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Hi all - my "air flow " light is always on - and air is always coming out of the vents - even when everything is "off." See pic below. Is this normal or is something not working right?

New owner and new to the forums - apologies if this has been covered and I missed it.

145425
 

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Check the Owner's Manual, Pages 516-518.

The light that's ON in your picture is the S-FLOW MODE light.

I THINK what you're experiencing is related to an automatic system that shuts off airflow to the rear seat and/or front passenger seat if the car thinks there aren't any passengers there. Apparently it decides that by sensing which doors are opened before you drive off.

After you read the description of S-FLOW, please let us know if that answers your question.
 

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Hi all - my "air flow " light is always on - and air is always coming out of the vents - even when everything is "off." See pic below. Is this normal or is something not working right?

New owner and new to the forums - apologies if this has been covered and I missed it.
I know exactly what you are talking about. I took a drive yesterday and the outside temp was 63 degrees. I had the windows open and the HVAC system off. There was much warmer than ambient air flowing fairly fast from the front air vents even though the system was "off". I am assuming the system is set to just pass air through the vents as the vehicle is moving without the actual fan being on. It seems that there is no way to close the front vents. I will play with the HVAC settings some more to see if there is a "cure"

-M
 

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Turn your re-circ on even with everything off and it will stop outside air from getting into the cabin...
 

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Hi all - my "air flow " light is always on - and air is always coming out of the vents - even when everything is "off." See pic below. Is this normal or is something not working right?

New owner and new to the forums - apologies if this has been covered and I missed it.
As already posted, that's S-flow. It turns itself on every time you start the car. You can disable this "auto" function if you have Techstream or Carista.

Turn your re-circ on even with everything off and it will stop outside air from getting into the cabin...
This is incorrect. Recirc mode still brings in 20% fresh air.
 

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🤦‍♂️
 

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It would be unsafe and potentially deadly to not bring in at least some fresh air at all times.
Tell that to MINI. Fresh air may come in somehow, but in a MINI, it’s not through the vents...
 

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Tell that to MINI. Fresh air may come in somehow, but in a MINI, it’s not through the vents...
Believe what you want about the Recirculate mode of operation.

EDIT: Transcript from an episode of Car Talk (Tom and Ray).


“RAY: It's just that when you put it on recirculate, it recirculates the same cabin air (actually, it always lets in some fresh air).”
 

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Okay, so I just went out, drove 50mph with config you see in the attached image below with only the driver side vents open, and any air flow was hardly perceptible (if at all) even with my fingers right up touching the vents (no air flow felt with my hands on the steering wheel let alone at my face). So for all intents and purposes, there’s no air flow, at least that anyone can feel. I urge anyone to try it and tell me I’m wrong...
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OK, I partially retract my previous claim that some outside air is always let in even in Recirculate mode. it appears that different manufacturers do this differently. Some go for 100% recirculation, some go for say 90% or 80%. I'm not sure about the RAV4. Ford issued a TSB for this issue in which they changed the strategy from 100% recirculation to 90% because at 100% it was creating a slight vacuum in the cab and drawing in dirt when driving on dusty unpaved roads. Owners complained about the dust intrusion.

In the writeup linked to below, they do note that carbon dioxide levels can climb in a vehicle with 100% recirculation, possibly to levels that can cause drowsiness.

 

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I noticed this too tbh. My solution has just been to redirect it to the floor on the occasions that it gets annoying. Seems to stop anything coming out of the top vents.
 

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Many years ago the Federal Government required all vehicles to have a positive airflow while underway even with all systems/vents turned off. Seems like it was decades ago but I can't find the date it was implemented. There is nothing wrong, it is doing what it is supposed to do.
 

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Hi all - my "air flow " light is always on - and air is always coming out of the vents - even when everything is "off." See pic below. Is this normal or is something not working right?

New owner and new to the forums - apologies if this has been covered and I missed it.

View attachment 145425

Just checked my Limited Rav4, does THE same thing as yours...

I guess it normal to have a little airflow even if all is OFF, weird
 
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