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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F36 (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 06-09-2013, 07:36 PM
jjrandorin jjrandorin is offline
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Question about how Air Conditioning works on BMWs

Hello All,

Hoping you guys can enlighten me on this. I have a F30 335i, and am trying to figure out the Climate controls. I have read the manual. I also read that I should "set the temp to 68, turn on the AC, turn on Auto, and forget about it"

I have tried this, but it still blows cold air when it is pretty cold outside. There is also the matter that, the vents have a temperature control of sorts. If I turn the vent to the blue side, colder air comes out, and if I turn the vent to the red side, warm(er) air comes out.

My wifes AH 5 is even a little more confusing, as it has 4 way climate control. Each of the the controls also has a "warm / cold" toggle on the vents.

If I turn OFF the Air Conditioning button, the air gets "stale" FAST. How does everyone have this set for comfort without micro managing the thing?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EDIT:

Thanks everyone for the responses! Thanks specifically to Mark K, Supermax, and BoltjaM3s, as with their information I feel I have a much better handle on how this works. I am editing this first post in case someone gets led here by google searching etc. The important things to consider seem to be:

(From Supermax):

By setting the fan speed with the Auto, you are setting the maximum speed the fan will use. It could go lower (without showing it on the monitor), but it won't go higher. For example if you set it to speed 3 (the middle one), it could use 1, 2, or 3, depending on how much cooling is needed, but it will never use 4 or 5.

(This is definately true, and I dont remember reading it anywhere in the manual. It may be there but if so I definitely missed it. With this information I changed my intensity setting to the 3rd dot, and have seen / heard the system ramp up and down, where before it did not).
----------------------------------------------
(From Mark K.) General usability advice:

Depends on what you perceive as "micromanaging". If I have to touch it once a day, I'm OK with that. So, if that's OK with you, too, then this is the procedure:

- set temp at whatever your brain feels comfortable with for given climate/season/day of the week. My choice is 70.

- set intensity ("fan") to whatever noise from it you can tolerate after the car settled to constant airflow. My choice is two.

- set air conditioning to ON or OFF. During winter months you can afford to go without AC for a month or more. As soon as temps go over 50, you will need AC, especially on sunny days. I drive with windows open from 40 - 90 degrees so you might need AC more often if you always drive with windows down.

"Micromanaging" for me means to turn the vent wheel towards blue, middle or red depending on day's weather. That wheel regulates the temperature of the air blowing directly to your face/hands, while 8 or more other vents you don't see are doing their thing to get the car to the temp you did set on display. I very rarely change temp, intensity or AC on/off - most of my immediate needs of temp adjustments are done by the "magic wheel" by the vents.

Hope that helps.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From BoltjaM3s:

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.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With this information, I decided to move my dial UP from 68 to 70, and left the AC in condition ON, and selected the AUTO button. I think I am now at a point where I can just adjust the wheel from blue to red to vary the temp a little. Thanks All!

Last edited by jjrandorin; 06-16-2013 at 10:31 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2013, 07:43 PM
skilletbgm skilletbgm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrandorin View Post
Hello All,

Hoping you guys can enlighten me on this. I have a F30 335i, and am trying to figure out the Climate controls. I have read the manual. I also read that I should "set the temp to 68, turn on the AC, turn on Auto, and forget about it"

I have tried this, but it still blows cold air when it is pretty cold outside. There is also the matter that, the vents have a temperature control of sorts. If I turn the vent to the blue side, colder air comes out, and if I turn the vent to the red side, warm(er) air comes out.

My wifes AH 5 is even a little more confusing, as it has 4 way climate control. Each of the the controls also has a "warm / cold" toggle on the vents.

If I turn OFF the Air Conditioning button, the air gets "stale" FAST. How does everyone have this set for comfort without micro managing the thing?
I set mine to 72 and forget about it. I tend to use the vent thermostat if I want it a bit cooler or warmer....I've done the same thing for all of my BMW's through the years.
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2013, 07:46 PM
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Yep, set to 72 then fine tune with red/blue thumbwheel.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:35 PM
elistan elistan is offline
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I typically leave the thumbwheel full blue, and vary the system temp between 68 and 74. Intensity is almost always at halfway.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:25 AM
kromix kromix is offline
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How does the intensity work on Auto?

I see you can adjust it up and down, but shouldn't it do that automatically?
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:24 AM
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I also had issues with getting a "comfortable" temperature. Setting it to 70 and auto doesn't work for me as the system seems to take a while to get going. The X5's system seems to do a lot better.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:44 AM
jjrandorin jjrandorin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromix View Post
How does the intensity work on Auto?

I see you can adjust it up and down, but shouldn't it do that automatically?
You would think so, but it does not seem to do that for me either. I have mine set to the lowest setting for intensity.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:16 AM
HokieXDriver HokieXDriver is offline
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Originally Posted by jjrandorin View Post
You would think so, but it does not seem to do that for me either. I have mine set to the lowest setting for intensity.
It does, kind of, but it's really trying to compensate for individual taste. You know how at work some people (cough, women, cough) are always complaining it's too cold while others are sweating in their offices? That's what intensity is about. How much airflow and cold air is blown around even after set temperature is reached. I like that feature. My E60 had it, but it was buried in the iDrive so it was a pain to use.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:20 AM
elistan elistan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromix View Post
How does the intensity work on Auto?

I see you can adjust it up and down, but shouldn't it do that automatically?
It controls how aggressive the HVAC is in trying to get to the desired temperature. It's not a set fan speed - it'll still vary the fan depending on cabin temperature.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:31 AM
bnesti bnesti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrandorin View Post
You would think so, but it does not seem to do that for me either. I have mine set to the lowest setting for intensity.
I have noticed the same thing...

That is, on my car (2013 328i), the fan speed appears to be a totally manual operation. Specifically, I haven't noticed any fan speed changes while it is in Auto climate control.

Not sure if there is a setting I am missing somewhere, or maybe this is just the way it is.

Bryan
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:39 AM
hollandog hollandog is offline
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i find 72 is too hot. i have it 68 most of the time and now in the summer i have to put lower it to 65 sometimes.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:55 AM
Supermax Supermax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnesti View Post
Not sure if there is a setting I am missing somewhere, or maybe this is just the way it is.
By setting the fan speed with the Auto, you are setting the maximum speed the fan will use. It could go lower (without showing it on the monitor), but it won't go higher.

For example if you set it to speed 3 (the middle one), it could use 1, 2, or 3, depending on how much cooling is needed, but it will never use 4 or 5.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrandorin View Post
How does everyone have this set for comfort without micro managing the thing?
Depends on what you perceive as "micromanaging". If I have to touch it once a day, I'm OK with that. So, if that's OK with you, too, then this is the procedure:

- set temp at whatever your brain feels comfortable with for given climate/season/day of the week. My choice is 70.

- set intensity ("fan") to whatever noise from it you can tolerate after the car settled to constant airflow. My choice is two.

- set air conditioning to ON or OFF. During winter months you can afford to go without AC for a month or more. As soon as temps go over 50, you will need AC, especially on sunny days. I drive with windows open from 40 - 90 degrees so you might need AC more often if you always drive with windows down.

"Micromanaging" for me means to turn the vent wheel towards blue, middle or red depending on day's weather. That wheel regulates the temperature of the air blowing directly to your face/hands, while 8 or more other vents you don't see are doing their thing to get the car to the temp you did set on display. I very rarely change temp, intensity or AC on/off - most of my immediate needs of temp adjustments are done by the "magic wheel" by the vents.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:28 PM
commie commie is offline
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Do you guys leave the climate on auto, even if you open the windows?
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:15 PM
jjrandorin jjrandorin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
Depends on what you perceive as "micromanaging". If I have to touch it once a day, I'm OK with that. So, if that's OK with you, too, then this is the procedure:

- set temp at whatever your brain feels comfortable with for given climate/season/day of the week. My choice is 70.

- set intensity ("fan") to whatever noise from it you can tolerate after the car settled to constant airflow. My choice is two.

- set air conditioning to ON or OFF. During winter months you can afford to go without AC for a month or more. As soon as temps go over 50, you will need AC, especially on sunny days. I drive with windows open from 40 - 90 degrees so you might need AC more often if you always drive with windows down.

"Micromanaging" for me means to turn the vent wheel towards blue, middle or red depending on day's weather. That wheel regulates the temperature of the air blowing directly to your face/hands, while 8 or more other vents you don't see are doing their thing to get the car to the temp you did set on display. I very rarely change temp, intensity or AC on/off - most of my immediate needs of temp adjustments are done by the "magic wheel" by the vents.

Hope that helps.
Yes, this helps quite a bit. I also did not realize that the fan intensity setting was the MAXIMUM that fan would go, but it would go lower. That also helps. All I really need to do now is figure out the temp I want the car to be, and turn the little dial as needed.

Thats not bad at all. I have been turning temp up, turning temp down, turning on max AC when its hot, turning it off, etc.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:24 PM
Bratters123 Bratters123 is offline
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Question about how Air Conditioning works on BMWs

I've misread the manual. Could have sworn this was the minimum fan setting.


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Old 06-11-2013, 01:28 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrandorin View Post
Yes, this helps quite a bit. I also did not realize that the fan intensity setting was the MAXIMUM that fan would go, but it would go lower. That also helps. All I really need to do now is figure out the temp I want the car to be, and turn the little dial as needed.

Thats not bad at all. I have been turning temp up, turning temp down, turning on max AC when its hot, turning it off, etc.
I'm glad it helped. I forgot one more "micromanaging" situation ... turning MAX AC on if the car sat under the sun for relatively long time. I roll down the windows, drive off and after 30 seconds or so roll them up again and use MAX AC until comfortable. Then back to Auto. However, since everything is already memorized, it is really not a problem to push two buttons in 3-5 minutes.

This is relatively rare for me because I almost always start from garage and return to garage without long intermediate stops.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:24 PM
bnesti bnesti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supermax View Post
By setting the fan speed with the Auto, you are setting the maximum speed the fan will use. It could go lower (without showing it on the monitor), but it won't go higher.

For example if you set it to speed 3 (the middle one), it could use 1, 2, or 3, depending on how much cooling is needed, but it will never use 4 or 5.
Thanks Supermax for explaining how this works.

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Old 06-14-2013, 03:03 PM
Supermax Supermax is offline
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Originally Posted by bnesti View Post
Thanks Supermax for explaining how this works.

Glad to help! But most of the credit goes to BJ (BoltJames). I learned that from his post about climate control
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:14 PM
Vman68 Vman68 is offline
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Question about how Air Conditioning works on BMWs

I am glad I tuned in to this thread. I have been fiddling with the climate controls since I bought my car.


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  #21  
Old 06-15-2013, 05:16 AM
gcreese gcreese is offline
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Originally Posted by Vman68 View Post
I am glad I tuned in to this thread. I have been fiddling with the climate controls since I bought my car.
I agree. I'd owned my car for 18 months before I realized what the red/blue thumbwheel did. I'd set the temp at 72 and the car would still feel cold. (The thumbwheel had been set to cold.) Now I keep it in the middle and it's much better.
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  #22  
Old 06-15-2013, 06:13 PM
HugH HugH is offline
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Originally Posted by commie View Post
Do you guys leave the climate on auto, even if you open the windows?
I don't know about others, but I never open the windows, unless I have to go through the bank drive through.

I am sure wind tunnel tests by the BMW engineers were done with closed windows
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  #23  
Old 06-15-2013, 07:17 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supermax View Post
Glad to help! But most of the credit goes to BJ (BoltJames). I learned that from his post about climate control
(Thanks for the shout-out. Here's the original 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
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:28 PM
jjrandorin jjrandorin is offline
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Question about how Air Conditioning works on BMWs

Thanks for the tip BJ. I will copy it to the lead post this evening.


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Old 06-16-2013, 02:27 AM
finaloption finaloption is offline
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Does anyone else's passenger turn on the heated seats during the summer because she says she's cold?
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