-20-2011, 04:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones View Post
My wife tics me off because she jumps in the car and immediately starts hitting buttons. It's too hot so she'll turn the temp setting down to 60 like that'll make it get colder quicker instead of just leaving it where it is.
Amen. Glad its not just my wife
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