I still would like the opportunity to actually control the recirc function. Sometimes there are reasons why you might not like to have outside air used. Smells, dust, etc. I had (note, had) a Chevy Trailblazer that would allow me to put it in recirc mode, but it would automatically reset to non-recirc mode every time I turned the A/C off and back on.
I live in southern California. It gets hot here during the summer. Recirc would be nice to have. My new Dodge Challenger has the same situation in that I can't control the recirc mode unless it is actually in 'cool' mode.
To avoid frosting or fogging up the windows, THE A/C MUST BE ALWAYS TURNED ON IN DEFROST MODE OR ANY COMBINATION THAT USES THE WINDSHIELD VENTS!
That is the option that gets the car company out of lawsuits for " obstructed vision " that causes accidents.
I know it looks silly on first glance, but anyone who has scraped off ice ON THE INSIDE OF THE WINDSHIELD knows why this is done.
The side effect of chilling air in the A/C is condensation, just look under a parked truck or car at the mall to see the pool of water underneath. I had a third party installed A/C in the motorhome that would freeze up in les than 10 minutes on a hot, humid summer day. Shutting off the A/C for the same time " defrosted " the thing....
Remember, there might be solid engineering behind some silly looking observations
From what I read, and after thinking about it, I think the automatic system by Toyota is correct. Toyota would be liable if an automatic HVAC system needlessly fogs the windows.
I've found the best way to cool-down the inside of a hot car in the summer is to roll down the windows, drive a mile or so to clear the hot air from inside the car. My wife always rolls down the windows of her 2007 Acura TSX using the remote control, so it's already cooling-off inside by the time we enter the car...nice feature!I keep my car windows cracked during hot and sunny weather to avoid the inside from getting too hot (and to help protect the leather interior).
I've also experienced fogged windows just after getting into a cold car during the winter. I found the fastest way to clear the windows is to drive with the windows open about an inch for a mile or so, then close the windows and crank-up the heat.
Sometimes people cannot be totally comfortable all-the-time despite modern technology...so we just have to live with it! It also takes time to cool-down or heat-up homes that had the HVAC turned off...not immediate comfort.
Are you sure the industry pull down test does not just apply to the lab environment and not the real world. If you are pulling hot air from the cabin in recirc mode, the air will never be as cool as outside air. Consider a winter day in sunny California. Air temperature is very cool, but trapped heat inside the car is hot. Openning the window is way better than any A/C.
The only exception is if you direct cold air to the floor. Air intake for A/C is near the floor. That way, air intake gets cold air and makes it even colder. With A/C at max fan, air gets very cold. Not sure if Toyota does that.
That brings another point. Fresh air from outside has to pass thru a hot firewall before reaching cabin. On cheap cars, there is no insulation on the firewall. You end up getting warm air from outside. If the firewall is well insulated, many times, A/C is not even needed. Also, with old vent windows, A/C is rarely needed.
Repeatedly cooling recirc air is the quickest way to cool the cabin. (Almost all A/C systems pull-down tests are done in this mode.) Blower speeds usually start on high and step down as the cabin temp approaches the set temp, eventually settling on a lower speed. If and when to go to fresh air mode depends on the outside temp and humidity. (Note that most recirc modes do include a small percent of fresh air.) If your trip is long enough and the cabin gets cool enough you may even get compressor cycling to prevent the evaporator coil from freezing. (Ever have mist coming out of the A/C vents?)(Driving the first few minutes with the windows rolled down about 2 inches will let the hot air escape and improve your cool down time.)
If you have manual controls the first few minutes of heat up can be in recirc mode. (Say when your scraping ice or just warming the engine.) Once you start driving it should be set to fresh air to prevent breath and moisture from fogging the windows. Defrost should always be in fresh air mode with the A/C on. (The A/C will only run if the outside temp is high enough.) Some vehicles with inadequate body exhausters will fog the windows in cold weather regardless. I find cracking a window can help clear this up.
I would expect modern automatic climate controls to be well thought out and tested. The logic used has tradeoffs like every engineering endeavor.
I know some trade secrets and prefer manual HVAC controls, if available.
One reason I like Apple products is because as an engineer, I hate half baked products features just to sell.
Looks like Toyota only designed for condition with the car parked in a garage with temperature same outside as inside. Toyota definitely need to spend a couple dollars more and install an additional temperature sensor before they go full auto climate control.
For me, the only thing that needs to be auto is cycling the A/C button on and off to reach right temperature. Leave all the rest manual. However, given majority of population, might be better off auto.
This is just another reason why I buy domestic. My 2005 Silverado crew cab heats & cools like a champ. In South Georgia where is gets 80 in Feb. with 60% humidity and 100+in July with 100% humidity, I need something that will heat me up quick & cool the same way.
That's why one-size-fits-all 50K lines-of-code programs that operate 20 different computers don't fit all cars sold everywhere in the world. Just imagine how enjoyable it'll be to drive a car with radar speed/distance sensing when driving in a very wet heavy snow or getting slush thrown onto your front bumper while passing a semi. Slamming on the brakes at 50 with no warning should certainly enhance safety on the interstates. Probably work on in Southern California though.
I agree, ViragoMan. Reminds me of electric windows. While I greatly prefer electric windows to manual crank windows, when the battery goes, the electric windows don't work. There are moments when a manual crank window comes in handy.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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