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Does anyone use the "auto" setting of their automatic air conditioning system? For the life of me I can't figure out what it's thinking and the manual doesn't really help.

I've seen it turn on recycled air while turning off the AC even though the cabin was too warm. I've seen it turn on the AC even though the cabin was too cool.

Why do some settings kick the system out of auto, such as changing the fan speed, while others do not, such as turning on the AC if it happens to be off?

I think it's possessed.
 

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Yeah, this is the greatest invention since sliced bread! Note: when the AUTO is selected it WIIL NOT shut off the A/C compressor. Even if you pump up the temp like you would during the winter. It then dehumidifies the warmed air. It is designed to change modes and fan speed by your selection of a temperature setting. If you don't press the passenger side buttton your selected temperature will stay the same on both sides. Pushing that button allows the passenger to select a different temperature either up/down by I think 5 degress.
 

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to elaborate. The ac is on all the time to dry the air in the cabin. Dry air is comfirtable air. Even in the cool weather.. When you have it on auto and make an adjustment to another setting like temp or where the air comes out you will lose the auto setting. Thats the way it was designed. You can override the auto setting instantly. if the cabin is too warm and the temp setting is so many degrees above cabin ampient, the 'recycled' ac will come on. This is done to bring down the cabin temp as fast as possible.
If you do not want the ac on when you top on auto,
what we do is to hit auto, and tap off the ac if you do not want the compressor on.

Its working properly. :)
 

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Some auto climate control systems are better than others. I've driven cars where you rarely even need to touch the controls and others where you're always fiddling with them. One thing many have in common is wanting to have the A/C on far too often, so it's important to be able to easily override that. Sounds like the RAV4 lets you do it.
 

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flyingn I've read a couple of threads here about people being concerned w/ the compressor being on all the. Does it really make a differnce in todays cars? Years ago (60's, 70's and 80's) that wasn't true, you shut the compressor off any time you didn't need it. I don' think there's any noticable difference in MPGs w/ the compressor on all the time. Like there was in the past. Or could it be it'sstill just a drag on the engine. Elaborate for us please. :D
 

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bmorton that's sure is true about some systems better than others. GM had the best w/o a doubt. At least in the past four years. IMHO Toyota is a satisfactory, "get the job done only system"
 

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Today's cars are still affected by the compressor being on, but it depends on the vehicle as to how much you notice the effects. The bigger the engine, the less relative parasitic loss of power due to the compressor being on. Fuel economy is affected, but only slightly these days.
 

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I remember reading that the typical auto ac compressor uses about 6 bhp. That isn't a lot, esp when you have the V6, but it represents a significant percentage of the power used at low highway cruise speeds.

Tuning the ac off definitely helps fuel mileage, as long as you can keep the windows rolled up. Opening the windows on the highway really screws up the aerodynamics.

John Davies
SPokane WA
 

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Yeah I have the Auto climate on my Camry, and it definitly has some annoyances.

I always turn off the A/C unless it's really hot out, I like fresh air not A/C'ed air. That being said, even when the A/C light it on, I do not believe the compressor is on if it is below freezing outside; it does know to shut off the compressor to avoid freeze-up, but it does not reflect this via the light inside which will remain on regardless.

Small one, when temp is below freezing, if left to "auto", after the air warms up, it blasts it on the windshield for 30 secs, then goes back to the foot vents. Can't imagine that it thinks anything is going to happen, so in winter, I manually press the foot vent button to stop that silliness. I know it thinks it's defrosting the windshield...

Biggest annoyance, started yesterday as the temps around here were warming up. When I have the inside temp set a few degrees cooler than the outside temp, yet the temp inside the car is warmer than both of those temperatures, the system goes into recirculate mode and blasts the fan. Um, wouldn't things get cooler faster if it tried to cool the cooler outside air than trying to recirculate/cool the warmer inside air? So from now until the temps get cool again in the fall, it will be constantly putting itself into recirculate mode and I will constantly be changing it back to fresh air mode. Too bad that is one setting that doesn't "stick" after the car is shut off.
 
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