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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so I realize that the purpose of auto climate control is for it to have a mind of it's own, I simply want to know what it's thinking.

My OB is 2 months old, and here in Texas, up until the past couple of weeks, all the climate control did was air condition the car down to the set temperature. That was very predictable.

Now we've had our first cold spells (at least relative to what we're used to here) with temps into the upper 40's at night and cooler days. And I'm trying to figure out what the climate control is doing.

If the ambient temperature is anywhere below upper 60s, the climate control seems to go automatically into defrost mode at startup. I generally immediately change the mode to something else, but once I didn't and it seems that after 15 minutes or so it changes the mode automatically to floor/vent. Is this what it always does, in temperatures below X, assumes it needs to defrost/defog the windshield first?

I've also noticed, but can't be sure, that if you change from full auto to auto (which happens if you change the mode), what non-full auto does is only moderate the temperature ... not the fan setting. Is that correct? (BTW, I did look in the manual first, which had limited information about this)

The only thing that seems to confuse it is when the ambient temperature is in the low-mid 60's, and after sitting in the sun, the cabin is warm. The climate control will turn the heat on, even if it clearly should be blowing cool air. The setting needs to move down to 64-65 to turn the heat off.

Anyway, we'll figure this out and adapt easily enough, but I would appreciate any clues on what it does predictably. Thanks!
 

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The auto climate in my parent's MB E320 works the same way- if you crank the heat up and put it on full auto it goes into defrost mode and doesn't crank the fans until the engine is up to temperature. I'd say it's normal behavior since the systems in other cars do it.

One thing that is weird that I've noticed since winter rolled around is that if I have the temp set high to warm the car up the air and then lower the temp to 63 the air still comes out hot. I have to put it on 62 to get cooler air.
 

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I use the manual settings as the full auto mode does things I don't need or want.
 

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The "Full auto" feature is very useful for those of us with menopausal wives.........Or it will be, if I every get mine trained to just adjust the temp on her side, rather than just changing all the settings randomly, when she has a "Power surge".
 

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yes, it has a mind of it's own. most of the oddities have been mentioned .

the system assumes you need defrost if it is cold out side at start up. but it also will not crank up the fans to move any real air until the t-stat starts to move. so prior to that the windshield is just getting AC to clear the glass or at least to keep the inside clear.

on the AC side, i learned to live with the auto system. but instead of adjusting the fan setting or the mode i would just adjust the temp. if you crank the temp down ( or up) more than about 5 degrees from the room temp, the system will redirect the air flow and crank up the fan. as the inside air approaches the set temp it will slow the fan and finish with the air flow more to a general setting.

in high heat demand, it directs the flow to the floor. as it warms the car it will re-direct the flow to the face.

but the trick is to leave most of the settings alone and just change the temp setting. it is hard to do but it does work. try it for a bit and you will start to see a pattern. maybe one you can live with.
 

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The two temp sensors seem to be giving different information. The one sensor on the dash and the other sensor an air sensor on the climate control. The dampening and magnitude of the changes is not as good as many other auto climate control systems I own and have ridden it but is acceptable. Certainly agree at times the system overshoots which I think is because the top temp sensor has more bias than the air sensor.
I would love to see the logic running this system. It could use some tuning tweaks and it would be quite good.
As it is now it is acceptable but nothing more...
 

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As canbaru already said just set the temp and forget it. It is more frustrating that it's worth trying to get the air to blow where you want at the fan speed you desire. This system is responding just like my auto climate control in a previous vehicle. If you really want to change the way it blows turn off auto.
 

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Unfortunately, this auto climate control system is a low (to me the lowest) point in an otherwise fine vehicle.

On our Honda's you can leave the thing on full auto 70 degrees and never notice it all year long (here in Boston with all the seasons).

On the Subaru, the fan is incredibly loud, and the thing just changes speeds and does crazy stuff all the time. I've been driving for like an hour and for no reason the fan speed jumps up two levels.

I find this easiest thing to do is leave it on Auto but control the fan speed yourself.
 

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Avoiding climate control was my main reason for getting a premium instead of a limited.
I had climate on my last car and hated it.
Funny, that was one more reason to get the Limited. From posts here (and a buddy that owns an '11) the manual AC is weak compared to the auto.
 

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I'm relatively happy/OK with the automatic climate control, but I do agree that it has me overriding it every once in a while, whereas my prior Ford Expedition was completely "set and forget".

One of the other little wrinkles of this unit is that besides an inside and outside temperature reading, it also makes use of a "solar sensor" that lets the control unit know that the car is in full sunlight (versus overcast, or shadows, etc.). It uses this info (in theory) to blow more air when cooling, on the premise that there is increased solar loading within the car, and more air flow will keep the sunny side from getting too hot.

You sometimes notice this when driving from full sun into an underpass or tunnel (or even into heavy tree shade), and the fan will slow/stop abruptly. I think to some extent the designers of this unit got a bit too fancy, and ended up outsmarting themselves....
 

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Avoiding climate control was my main reason for getting a premium instead of a limited.
I had climate on my last car and hated it.

There is a button labeled "Auto". Hit that to turn off the Automatic setting then control it manually. I would not lose all the additional benefits of having a Limited only cause of the Auto climate control that you could control manually.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
One of the other little wrinkles of this unit is that besides an inside and outside temperature reading, it also makes use of a "solar sensor" that lets the control unit know that the car is in full sunlight (versus overcast, or shadows, etc.). It uses this info (in theory) to blow more air when cooling, on the premise that there is increased solar loading within the car, and more air flow will keep the sunny side from getting too hot.

You sometimes notice this when driving from full sun into an underpass or tunnel (or even into heavy tree shade), and the fan will slow/stop abruptly. I think to some extent the designers of this unit got a bit too fancy, and ended up outsmarting themselves....
Looks to me like they really screwed up this implementation. My biggest gripe is getting the thing to cool when the ambient temp is lower than the set climate control temperature, which happens when it's sunny. Say the temp on the climate control is set to 70, and the exterior temp is 60, and it's sunny, making the cabin warm well above 70. The climate control refuses to blow cool, and even if you press the cool button to a lower setting like 65, the system responds by turning on the recirculate setting.

I'm frustrated with this, and there's truly no defense. If you pay $30K for a car with auto climate control, it should work.
 
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