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General E46 Forum
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Old 01-29-2004, 11:17 AM   #1
crose04
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Question Climate control woes

Hi all, just looking for some feed back on the climate control system. My 2002 325xi seems to be lacking in that area. I expected to be able to set a temperature and have the car maintain that temp, but it doesn't seem to work that way. First, the temperature values shown seem to be way off. If I want about 70 degrees, I need to set it at 61. Second, it seems I always have to keep adjusting it up or down. Thirdly, do all these cars fog up terribly in wet weather? I guess I'm just wondering if it's just my car, or these are characteristic traits.

Chris
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Old 01-29-2004, 11:19 AM   #2
330man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crose04
Hi all, just looking for some feed back on the climate control system. My 2002 325xi seems to be lacking in that area. I expected to be able to set a temperature and have the car maintain that temp, but it doesn't seem to work that way. First, the temperature values shown seem to be way off. If I want about 70 degrees, I need to set it at 61. Second, it seems I always have to keep adjusting it up or down. Thirdly, do all these cars fog up terribly in wet weather? I guess I'm just wondering if it's just my car, or these are characteristic traits.

Chris
My tepmerature's are off like yours, for 70 set it to 61. But it does not vary and seems to maintain very well. I think this and your fogging problem can be remedied by kepping your a/c on when your windows are up. The fuel economy difference is very insignificant.
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
SST
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crose04
Hi all, just looking for some feed back on the climate control system. My 2002 325xi seems to be lacking in that area. I expected to be able to set a temperature and have the car maintain that temp, but it doesn't seem to work that way. First, the temperature values shown seem to be way off. If I want about 70 degrees, I need to set it at 61. Second, it seems I always have to keep adjusting it up or down. Thirdly, do all these cars fog up terribly in wet weather? I guess I'm just wondering if it's just my car, or these are characteristic traits.

Chris
I don't use my "auto" climate control cause I don't think it works as advertised. It directs air to places I don't want it to.
I work the system in manual mode and that works better for me.
My problem with the whole system is that you can't control how much dash air versus foot air is coming out. When you select both dash and feet, the dash gets very little output. I have to crank it to max fan speed to get a good amount of air coming through, but then I have to deal with all the noise the blower is making just to try and move some air.
I don't care for the HVAC system in this car at all. I needs work.

As far as fogging, YES. Most modern cars are built tighter to keep interiors quieter. But, that means that air isn't moving in an out of the car as well.
Most modern cars will turn on the AC when you select the windshield/defrost/fog setting. The AC provides dry air to the heated air and cleans the fog quickly. Our cars don't engage the AC automatically unless you select the preprogrammed front defrost, it's the button in the upper right hand corner of the HVAC unit. When you select that all the air is directed to the windshield and the AC comes on as well. It cleans the windshield pretty well. You can accomplish the same thing but divert the air to wherever you want it. Just set the temp to where you want it, set the fan speed, set where you want the air to flow, and then turn on the AC. Simple.
If you need to defog the front windshield quicker then select the air to blow at the windshield only. In humid environments there will be more fogging.
Also, temp changes can occur during rain which will create condensation build up on the windows inside and sometimes even outside depending on temp variance. Use the AC to clear things up.

TT
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SST
I don't use my "auto" climate control cause I don't think it works as advertised. It directs air to places I don't want it to.
I work the system in manual mode and that works better for me.
My problem with the whole system is that you can't control how much dash air versus foot air is coming out. When you select both dash and feet, the dash gets very little output. I have to crank it to max fan speed to get a good amount of air coming through, but then I have to deal with all the noise the blower is making just to try and move some air.
I don't care for the HVAC system in this car at all. I needs work.

As far as fogging, YES. Most modern cars are built tighter to keep interiors quieter. But, that means that air isn't moving in an out of the car as well.
Most modern cars will turn on the AC when you select the windshield/defrost/fog setting. The AC provides dry air to the heated air and cleans the fog quickly. Our cars don't engage the AC automatically unless you select the preprogrammed front defrost, it's the button in the upper right hand corner of the HVAC unit. When you select that all the air is directed to the windshield and the AC comes on as well. It cleans the windshield pretty well. You can accomplish the same thing but divert the air to wherever you want it. Just set the temp to where you want it, set the fan speed, set where you want the air to flow, and then turn on the AC. Simple.
If you need to defog the front windshield quicker then select the air to blow at the windshield only. In humid environments there will be more fogging.
Also, temp changes can occur during rain which will create condensation build up on the windows inside and sometimes even outside depending on temp variance. Use the AC to clear things up.

TT


What he said

Also, in terms of cabin temp, dont forget you have to mess with that little red/white/blue temperature wheel on the dash for it to really work.
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:38 PM   #5
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YOu need to adjust the color wheel on the vent or else it won't work properly.
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Old 01-29-2004, 02:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pwalsh53


What he said

Also, in terms of cabin temp, dont forget you have to mess with that little red/white/blue temperature wheel on the dash for it to really work.
YES! Good call. that center wheel adjusts the mixture of hot air to cool external air. If you set it to full on blue then it will be cold air from the outside. If you set it to full on red then it will be fully heated air.
Or you can get a mix of both while still running full on hot air to the feet or windshield.

Also, you have a recirculation adjustment as well. There is an "A" and a "A" with a circle around it, can't remember the exact picture. However, here's how it works. In "auto" mode (green light lit on left side of button) the system will normally allow outside air to vent through vehicle. If it senses pollutants then it will go into "recirculation" mode which means it will shut out outside air and recirculate the air already in the cabin.

In full "recirc" mode (right side light of button lit) there is NO outside air allowed in and the system will only use the air already in the cabin.
This increases cooling/heating effciency. However, it can cause excessive fogging as it's recirculating the same air. Use this setting if you need maximum cooling or heating and/or if you have allergies.
If you get too much fogging turn "recirc" off for a while or try turning on the AC.

When no light is lit the system is in normal mode which is to allow outside air in and inside out to vent out.
If you're getting excessive fogging check to make sure that you do not have "recirc" selected.

I like the auto recirc mode it seems to actually work. If I drive into a dusty area let's say, I can actually hear the system closing off and then reopening once I'm past the area. Pretty cool.

And, don't forget that you have to change your in cabin air filtration filter on a regular basis. If it becomes clogged up then there will be a reduction in air flow through the vents as the air can't move as freely if the filter is choked up.

TT
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Old 01-29-2004, 02:28 PM   #7
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Yea that is the only thing that bothers me on this car. Basically when I want it colder or warmer I move the red/blue roller thing in the middle of the 2 vents. I leave it on auto and at the same temp all season long, (never turn off the A/C button unless I am racing). On all my other cars you just moved the temp up or down to change the interior temp, its a bit different on this one.
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Old 01-29-2004, 02:31 PM   #8
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The climate controls in the E46 have always been bad. C&D loves to poop on Munich for it. I remember reading their review of the 2001 325xi out of C&D before I bought mine. They reviewed 6 AWD sport sedans with similar power and the 325xi took first place. They raved about it the whole time with two exceptions: price and the climate control. I belive their words were something along the lines of, "Maybe BMW should take the climate control system out of a Ford Explorer. Those work great."
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Old 01-29-2004, 03:36 PM   #9
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Yeah, but you get used to it. It never bothers me. I like to be able to "fine tune" things anyways. Things that happen Automagically bother me because if I don't like the magic in the auto I can't do anything about it.
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Old 01-30-2004, 11:18 AM   #10
crose04
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Thanks, I will do just that.
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Old 01-30-2004, 11:19 AM   #11
crose04
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Thanks, this makes me feel better in a weird "at-least-it's not-just-my-car" kind of way.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
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I have a 2001 325i wagon with lots of condensation build up inside. I understand there is a common issue with the drain pipes. What is the best way to clean these pipes? Do you start under the dash in the front floor board area or up in the filter area which on this car is under the hood?
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mfosterjet View Post
I have a 2001 325i wagon with lots of condensation build up inside. I understand there is a common issue with the drain pipes. What is the best way to clean these pipes? Do you start under the dash in the front floor board area or up in the filter area which on this car is under the hood?

Sunroof drains are among the most notorious for causing interior damage.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:28 PM   #14
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^^^ A circle with no circumference? What's the point?
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:49 AM   #15
The Thomas J
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Sunroof drains are among the most notorious for causing interior damage.
+1 I know of thatall too well. I had a brand new VW Passat that had a huge flood in it after 3 weeks of ownership.

It's a fairly easy issue to prevent from happening, however it's somthing that shouldn't happen.

I have the same issues with my car fogging up all the time. I juts keep the AC on for the most part with the recirculation switch set to off if the weather is really wet outside. I keep the wheel set between 1 & 2 red dots.

I really dislike the climate wheel. It seems so low rent. Every car I have owned has had climate control systems that worked fine by raising or lowering the tempature.
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