Author Topic: A couple of questions re climate control  (Read 7415 times)

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Offline red_imps_2003

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A couple of questions re climate control
« on: March 10, 2017, 04:56:52 PM »
I have a couple of questions about climate control that I am hoping somebody can answer/clarify for me.

The first regards the use of air conditioning. My understanding of climate control is that you press the button so the auto light remains on, set the desired cabin temperature you wish to achieve and the computer does the necessary to reach it and then maintain it. I can see this working by way of the fan direction and speed changing dynamically over the course of a journey. However, it seems to me that the aircon is on permanently, regardless of the temperature in the cabin at any given time (and I never see 'eco' reported suggesting it is only operating in a low power 'background' kind of way. For instance, it was always on during my commute to and from work over winter even though the car was bloody freezing for the first few minutes. Now, I appreciate that aircon plays a role in demisting the windows (especially the windscreen) but I would have thought there would come a point after a mile or two where the only adjustments in temperature required are to keep it raised with greater or lesser quantities of warm air rather than to cool it down again. Similarly, I knock the aircon off (to conserve fuel) would it come on again if the sun came out during my journey and cabin temperature escalated? My anecdotal observations suggest not but that may be because I have interfered in some way. The 'auto' light is still on but the aircon remains off...I think. I guess the basic question is does the climate control switch the aircon on an off automatically as needed or can this only be done manually?

My second question is do you think I should do a pre-emptive aircon regas (before the weather begins to hot up considerably)? The car is 7.5yo (September 2009) and the only previous owner had it serviced annually by a Mazda dealer. Is aircon regas part of the service schedule over that timeframe or is it up to the owner to keep on top of that side of things? In your experience (anybody) does an aircon system typically last much longer than that without a regas? I appreciate a lot will depend on usage over that time and any potential leaks and so forth.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/guidance/reassurance.
So I was stood there trying to work out why the cricket ball was getting larger and larger...and then it hit me.

Offline red_imps_2003

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2017, 05:14:16 PM »
Actually, the manual may have the answer to my first question. It clearly states  (section 6-12) that pressing the aircon button is not one of the operations that interrupts the automation of maintaining the cabin temperature. It also states that the aircon may not be operational when the outside temperature "approaches" 0 degrees Celsius but the light will remain on. I take that to mean that (a) the aircon light remains on during automatic control even if the unit itself gets automatically switched off because it's freezing outside and (b) at temperatures above 0 degrees Celsius the aircon runs actively permanently (albeit supposedly switching between full and eco modes) as an integrated part of managing the cabin temperature. Does that sound about right?
So I was stood there trying to work out why the cricket ball was getting larger and larger...and then it hit me.

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2017, 05:14:53 PM »
If in full auto mode it will engage eco mode automatically (only if possible though so if it's under heavy load eco mode will cancel e.g. if you press demist or turn it down cold in summer). However if you are switching a.c. on and off manually and not pressing the auto button again having done so eco mode will be disabled. The light is always on even if the compressor is not active, eco is displayed on the dash display beside the ac tell tale.



Mines never off ever, used to do as you do but in the end I just leave it on. Also because it's always on after 5 years and no regas it was measured at 4 degrees at the vents last service. Lack of use is the biggest cause of AC problems so what it might cost in fuel (though I never noticed any difference) you would save in regassing and repairs.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 05:16:45 PM by StevenRB45 »

Offline red_imps_2003

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2017, 05:29:27 PM »
Thank you for your impressively speedy response. I will try leaving it on full auto for a while and see what happens. Like you, I have to admit I haven't noticed a particularly heavy decline in mpg with the aircon button light illuminated compared to it being off. I will leave the aircon button well alone for a week or two and see what happens. I tend to set the temperature around 22, so I'm a bit surprised not to have seen the eco indicator illuminated over the past few weeks when it has generally been ten degrees or less outside though.
So I was stood there trying to work out why the cricket ball was getting larger and larger...and then it hit me.

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2017, 05:34:31 PM »
It should be in eco if you have it set to 22. When I say load I mean cooling load. If it's using the heater that isn't the same so eco should be on, it does still cycle the compressor which helps keeps the windows clear (but that does not show up on the dash so it should be showing a light on the panel and AC eco at all times pretty much ATM.)

Just press auto, eco should light up on the dash you can then twiddle the temperature as needed and it should stay automatic unless you press, a.c., fan speed or air direction. Pressing demist should be cancelled by pressing it again this will re-engage auto exactly as it was.

Offline misar

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 06:52:57 AM »
My experience since 2009 is the same as StevenRB45. It is permanently on auto at 21.5 and has never had a regen. In summer I may change the temperature slightly as a convenient way to vary the output from the face level vents. The only time I press demist is at the same time as the front screen heater if it has been out overnight and iced up.
 

Offline red_imps_2003

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2017, 01:59:28 PM »
Thank you both or your feedback. That is certainly how I would expect it to work. I don't know that I have ever seen the eco bit light up, though. I've had it on 'auto' all weekend with the aircon button lit and no sign of 'eco' lighting up on the display. Frankly I would be surprised if there had been much need for 'active' cooling at all in the time I have owned it (since mid-December) so would have thought it would be operating in eco mode most of the time.

I took the following images this morning at the end of my 35 drive to work. Outside temperate, according to the display, was around 9 degrees Celsius. I guess it's not the end of the world but I may mention it to the mechanic or dealer the next time I am over there.

Console: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7c2LWtxcTqKX25ER095a3N4dG8
Display: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7c2LWtxcTqKaWlzNENNMVM2cDQ

Cheers.
So I was stood there trying to work out why the cricket ball was getting larger and larger...and then it hit me.

Online yarb

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 03:16:29 PM »
From what I remember when I had a mk2 when the air-con is working usually the air recirculation light on the switch would be lit also certainly is on my mk3
Made it to retirement  :)

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2017, 04:32:00 PM »
Thank you both or your feedback. That is certainly how I would expect it to work. I don't know that I have ever seen the eco bit light up, though. I've had it on 'auto' all weekend with the aircon button lit and no sign of 'eco' lighting up on the display. Frankly I would be surprised if there had been much need for 'active' cooling at all in the time I have owned it (since mid-December) so would have thought it would be operating in eco mode most of the time.

I took the following images this morning at the end of my 35 drive to work. Outside temperate, according to the display, was around 9 degrees Celsius. I guess it's not the end of the world but I may mention it to the mechanic or dealer the next time I am over there.

Console: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7c2LWtxcTqKX25ER095a3N4dG8
Display: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7c2LWtxcTqKaWlzNENNMVM2cDQ

Cheers.

Huge edit as I only saw one picture...

Yep the empty box beside AC should say eco on the display. Does it stay like that if you turn it all off by pressing the off button (middle of the fan speed dial) and switch it back on by pressing auto?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 04:36:43 PM by StevenRB45 »

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2017, 04:45:21 PM »
From what I remember when I had a mk2 when the air-con is working usually the air recirculation light on the switch would be lit also certainly is on my mk3

It only does that when outside temperature is greater than than the set temperature to scavenge chilled air and cool the car faster. It'll set itself to fresh air again once the requested temperature is reached, or should if working correctly.

Offline red_imps_2003

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2017, 11:38:34 PM »
Huge edit as I only saw one picture...

Yep the empty box beside AC should say eco on the display. Does it stay like that if you turn it all off by pressing the off button (middle of the fan speed dial) and switch it back on by pressing auto?
I will check in the morning to be sure, but I  have tried all sorts of combinations over the past few weeks. I can't recall for certain but I don't know that I have ever seen eco lit since I got it.
So I was stood there trying to work out why the cricket ball was getting larger and larger...and then it hit me.

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2017, 12:07:46 AM »
The only thing I can think of is if you've been turning it on and off at the AC button that cancels eco entirely. But pressing off then auto should put everything back. If it doesn't there's something wrong somewhere, given I'm just down the road mines also been set to 20 degrees and auto all week and eco has never gone off.

Offline red_imps_2003

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2017, 12:40:30 PM »
Yep, tried knocking everything off then switching on auto again this morning and no sign of the eco light illuminating. Thank you for your help and perseverance. It is at least reassuring to know what it should be doing and that it is not just me being a dolt. It is probably not worth the cost of a repair for the three or four years I am likely to have the car. I'll just switch the aircon on and off manually for the time being and maybe get it looked at if the ventilation system develops a wider fault in the future.
So I was stood there trying to work out why the cricket ball was getting larger and larger...and then it hit me.

Offline misar

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2017, 09:26:00 PM »
If it were me I would set it to auto and a comfortable temperature then forget about the eco light and whether the aircon is switching off and on. The lack of the eco light probably makes little difference to economy but may be an indication of some other problem. If the car stops being comfortable when hot weather arrives you can start worrying about potential problems with the A/C.

One other suggestion. At recent air temperatures the car should be able to maintain any sensible inside temperature with just the heater and outside air flow. The A/C would only come on to control humidity so on a dry day auto should turn it off, leave the fan running for air circulation, and light the eco lamp. Have you noticed any indication of high humidity such as wet carpets? If the car is humid the A/C will stay on and the eco lamp off.

Offline red_imps_2003

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2017, 04:27:20 PM »
I agree. As long as the temperature is comfortable I am not going to spend a fortune on diagnostics and repairs. The windows (all of them) do seem to mist up badly if I get in and my clothes are wet (or moist) but other than that I see no obvious signs of damp. Carpets, including the boot, feel dry and there are no unpleasant smells. I've experienced damp problems in two of my previous cars and it was decidedly grim after a while.   :-\
So I was stood there trying to work out why the cricket ball was getting larger and larger...and then it hit me.

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Re: A couple of questions re climate control
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2017, 04:27:20 PM »