"Auto" (Heater), Destination Input and Bluetooth [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: "Auto" (Heater), Destination Input and Bluetooth

12-29-2010, 04:55 PM
:rolleyes: As you may have heard it's been raining a bit here in CA over the past week. It's been "cold" (I know that's a very relative term for you back East). :-) Anyhow, I've noticed a few things about about the "Auto" mode in my 535i and if I'm correct, I don't like it at all.

1. The first thing is that with all my other cars, the auto function worked much better. My car registered the outside temp at 52 degrees this afternoon and I wasn't able to get complete warm air coming out of the vents (with the car completely warmed up) until I hit the max 82 (or 84) degree mark on display. Anytime I went below the max, the air felt cool...and even at the setting (both sides as the setting was "Auto" and "All") of 78 degrees the air was cool. If the outside temp is 52 shouldn't the air coming out of the vents feel warm at a setting of 78? Yet, I know the heat is able to come through because when you set the dial at its max temp (either 82 or 84, I can't remember) the air is fully warm. Anyone experience this?

2. Regarding the Air flow on "Auto" - On all my other vehicles, if I had the auto setting on and say it's warm outside and I had a cool setting for the inside temp or vice versa, the air flow volume picked up until the approximate internal temperature was reached for the setting I chose, then tapered off. There are times were it is cold outside in the early morning and I will set the heat setting high and the air flow is still on the low fan setting, other times, it will act apprpriately and give high air flow volume and taper. It's inconsistent. When I went to the owners manual, it said that the air flow will at time not increase and can be managed manually with the fan speed. The manual said the reason for this was to gain fuel efficiency.

Any comments/experiences others may have in these two areas, please chime in. I struggle with both of these and the car environment is something you deal with continually and every time you drive your car. It just always feels like an ongoing battle and inconvenience to me at this point. I've had a lot of cars and all my "Auto" settings have been just that...automatic. They worked properly with air flow according the the disparity between the outside and inside temps and tapered once the internal temp was reached. Never had to think about it...either the air flow or the temp of the air coming out.

3. Verbal command button on steering wheel. When I first start the car and "accept" so the screen gets to the main menu, I'll hit Navigation and while on that screen hit the command button on the sterring wheel to verbally input the destination (love this feature because you can stream the house number, street, city and state all in once voice command and it will be searched and input for you). Anyway, when I hit that talk button (once I'm on the navigation/map screen (just after starting the car and passing the "accept" screen), I press the command button and get no verbal prompt...I can keep pressing it and nothing happens. There is quite a bit of delay before I can finally press it and get the system to speak to "say a command". Perhaps the voice command system is not yet fully operable as the system still may be booting for the voice commands?? The delay is significant! This only occurs just after first starting the vehicle, not if the vehicle has been running awhile. Most people I would think need to input their destination at the onset after starting their vehicle so if there is this delay, it's quite unreasonable...I'd appreciate if others would try it out and let me know if they experience the same delay for this specific command ("input destination" from the voice prompt just after starting the vehicle and clearing the "I accept" screen after the map has loaded and displayed.)

4. Bluetooth - I have the iPhone 4. Just not very reliable for the bluetooth connection with the car. Sometimes it works fine, other times you can operate it all the way to when the display says it's dialing and I hear nothing, depsite the phone and the display on the nav screen is counting down as if I'm connected to a call. After the car is restarted and the phone is reconnected automatically, it will then operate correctly....this situation is off an on...a little frustrating. I had this occassionally happen with my Lexus LS 460 but not to the frequency that I do with my BMW (same phone).

Desite my concerns above, I do love the car even though it may not sound like it. These are just some irritants that I would appreciate any input on regarding your tests for me to see if there are any parallels or if there may be something wrong with my vehicle. Thanks!!

12-29-2010, 05:29 PM
First, about the fan. They made a change a couple years ago and some people get confused. In full auto mode, that fan indicator is showing you not the "true" fan speed, but the "auto intensity" setting. There are 5 (or 6?) outlined boxes on the fan speed indicator bar. When you increase or decrease the fan speed, it is changing the range of automatic fan speeds that will be used to control the cabin temp. I generally leave my auto intensity on position 2. The fan will still vary its speed as needed, but would use a lower set of speeds than if set on 3, 4, etc. Try setting your intensity on 3 and see how you like it. Now if you want totally manual fan, you have to press the AUTO button to go out of auto mode. Then you'll see the little boxes on the fan speed indicator bar disappear and the bar will show the real fan speed.

As for the temperature of the air, most auto systems provide infinite degress of air temp. They only go max hot or max cold when the set temp varies so far from the cabin temp. Be sure your red/blue dial on the upper vents is in the centered position to deliver air as determined by the HVAC. That knob is used to override the temp as desired. The temp of the air from those vents will vary automatically in the center position.

12-29-2010, 05:39 PM
Sounds like he wasn't moving the red / blue dial...

12-29-2010, 06:40 PM
Sounds like he wasn't moving the red / blue dial...

Yep, the dial will get you if you do not know what it is...

12-29-2010, 08:14 PM
My bluetooth is rock solid. Also with Iphone 4.

12-29-2010, 09:31 PM
My bluetooth is rock solid. Also with Iphone 4.

Mine too. Much better in F10 than in E60. :thumbup:

12-30-2010, 01:31 AM
No probs with my iPhone 4 either!

12-30-2010, 02:57 AM
Re: 1 and 2 - same in my X5, my Japanese car does much better in this regard. Not a bash, just an observation.

Re: Bluetooth - flaky in both my vehicles. Well, flaky is a bit harsh, works the vast majority of the time but occasionally has pairing problems/issues. I've had multiple phones and I attribute this more to bluetooth in general than the vehicle or phone. As for the dialing, I find that my T-Mobile phone doesn't hand off between towers as well as my ATT phone (or the Sprint phone my wife has) and often frustrates me with the same type of pauses you explained. It's very predictable, I can tell what type of symptoms I'm going to experience based on exactly where I am in my commute.


12-30-2010, 04:41 AM
I have no issue with the BT with the iphone 4. Works great and so far 100%.

12-30-2010, 09:23 AM
Thanks Markl53, (and others) for the clarification. I haven't had a BMW since my 745i and my 5 series before that so it's been about 3 years. So, the clarification helped regarding the auto air situation. You are correct, I wasn't paying attention to the blue/red knob. Why? Because my previous Lexus (and other vehicles) didn't have this blue/red knob. The air mix was completely handled automatically in automatic mode. Regarding the blue/red knob I could use some further clarification/assistance. This morning the outside temp as at 42 degrees and I put the temp (auto, all) at 72 degrees. I moved the know completely to red dot and was able to feel warm air coming out (and as you mentioned Markl53, the flow was much better with my fan setting at 3). Here's the part I don't get (coming from cars that previously managed the air temp automatically when set on auto) I experiemented in this scenario (42 degees outside, 72 degree internal setting) and put the knob to completely over to the blue and felt cold air? I'm not understanding why if there is a 20 degree difference from the oustide temp and inside setting why any cold air would be coming out regardless of the knob being on the blue. Unless I'm misunderstanding, the convenience of the auto feature is minimized by having to manually regulate/manage the blue/red knob don't you think? It may sound trivial, but when you are used to that being taken care of and the environment is an ever changing factor, it just seems to be a bit of a nuissance to have to manually manage this knob (unless I'm misunderstanding). Thoughts?

Could someone please try their voice command button as described in my first post and let me know if there is a long delay before you can push the voice command button and have it work after the car has started and just after hitting "accept" once the navigation system has loaded? My car has this incredibly long delay after entering past the "accept" screen, displaying the map and then pressing the voice command button on the sterring wheel to get a prompt to "enter destination". I'd appreciate someone else giving that a try to see if there is a delay on their vehicle to get a voice prompt after pressing the command button so I can determine if my unit is malfunctioning or if the car is just slow to load the entire functionality. Much appreciated!

12-30-2010, 09:35 AM
On the air temperature, let me explain. All of the air outlets EXCEPT THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DASHBOARD produce the required temperature of air dictated by the automatic system. So, if it's cold outside, the air will be warm (heated); if it's warm outside, the air will be cold (cooled by the AC). The middle grille that has the blue/red adjustment is independent and serves a very useful purpose. It blows separately adjusted air toward the driver (and the passenger if you'd like). I always keep it on blue because this air keeps me alert on a long drive; however, if you want it to be in synch with the rest of the system, you could just put it in the middle position - between blue and red.
I had this on my old E39 (2001 vintage) M5, and I really like it. The cabin could be toasty and comfortable, while the fresh cool air keeps me awake.

12-30-2010, 04:46 PM
Thank you for the clarification. I'll put it right in the blue/red know smack in the middle :-)