I have a 2003 MCS with Auto Climate control. If the in-cabin temp is about 10 degrees F different from what I set the control to, the cabin air is recirculated, uch like the MAX setting on other American cars. This allows no outside air in for the most effective use of the system...this time of year, cooling. So, if you are looking at the panel, the top 3 green lights on the left side are ON. The AC/heating one on top, the conditioning one which is second and, btw, I believe MINI is literal here. That second light indicates air is 'conditioned' ie filtered, dehumidified, etc., not necessarily cooled. And the third light showing recirculation or MAX.
I also own a 2005 MCS. Although the manual says it should do the same, it does not. My service guru went out to his lot yesterday and tried 2 other 2005 MCSs. Same thing. The air should recirculate. He and I set the thermostat to 64F and outside temps where in high 80s, inside cabin pushing 100F.
Sadly MINI has messed with this system for 2005 to a resulting negative, in my opinion. None of their changes were for the betterment or increased ease for driver.
Does anyone else have the same experience/thoughts? Or, better, does anyone have a 2005 MCS with Auto-Climate where the recirc. works automatically?
Other than this and the fact that I can no longer read the clock, I like my 2005 a lot.
So you two guys confirm what I've asked. It's not a big problem, just a convenience issue yet my 2005 owner's bible says that the recirc. should turn on automatically if a significant temp difference exists.
I think most of the auto a/c changes were improvements - the fact that it no longer blasts you with freezing air in the winter and instead waits till the engine is warm is something you will appreciate in a few months
If you read about recirc there are always warnings about leaving it on too long and "suffocating"; maybe it was decided to leave such decisions to the driver and avoid the possibility of involving US lawyers. You know how that goes.
Anyway, practically the best way to use recirc is NOT to turn it on immediately if you get in the car on a hot day - typically the car interior is hotter than outside air so you should first replace the cars air with outside air, bringing the temp down some, THEN switch to recirc to cool the not-quite-so-hot air.
From your description neither of your cars has it "right".
Ian C. Gloucester, MA, USA (UK expat) driving GPMINI or a non-MINI!
Seriously, you are correct, Ian. Both the 2003 and the 2005 systems have faults. I suppose that I ask the ? due to 50K miles in the 2003 and comfort with those controls. Similarly, I still look up to check the time and, once I remember that it's in the speedo, I find it hard to read. Coming soon, a cheap battery digital clock and velcro dots.
jcsinnh: Is it possible the change is only to the light indicator? If you select recirc manually, does the sound of the fan change to alert you that the recirc door has opened under the dash? I've had several cars with auto air, and some have shown the indicator, some have not, but they have all called for recirc when the outside temps were high.
Good question, Jim. I'll try it now...be right back.
One of the nice things about working from home......Quick fiddling shows no audible difference regardless of what I tried. Manual recirc. sounded like auto w/o recirc. but I will have to get more serious observations done later. I'll report back.
I just found this in the manual, so it appears it works as designed for the '05:
In the automatic program (AUTO) in hot
weather conditions, the recirculated air
mode is activated temporarily to enable
The indicator lamp for the recirculated air
button is not lit.
Someone actually read the manual, and got it confirmed.......
...and it is online too, so not like we need to go and find the thing in the cupboard, loft space, safe or wherever it is located.
Gotta say though, did not know that the recirc would be on without the light coming on. Don't really get why it should be so as it would make it easier to know WHEN it is on and WHEN it switches back to normal circulating mode.
Anyway, does not bother me yet as I have an '03 model ... Hopefully though, by next year I too will be looking up to (NOT) see the time.
(Why did they do that?????? Aaagh! One of the worst of the '05 "enhancements")
Also, thanks to GBMINI for the now-obvious:
"Anyway, practically the best way to use recirc is NOT to turn it on immediately if you get in the car on a hot day - typically the car interior is hotter than outside air so you should first replace the cars air with outside air, bringing the temp down some, THEN switch to recirc to cool the not-quite-so-hot air."
How's about this oddity. 2003 Cooper, auto A/C. Turn the whole darn thing off, so no lights / numbers are anywhere on that part of the dash. Leave the car sitting in a hot parking lot. Get back in a few hours later, start the car. Everything is still off except for the recirc light.
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