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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 05-11-2012, 10:54 PM
schnell525 schnell525 is offline
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BMW HVAC Quality....the best?

IMO, I think BMW has a superior HVAC system (in all of their cars I've had especially the F10). I'm comparing to Audi, BMW, MB, Porsche.

It filters out a lot of outside crap...pollen, diesel fumes, exhaust odor, cigarette smoke. One of the reasons I went with the F10 was for it's ability to have good cabin air quality.

I'm very sensative to the above stuff and mold. In other high-end cars I've gotten quite sick in (and these were new cars) however I've done well with BMW.

Wanted to see what you guys/and your experience with your families say.

I went by my allergist's office today and noticed he had a new F10 528. I saw him for treatment for mold exposure, and told him I leased a new F10 (last year) primarily for its HVAC.

I rarely get a hint of outside cabin stink, and the materials inside the F10 have low off-gassing IMO. I have had good luck with cabin air in all my BMWs. As well, I think BMW is using high-quality materials that cut down on bad-offgassing.

Any experiences? If you, or your kids, or wife have odor or other allergen sensativities, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Take care.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2012, 05:31 AM
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It's one of those things you don't necessarily focus on.

Haven't read it in the OM but I remember in my PDC delivery orientation the description of the car's ability to sense offensive exhaust and other odors and to switch to recirculate mode automatically until the smell passed.

Now if I could only get a similar functionality for passenger emissions .....
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:17 AM
Emilner Emilner is offline
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Does not seem to work for me. In NYC you always encounter diesel fumes and such and I always have to hit recirc before it becomes obtrusive....
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2012, 07:33 AM
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I do like the HVAC a lot. The one feature it does miss though is a quick clear mode where it quickly filters all the air in the cabin and goes back to regular auto mode. Useful if some contaminants/allergens get into cabin.

I wonder what kind of cabin AC filter BMW uses. Is it carbon infused? Is it a customer replaceable unit?
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2012, 07:42 AM
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^ I think the air filters have charcoal in them.

At least on the E70, they are user replaceable. No idea about the F10 though.



And back on topic, OP, I think MB gets that award. I was sitting in a S Class behind a diesel dump truck and the HVAC in that car is quite clever. It "smells" the air and closes vents as needed. BMW has a similar system, but not as sophisticated. The Camry's HVAC has a Plasma Cluster system that works very well too
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I wonder what kind of cabin AC filter BMW uses. Is it carbon infused? Is it a customer replaceable unit?
Yes and yes.

Pros - Allows you to turn off passenger side fan and just have driver side in use.
-Very quiet.
-Allows for fan to be turned on while car is parked and driver away.

Cons:
-Starts up on it own.
- Having that scroll wheel on the dash for hot or cold, makes no sense to me. What is the temp selector for than?
- Often blows hot air if you don't have A/C assigned.
- Rear seat controls should be standard
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:00 AM
gicamuci gicamuci is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
BMW has a similar system, but not as sophisticated.
There is an Auto mode for recirc. which puts the system to work as you say it is working in MB.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2012, 01:38 AM
stevelup stevelup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
-Starts up on it own
Why would you ever not want it on?
Quote:
- Having that scroll wheel on the dash for hot or cold, makes no sense to me. What is the temp selector for than?
That feature is incredibly useful. If you leave it in the middle, the centre vents blow air at the same temperature and flow rate as the cabin (determined by the climate control system). Moving this control skews the temperature up and down for just those vents. Don't want to use the feature? Leave the control in the middle. Want cool air on your face when the climate is demanding the car be heated? Turn it towards cool...

Another neat feature is that the middle vents have their own fan. If the fan speed is running low on the main AC system and you turn the centre vents to max cold or max hot, the air will come out of them faster than it does from the rest of the system.
Quote:
- Often blows hot air if you don't have A/C assigned.
Why would you ever turn the AC off?
Quote:
- Rear seat controls should be standard
Where do you draw the line though? There are loads of features which are optional on the car - you can't have everything for nothing?

All in all, it's a very flexible and well thought out system
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2012, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelup View Post
Why would you ever not want it on?
For windows open driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelup View Post
Why would you ever turn the AC off?
For temps below ~77F (25C).
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2012, 03:17 AM
stevelup stevelup is offline
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Quote:
For temps below ~77F (25C).
This is a common misunderstanding. You should leave the AC on at all times. It conditions and dehumidifies the air no matter what the temperature. It's not a 'go cold' button, it's 'air conditioning'. It doesn't help that the button has a picture of a snowflake on it...

AC is especially useful in winter as it keeps the car dry and the glass clear.

There is no reason to ever turn it off with the possible exception of when you've got the windows open but even then, what's really the point? You've only got to remember to turn it back on again.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by stevelup View Post
This is a common misunderstanding. You should leave the AC on at all times. It conditions and dehumidifies the air no matter what the temperature. It's not a 'go cold' button, it's 'air conditioning'. It doesn't help that the button has a picture of a snowflake on it...

AC is especially useful in winter as it keeps the car dry and the glass clear.

There is no reason to ever turn it off with the possible exception of when you've got the windows open but even then, what's really the point? You've only got to remember to turn it back on again.
I really don't see a need to dehumidify the car when it is colder outside. The Winter air tends to be dry enough for me. During the warmer months, I prefer the smell of the morning air, so it's usually windows open for me during the drive to work. The snowflake is usually only illuminated by me on the ride home from work during the warmer months.
So for me, the snowflake is the "go cold" button, but it is out of choice, not misunderstanding.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2012, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelup View Post
That feature is incredibly useful. If you leave it in the middle, the centre vents blow air at the same temperature and flow rate as the cabin (determined by the climate control system). Moving this control skews the temperature up and down for just those vents. Don't want to use the feature? Leave the control in the middle. Want cool air on your face when the climate is demanding the car be heated? Turn it towards cool...
+1. Thank you. This indicates that there is at least one other person than me who understands the operation of the blue/red dial. I've argued this in many other threads. Just leave it in the middle and the air will "follow" the commands of the HVAC just like all the other vents.

Quote:
All in all, it's a very flexible and well thought out system
Yes, for those who actually have experience with many other automotive climate control systems, the one in our F10's is one of the most sophisticated and responsive. I rarely if ever touch any of the controls.
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2012, 06:27 AM
hanschien hanschien is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I really don't see a need to dehumidify the car when it is colder outside. The Winter air tends to be dry enough for me. During the warmer months, I prefer the smell of the morning air, so it's usually windows open for me during the drive to work. The snowflake is usually only illuminated by me on the ride home from work during the warmer months.
So for me, the snowflake is the "go cold" button, but it is out of choice, not misunderstanding.
Even though colder air may be dryer, your breath that you and passengers exhale is full of humidity that causes the interior windows to form condensation because of the outside temperature.
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2012, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by hanschien View Post
Even though colder air may be dryer, your breath that you and passengers exhale is full of humidity that causes the interior windows to form condensation because of the outside temperature.
I've operated my cars this way for decades without problems. The trick is to keep the inside of your windows clean.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2012, 07:30 PM
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alewifebp alewifebp is offline
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
+1. Thank you. This indicates that there is at least one other person than me who understands the operation of the blue/red dial. I've argued this in many other threads. Just leave it in the middle and the air will "follow" the commands of the HVAC just like all the other vents.



Yes, for those who actually have experience with many other automotive climate control systems, the one in our F10's is one of the most sophisticated and responsive. I rarely if ever touch any of the controls.
Count me in the group too. I find the system, while not truly "automatic", to be far more useful. In other cars, people typically fight the automatic climate control system, putting it in manual mode, turning off the A/C, or dramatically modifying the temperature. You don't need to do that with BMW. I keep the same temperature year round, using the dial to modulate the flow. I also love the intensity settings. It makes the system infinitely flexible. I can see why it would cause some confusion. I just wish I got four zone.

It's pretty smart about dealing with the windows being open too. When you open the windows, rather than the system saying, hey, it's getting hot in here, I better increase the cold air flow, it reduces it, realizing you want the windows open for a reason.

Compared to the competition, there is no comparison that I'm aware of. MB forces you in to two degree increments for most of their cars these days.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:04 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alewifebp View Post
Count me in the group too. I find the system, while not truly "automatic", to be far more useful. In other cars, people typically fight the automatic climate control system, putting it in manual mode, turning off the A/C, or dramatically modifying the temperature. You don't need to do that with BMW. I keep the same temperature year round, using the dial to modulate the flow. I also love the intensity settings. It makes the system infinitely flexible. I can see why it would cause some confusion. I just wish I got four zone.

It's pretty smart about dealing with the windows being open too. When you open the windows, rather than the system saying, hey, it's getting hot in here, I better increase the cold air flow, it reduces it, realizing you want the windows open for a reason.

Compared to the competition, there is no comparison that I'm aware of. MB forces you in to two degree increments for most of their cars these days.
Count me in as well. I have fought auto climate controls for years in a number of cars. This one "just works" and the red / blue dial is genius.
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  #17  
Old 05-14-2012, 08:56 AM
bimmerific bimmerific is offline
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alewifebp wrote: "It's pretty smart about dealing with the windows being open too. When you open the windows, rather than the system saying, hey, it's getting hot in here, I better increase the cold air flow, it reduces it, realizing you want the windows open for a reason."


I concur--the BMW HVAC system is best in class, if not the industry, imo--certainly the best I have experienced.

I have a couple of questions about the HVAC. I tried looking in my 2011 F10 manual, but didn't come across information about decreased cold air flow with the windows/sunroof open. Maybe I missed it? I checked under "Climate Control" and "Sunroof Operation." or, perhaps, this feature wasn't offered in 2011 F10's? Or maybe this feature is part of a special order option?

Can you, or anyone, point me to a resource(s) with more information about this feature or option?

The reason why I ask is because I was running errands with Mrs. Bimmerific, over the weekend, here, in Northern NJ. The weather was great, and I had the sunroof open, at times, with my driver-side window down. My wife left her passenger window up, and we both noticed that the cold air flow on my side of the car was not as cold as it was on her side, even though we both set our climate controls to the same temperature. (We leave the red/blue center dial in the middle-range, between the two extremes, which we prefer). I thought, perhaps, I might need an a/c charge, and was planning to call my dealer this week to set-up a service appointment to have the matter checked, but if the reduced cold air flow is part of the HVAC system's normal operation when the windows/sunroof are in the down/open positions, there would be no point in taking-in the car. We haven't experenced this before. A related question is how long does it take the cold air flow to return to its "regular" cold temperature after the windows/sunroof are closed? Thanks in advance for whatever advice/assistance you guys (and gals) can provide us.

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  #18  
Old 05-14-2012, 09:08 PM
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Check the intensity settings, which are settable for both the driver and passenger separately. Use the fan control buttons to change it.

I don't see the feature relating to the reduced airflow when windows are open, it is just something I noticed. Maybe I'm crazy and it really isn't happening. But it feels different than it worked in other cars.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alewifebp View Post
Check the intensity settings, which are settable for both the driver and passenger separately. Use the fan control buttons to change it.

I don't see the feature relating to the reduced airflow when windows are open, it is just something I noticed. Maybe I'm crazy and it really isn't happening. But it feels different than it worked in other cars.
I know for a fact my Volvo monitored windows open or shut as part of the climate module parameters. I would be very surprised if a 10 year newer platform didn't do the same.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:57 AM
Sharbotcom Sharbotcom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I really don't see a need to dehumidify the car when it is colder outside. The Winter air tends to be dry enough for me. During the warmer months, I prefer the smell of the morning air, so it's usually windows open for me during the drive to work. The snowflake is usually only illuminated by me on the ride home from work during the warmer months.
So for me, the snowflake is the "go cold" button, but it is out of choice, not misunderstanding.
Oh, oh. The new MY2013 has replaced the snowflake with A/C. dunderhi is going to be confused

Just pullin' your chain dunderhi...
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  #21  
Old 05-16-2012, 05:06 AM
Nobrandfanboy Nobrandfanboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanschien View Post
Even though colder air may be dryer, your breath that you and passengers exhale is full of humidity that causes the interior windows to form condensation because of the outside temperature.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelup View Post
This is a common misunderstanding. You should leave the AC on at all times. It conditions and dehumidifies the air no matter what the temperature. It's not a 'go cold' button, it's 'air conditioning'. It doesn't help that the button has a picture of a snowflake on it...

AC is especially useful in winter as it keeps the car dry and the glass clear.

There is no reason to ever turn it off with the possible exception of when you've got the windows open but even then, what's really the point? You've only got to remember to turn it back on again.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I've operated my cars this way for decades without problems. The trick is to keep the inside of your windows clean.
It has nothing to do with clean windows. A better explanation is that your breath is dry unlike everyone else.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:11 AM
TexasJames TexasJames is offline
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Pitiful is my description of the A/C in my F10 550i. As long as I live in Texas I doubt I will ever buy another BMW strictly due to the anemic air conditioning.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:39 AM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Pitiful is my description of the A/C in my F10 550i. As long as I live in Texas I doubt I will ever buy another BMW strictly due to the anemic air conditioning.
Odd I am in South Florida and my car has no problem maintaining a comfortable 68 degrees. I only have a very light tint 78% VLT.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:05 AM
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Pitiful is my description of the A/C in my F10 550i. As long as I live in Texas I doubt I will ever buy another BMW strictly due to the anemic air conditioning.
Have you competed training in the use of the red / blue scroll wheel on the dash vents?

My AC spits ice cubes at me
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  #25  
Old 05-16-2012, 11:19 AM
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It sounds like I need to find another dealer. All I get is lame excuses about needing to put it on MAX cool. Even there it doesn't bring the temp down to what I know it should. My Chevy PU will spit ice cubes. The BMW sucks as far as cooling goes.
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