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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2013, 05:09 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Whats the deal with the little temp dial on the dash?

Small temp dial on the dash...



I can feel what it does, it makes the air warmer or colder...

But how does it jive with the climate control? It seems to override the "auto" climate control setting...

How do you make it NOT override? Leave it centered? If you move the dial, "auto" stays on!... ummm... what?!

Even in manual mode, how do you jive the temp setting with the stupid little dial? You can set the temp to 85 and the dial to cold, simultaneously. Stupid, redundant, and confusing.

It's one more thing that makes the F30 climate control utterly bewildering.

While we're at it, am I correct in that "auto" doesn't control fan speed? I can adjust fan speed without the "auto" turning off... so what exactly IS "auto"? You set the temp, and the fan speed... so what does "auto" actually do?

Last edited by otonimus; 02-06-2013 at 05:26 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2013, 06:00 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otonimus View Post
Small temp dial on the dash...



I can feel what it does, it makes the air warmer or colder...

But how does it jive with the climate control? It seems to override the "auto" climate control setting...

How do you make it NOT override? Leave it centered? If you move the dial, "auto" stays on!... ummm... what?!

Even in manual mode, how do you jive the temp setting with the stupid little dial? You can set the temp to 85 and the dial to cold, simultaneously. Stupid, redundant, and confusing.
The color wheel allows cold AC air into the cabin. It's the "wife wants it too warm and dad needs some cold air on his face" wheel. It's a great feature once you understand how to use it.

In the summer time, leave it on blue and forget about it as it will keep the cold air flowing. In the winter time, You either keep it on 75% red for a warmer cabin or 75% blue to blow cold air on your face if you're too hot.

The color wheel makes a major difference when it comes to temperature. However, it's a down and dirty quick way to get cold air on your face when the cabin is too warm in winter. That's really all it does. It is actually a great feature because you don't have to mess with your climate control settings to just get a blast of cold air when you need it.

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 02-06-2013 at 06:09 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2013, 06:07 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otonimus View Post

While we're at it, am I correct in that "auto" doesn't control fan speed? I can adjust fan speed without the "auto" turning off... so what exactly IS "auto"? You set the temp, and the fan speed... so what does "auto" actually do?
The auto setting works like it does in any other car. You put in the temperature, the car will adjust the fan speed to maintain the temperature.

The fan speed is something you set once and forget about. Think of it as the car asking you what the maximum fan speed should be. In auto, the fan speed will vary but never exceed the fan speed you chose.

Here is how I handle it for Summer and Winter:

Summer:

Fan speed bar set to the middle.
Temperature set to 68 degrees.
Color wheel set to blue.

When I enter the hot car, I tap MAX to get the AC pumping (60 degrees, fans at top speed), then tap AUTO to go back to my settings (68 degrees, middle bar) when the car is at a comfortable temperature. I leave those settings alone and spend all summer simply toggling between the MAX and AUTO buttons.

Winter:

Fan speed bar set to middle.
Temperature set to 68 degrees.
Color wheel set to 75% red.

When I enter the cold car, I spin both wheels to 84 degrees (the equivalent of the MAX button in summer: 84 degrees, fans at top speed). Once the car has reached a comfortable temperature, I spin both wheels down to 68 degrees (defaults back down to my middle bar fan speed). I spend all winter simply spinning the thermostat wheels from 68 to 84 degrees.

Follow this. It's very simple. Only two actions required all summer or all winter.

Summer = set at 68 degrees, toggle MAX and AUTO.

Winter= leave on AUTO, spin thermostats from 84 to 68.

BJ
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2013, 04:36 PM
jlukja jlukja is offline
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BJ's post should be a sticky or in a FAQ.
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2013, 04:50 PM
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408Racer 408Racer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otonimus View Post
Small temp dial on the dash...




It's one more thing that makes the F30 climate control utterly bewildering.
Yes, the BJ post definitely nailed it.

Just wanted to add that this dial has been around since at least the E36 days....a BMW feature as old as forcing your passengers to pump-fake the door handle for egress.
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2013, 05:18 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 408Racer View Post
Just wanted to add that this dial has been around since at least the E36 days....
My routine for last 12+years has been blue in summer and red in winter, and totally ignore it in between.
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2013, 05:42 PM
sr5959 sr5959 is offline
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I really like this little wheel control for temperature on the vents. On longer drives if it's cold I like to have the heat on but cool air to my face. This is the most comfortable setting for me, although it's funny how even with AC switch off the cool air from the vents is different depending upon if you are in Comfort/Sport or Eco-Pro mode.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2013, 08:46 PM
jlukja jlukja is offline
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One last thing, and BJ correct me if I'm wrong, this temperature setting dial is only for the upper center dash vents. I believe I read that in previous posts but I'm not absolutely sure.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2013, 09:48 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlukja View Post
One last thing, and BJ correct me if I'm wrong, this temperature setting dial is only for the upper center dash vents. I believe I read that in previous posts but I'm not absolutely sure.
It only affects the two center vents.
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2013, 12:04 AM
mr29 mr29 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
The color wheel allows cold AC air into the cabin. It's the "wife wants it too warm and dad needs some cold air on his face" wheel. It's a great feature once you understand how to use it.

In the summer time, leave it on blue and forget about it as it will keep the cold air flowing. In the winter time, You either keep it on 75% red for a warmer cabin or 75% blue to blow cold air on your face if you're too hot.

The color wheel makes a major difference when it comes to temperature. However, it's a down and dirty quick way to get cold air on your face when the cabin is too warm in winter. That's really all it does. It is actually a great feature because you don't have to mess with your climate control settings to just get a blast of cold air when you need it.

BJ
sounds like a cool feature I'd actually use.nice

Sent from my XT557 using Bimmer App
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2013, 12:56 AM
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mr_clueless mr_clueless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otonimus View Post
While we're at it, am I correct in that "auto" doesn't control fan speed? I can adjust fan speed without the "auto" turning off... so what exactly IS "auto"? You set the temp, and the fan speed... so what does "auto" actually do?
You should probably read the manual. "Auto" controls 4 things -- the compressor, the fan speed, which vents the air will come out of, and recirculation mode. All 4 can be overridden individually. By setting the fan speed manually, the fan speed no longer varies depending on the difference between the current and the desired temperature. By hitting the A/C button, the compressor will always be on. By hitting one (or more) of the vent buttons, only that (those) vents will be on. By hitting one of the other recirculation options, you force it into that mode only. To reset all 4 back to auto, I think you just hit the "auto" button twice and it'll undo all the manual overrides.

(All this if my memory serves me right and if the scheme is the same as for the E46.)
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Last edited by mr_clueless; 02-07-2013 at 01:00 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2013, 06:36 AM
fullkoll fullkoll is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post

Winter= leave on AUTO, spin thermostats from 84 to 68.

BJ
There is no need to raise the thermostat in the winter - it does not reach the temperature you want any faster!
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2013, 07:14 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullkoll View Post
There is no need to raise the thermostat in the winter - it does not reach the temperature you want any faster!
Interesting. I always set the temperature as high as I can in the winter when first starting the car. I will try to set it to my desired setting and see what happens. I assume that the fan blows harder at higher temps to reach that point quickly but I guess it just does that for a longer period of time.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2013, 07:30 AM
fullkoll fullkoll is offline
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Actually, if you should change the thermostat to get the indoor temperature faster, you should LOWER it! That way the engine keeps the heat it generates to it self and doesn´t have to share it with you the first minutes :-)
Result: Engine gets warmer faster.

That is of course not a practical way to do it - you want ´some´warm air at once and if you live in a cold country (like I do in Sweden) you get that via an electric ´zusatzheizung´. ´KALTLAND-AUSFUEHRUNG´in BMW language.

The moderns engines are too efficient to give us an agreeable temperature by it self at once when it´s cold outside .......

Last edited by fullkoll; 02-07-2013 at 07:38 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2013, 07:41 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullkoll View Post
There is no need to raise the thermostat in the winter - it does not reach the temperature you want any faster!
It's not about temperature. It's about airflow.

If the thermostats are left on 68 and the fan speed is left at its default middle position, when the engine is ready to deliver the heat it will only come on at the middle airspeed. By spinning the thermostats to 84, when the engine is ready to deliver heat it comes on at the highest airspeed.

It's no different than using the MAX button in the summertime. It's the winter equivalent of MAX for heat.

BJ
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:12 AM
fullkoll fullkoll is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
(All this if my memory serves me right and if the scheme is the same as for the E46.)
No it´s not ;-)

It´s a completely new interface where you can change for example the fan speed without really leaving the auto mode, which you could not do on the E46 / E90.
BMW now talks about ´intensity´where you yourself adjust the airflow and the same for the air distribution.

Intensity of the AUTO program
With the AUTO program switched on, automatic control of the air volume and air distribution can be adjusted.
Press the left or right side of the button: decrease or increase the intensity.
The selected intensity is shown on the display of the automatic climate control.


From the F30 manual

Last edited by fullkoll; 02-07-2013 at 01:07 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:25 AM
fullkoll fullkoll is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post

It's no different than using the MAX button in the summertime. It's the winter equivalent of MAX for heat.

BJ
No, you can´t compare the two.
When you press the MAX button in the summer the AC-compressor starts and gives you almost instant cooling.

If you increase the thermostate value in the winter, you have to wait until the engine has full working temperature - which can take a very long time in cold weather. And ...... as I said before: you do not get your desired temperature any faster this way.

Sure you can increase the airflow once the right temperature is there if you like - and IMHO that´s easier than fiddling with the temperature.
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2013, 11:36 AM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
The auto setting works like it does in any other car. You put in the temperature, the car will adjust the fan speed to maintain the temperature.

The fan speed is something you set once and forget about. Think of it as the car asking you what the maximum fan speed should be. In auto, the fan speed will vary but never exceed the fan speed you chose.

Here is how I handle it for Summer and Winter:

Summer:

Fan speed bar set to the middle.
Temperature set to 68 degrees.
Color wheel set to blue.

When I enter the hot car, I tap MAX to get the AC pumping (60 degrees, fans at top speed), then tap AUTO to go back to my settings (68 degrees, middle bar) when the car is at a comfortable temperature. I leave those settings alone and spend all summer simply toggling between the MAX and AUTO buttons.

Winter:

Fan speed bar set to middle.
Temperature set to 68 degrees.
Color wheel set to 75% red.

When I enter the cold car, I spin both wheels to 84 degrees (the equivalent of the MAX button in summer: 84 degrees, fans at top speed). Once the car has reached a comfortable temperature, I spin both wheels down to 68 degrees (defaults back down to my middle bar fan speed). I spend all winter simply spinning the thermostat wheels from 68 to 84 degrees.

Follow this. It's very simple. Only two actions required all summer or all winter.

Summer = set at 68 degrees, toggle MAX and AUTO.

Winter= leave on AUTO, spin thermostats from 84 to 68.

BJ
This is how I handle:

1. When I put the key in the car after signing the lease, I set it to 68, press auto and turn the AC on.

I may tilt the wheel one way or another from time to time.

2. Return the car at the end of the lease.

Last edited by pony_trekker; 02-07-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2013, 11:42 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullkoll View Post
No, you can´t compare the two.
When you press the MAX button in the summer the AC-compressor starts and gives you almost instant cooling.

If you increase the thermostate value in the winter, you have to wait until the engine has full working temperature - which can take a very long time in cold weather. And ...... as I said before: you do not get your desired temperature any faster this way.

Sure you can increase the airflow once the right temperature is there if you like - and IMHO that´s easier than fiddling with the temperature.
The idea is to a) get as warm as possible as quickly as possible and b) touch as few knobs/buttons as possible. That is where the comparison to MAX is valid. It's more convenient for the driver.

The systems work differently, but MAX is a one-touch way to tell the car what you want in summer in the same way that spinning the thermostat's to 84 is a one-touch way to tell the car what you want in winter.

Leaving the thermostat's to 68 in the winter means that you would have to a) wait for the car to start pushing out warm air at medium fan speed, b) hear that the heat has engaged, then c) tap-tap-tap the fan speed to get it to its highest setting. Then, once the car heats up, you have to e) tap-tap-tap the fan speed back down to its middle setting.

In the end, it's simply easier to leave the fan speed in the middle, and just spin to 84 when you get in the car, spin down to 68 once you're comfortable and be done with it.

BJ
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2013, 12:38 PM
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just turn aircond off, open sunroof

save petrol and forget that feature
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  #21  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:05 PM
fullkoll fullkoll is offline
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pony_trekker View Post
This is how I handle:

1. When I put the key in the car after signing the lease, I set it to 68, press auto and turn the AC on.

I may tilt the wheel one way or another from time to time.

2. Return the car at the end of the lease.
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:15 PM
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408Racer 408Racer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pony_trekker View Post
This is how I handle:

1. When I put the key in the car after signing the lease, I set it to 68, press auto and turn the AC on.

I may tilt the wheel one way or another from time to time.

2. Return the car at the end of the lease.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fullkoll View Post
I set mine at 69...gives the babes something to think about when they get in my car.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:57 PM
pony_trekker pony_trekker is offline
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Originally Posted by fullkoll View Post
Seriously, I find the BMW climate control great. I am always futzing with the climate control on my wife's infiniti. It's either too hot, not blowing at all or like a freezer.
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2013, 02:07 PM
fullkoll fullkoll is offline
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Originally Posted by pony_trekker View Post
Seriously, I find the BMW climate control great. I am always futzing with the climate control on my wife's infiniti. It's either too hot, not blowing at all or like a freezer.
I totally agree!

Once you learn to manage the intensity control, it is easy to get the right climate (summer or winter) if you are alone or with passagers - damp, warm or cold.

Coming (as I do) from E46 and E90 (where there is no intense control) it takes a while to get used to, though.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:26 PM
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408Racer 408Racer is offline
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Originally Posted by fullkoll View Post
...if you are alone or with passagers - damp, warm or cold.
I don't like my passengers cold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fullkoll View Post
Coming (as I do) from E46 and E90 (where there is no intense control) it takes a while to get used to, though.
On the E90, isn't the dial there near the central locking button?
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