Automatic climate control?
August 28, 2007 7:25 AM Subscribe
First car with automatic climate control. How does it work?
About a month ago, I bought a 2008 Subaru Forester. It's the first car I've owned that includes automatic climate control, and the owner's manual isn't particularly clear on how it works. I've been running it in "semi-automatic" mode, giving me greater control over settings, and since it's been hot lately and most of my driving is done during the day, I've almost always kept the temperature at its lowest setting (65F). However, now that's it's starting to cool down outside (I live in Colorado), I've been setting the temperature a bit higher (~70F) and have noticed that, when I do, the air flowing from the vents is much warmer than I'd expect.
While driving to work this morning, however, things got more complicated. I set the temperature to 70F only to have the heat itself kick in. The outside temperature at the time was 62F, but I was driving into direct morning sun, so it was warm enough inside the car that I wanted at least some cooling - not heat. Out of curiosity, I set the temperature even higher (~85F), and the air coming from the vents continued to increase in temperature. So, it wasn't like I was getting full heat at 70F. I continued to drive for awhile with the temperature set at 70F, and while the temperature of the air seemed to fluctuate some (there was a hint of cooling every so often), it remained warm until I got to the office.
So, my question... is this how automatic climate control systems work? Since the outside temperature at the time was 62F and the car had been sitting outside all night, I can only assume the ambient temperature of the cabin was no higher than 70F. By setting the temperature of the climate control to 75F, would it compensate by blowing hot air in order to bring the temperature up as quickly as possible?
For what it's worth, the owner's manual seemed to indicate that keeping the temperature at its lowest setting (65F) would result in maximum cooling, no matter what, and since that's where I've been keeping it until now, that would explain why I'm just now noticing this quirk... assuming it is a quirk, that is, and not a problem that needs servicing.