Wow...a lot of stuff being said. (How did the discussion get to audio anyway? Actually, automatic radio AVC is a pretty good thing since the noise increases as the speed increases so putting in some compensation is an obvious enhancement.)
Anyway, to address the ATC. I believe some people are missing some of the primary factors in these systems. First, car manufacturers all warn against using recirculated air in the winter since carbon monoxide leaks into the car interior (caused by things such as pinhole leaks in the exhaust or exhaust pipe imbedded in a snow pile) would not be diluted by a constant stream of fresh outside air, not due to worries about seeing one's frost on their breath! And, engines run poorer in cold weather emitting more pollutants and people often run their engines in cold weather when sitting still to keep warm, all making the need to flush the interior with as much fresh air as possible essential.
Now about the air conditioning...the biggest problem with cooling a car interior in the wintertime is not getting cold air out of the evaporator. It's cooling the interior mass which radiates heat to the occupants. In recirulation mode, they can focus on trying to maximize that mass cooling but at some point, they must switch back to fresh air intake for the above reason-to prevent carbon monoxide and other pollutant buildup. Also, in every car I've owned over the past 40 years, the air conditioning in recirculation mode stinks probably due to the recirculation mode inlet path stale/moldy panels. I use recirculate (Max) only when the outside is really hot like 105 deg or the like and the AC is struggling.
About fan speed, the one writer who complained that the air won't come out as cold, that's true but they're forgetting that air speed over the body is a very important factor in keeping cool (evaporation), almost as much as the temperature, at least in the beginning. That's why we sometimes use fans in our house and in the used max fan speed in our pre-AC car days. It also accelerates heat transfer, i.e., cooling down the car interior.
Actually, I don't like ATC for a completely different reason. On very cold days after scraping the ice off the windows, and otherwise being cold, once I get the car started, I like my system to 'overshoot' in temperature to warm my hands/body OVER and above the set point that I ultimately like. ATC's do not do that, they linearly or assymptotically approach the set point. Same thing on the opposite side with AC. After hiking or otherwise being really hot, I want to have max fan, max cooling for quite a while until I'm comfortable, something the ATC can not compute.
By accident, I discovered that disconnecting the 'aspirator' in my previous car's ATC, it reverted to manual mode and I left it there for the next 15 years! It's a gimick that maybe works well in mild climates or those whose cars are always in garages.
This "feature" was designed just for you. My only complaint with the whole thing is it really didn't work that well. yes it got louder when I went faster and it got quiter when I went slower. But that whole how much louder/how much quiter thing, I believe it pretty consumer specific and I don't know if any car software can adequately provide a feature worth it. Of course, that's just my opinion based off of a 2003 version of the feature.
I can understand your point about removing humidity more easily when in recirculation mode. And I understand that keeping the cabin in recirculation mode when it is cold outside can cause misting. I've never been able to see my breath, but I have seen condensation on the windows; but it disappears immediately if I turn off the recirculation mode. I run into another annoying situation that I did not mention in my submittal. When it is cool outside and comfortable in the cabin, I prefer to keep the A/C off and keep the cabin cool with outside air. I find the air to be uncomfortably dry when the A/C is on and it is not very hot. I may drive like this for a good while and be comfortable. However, inevitably, I begin to feel very warm and sticky. It is then that I notice that the recirc mode automatically went on. I presume that this happened in response to a small rise in cabin temperature. Instead of increasing the fan speed to bring in more cool outside air, the system now recirculates the very warm air. I could understand that this would improve cooling when the A/C is on, but it does the opposite when it is off.
Listening to classical music, I find myself turning up the volume on the soft passages and turning it down on the louder passages. I always thought that one more useful MANUAL control in the car stereo would be what I call the "loudness" control. It would diminish the loud pasages and amplify the low passages. Turned all the way up, the volume of all music would be the same. Turned all the way down, the volume would be unaltered from the recording. The Toyota has a version of this which does not work very well. It has a promising name, ASL, which I think stands for Automatic Sound Level. The problem is AUTOMATIC. It boosts the soft pasages and diminshes the loud pasages, but the degree depends on the speed of the car; the faster, the more severe the adjustment. The problem is that the adjustment is not enough at any speed.
Tool_makerAutoDesk has become so big you can't even find someone to talk about your problems or make a constructive suggestion. It seems many of our USA public owned companies, public utilities and such now believe they don't need or want customer input at all. In fact certain company web sites don't even have a contact phone and use only FAX or email.
While I was in San Antonio back a week or so ago the SA TV news was exposing CPS Energy spending PUBLIC MONEY on lavish dinners and $200.00+/bot. wine for executives and guests.
My point is we have a deteriorating system of responsibility and ethics here and arround the world which needs to be adjusted and restablished to fix these seemingly minor problems that are slowly eroding our confidence and life style. The CUSTOMER NEEDS TO BE HEARD! The PROBLEMS NEED TO BE FIXED! CORPORATE AND PRIVATE companies NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE for BAD PRODUCTS, BAD WORKMANSHIP, & BAD DESIGNS! In your case the BAD SOFTWARE you just paid for!
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I have the same situation where I have to turn up the sound when I'm going faster. Even though the windows are closed the wind sound still raise the ambient sound in the car considerably. Maybe it's because I have an older car. Maybe it's because it's a minvan and hits the wind like a wall.
Oh, d'oh! I rarely drive with the windows open while listening to the radio. Now I get why that feature might make sense. But the whole concept sounds like it would be pretty complicated in implementation.
I'll admit the concept is sound. Sorry fo the pun. When the car is going faster and the wind noise is more turn up the volume. And when the car is going slower and the wind noise is less turn the sound down. However, it's difficult to fine tune a system like this and in my opinion I was given a feature that really didn't help the consumer. And I hate that. Extra stuff that you pay for that looks good on a marketing board but costs extra and doesn't provide extra value.
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