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Hi,

I have only recently bought a black MCS which has automatic air conditioning...

Each time I press the auto button, the a/c light (2nd down on LHS) also comes on. My question is this:

If I set (say) 24C and it is cold outside, does the car cool down the air (using the air conditioning "part" of the heating) and then heat up this conditioned air to 24C?
Or does it operate like a normal heater without air con

I am just worried that the a/c is working overtime for no reason and using up extra petrol, which I prefer to be used to turn the wheels faster.



I am aware that you can just press the a/c button and the light goes out , but this would defeat the whole purpose of auto.. Also, if I do this, I cannot notice a difference in temp/fan speed...etc.

My thinking is that the light just comes on with the auto setting so that the air con unit can be deployed only if it is needed and the heater just works normally if it is not. This would be the "common sense" rationale.

Would anyone who has used "auto" in summer care to comment on it....? Is it any good (in comparison to normal a/c if you have the experience)

Thanks

Kodak
 

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I've noticed the AC only goes on sometimes when I hit the auto button. The Mini auto climate control leaves a lot to be desired. For instance heat only comes out of the bottom vents when on auto. And if you put it on manual, there isn't a bottom and top blower selection, its only one or the other.


Howard
 

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If it is turning the AC on, then it is using it to dry out the air, for example to defog your windows. I consider the Auto button more as an "auto fan" function and almost never use it. However, with that auto off, your system still automatically holds the temperature that you specify, which is the true function of the automatic climate control.
 

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Thanks for asking this question...Something I've always wondered about too, but no one replied to my question... Yes, my AC always comes on when I push 'auto'. And, I'm now used to simply hitting the AC button to shut it off when I don't need it.

@howardpm Your AC green light only sometimes turns on when you hit auto?? Perhaps mine is faulty then?

@jward If it is simply drying out the air, then a compressor will be needed to condense the air properly and wasted fuel will be used. The key 'auto' should be just that - for both fan speed and temp so you forget about it - What's the point of turning on the AC when it's not needed?
 

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Every "auto climate control" car I have seen does this same thing - dried air (de-humidified / conditioned / whatever) is the preferred interior climate.
The a/c compressor can be turned off if (a) it is faulty, (b) you give the car some seconds of foot to the floor acceleration (according to MINI complete - I have not tested this), or (c) the outside temp is so cold the compressor might be damaged (again I have not tested this - when it is that cold the last thing I want to test is whether the a/c is working!)

One of the many "features" of auto a/c (and one of the many reasons why I don't have it)
 

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I used to really NOT like the Auto Air, until I figured out how it really worked...

When you first turn it on, both the AUTO and the Air cond button light up...useful in the summer, and useful in the winter if the inside of your windows are fogged.

If neither of these apply, press the 'snowflake' button again, to just leave the AUTO running...turn dial to desired temp.

If your engine is cold, it won't appear to work at all for several minutes, this is to avoid blasting cold air on you.

While it's getting slightly warmer, most of the air gets directed toward your feet, as the engine continues to heat up, more air gets directed toward the windshield.

The fan may seem to blow like crazy at first, but within a few minutes, the interior will warm quickly (I usually use 72 or 74 degrees) and the fan will slow down automatically.

Before I knew how it worked, it thought it was a pain...now I think it's great.

Caveat: I don't use AUTO when the top is down and it's 40 degrees outside. Then I use the "middle" fan setting, direct the vents towards my hands and turn the heat up to high with high fan.
 

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So, when you ordered the auto climate for your MINI, what did you think it was supposed to do? I love my auto climate, but the car should be smart enough to either activate AC when needed or to activate it very temporarily.
 

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Kodak said:
I am aware that you can just press the a/c button and the light goes out , but this would defeat the whole purpose of auto.. Also, if I do this, I cannot notice a difference in temp/fan speed...etc.
Sorry I don't have any experience with the auto in the summer, but I don't see how having to push one extra button it defeats the purpose of auto. it's ONE extra button!! I mean, "technically" you shouldn't even have to push any buttons if it was "real" auto :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
howardpm said:
It would be Semi-Auto, hence not automatic. :)
Thats what I think too....

Don't get me wrong, I used to have an 1995 Rover 220 Coupe before, and the heating/cooling system did not work so well (and that is being generous!). I am not bothered by pressing an extra button or two. In fact, having only had Sphinx since Monday, I like playing about with it, and that includes ALL the buttons (I used Sat Nav to get me to the petrol station that is only up the road from my house the other day!!)

My point is that there must be a reason that the a/c works when the air does not need to be cooled (from the posts air-conditoned air is dehumidified air, so helps in demisting process). I just thought that it is a bit pointless if the windows not misted up AND the result means less power for accelaration AND more fuel comsumption....

OR (thinking while I type, here :rolleyes: ) does that last bit mean that there isn't less power; you get the same power if a/c is on or off but have to "pay" for it with extra petrol consumption?? Now that I wouldn't mind so much (if it is only a few %)...


Any more experienced MINI climate owners able to shed some light based on their OBC figures (which is not accurate apparently, but that is whole other topic...!) ??

Thanks
 

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I think the main idea behind automatic is "set it, and forget it" However, I figure the pushing the AC off button is part of the setting portion. I mean, has there been a time when you had to decide if you wanted heat on or AC? for the most part i need either heat or AC, so if I don't need the AC, turn it off.

I dunno,this conversation is getting a little wierd, it just seems so trivial

anyways, hopefully someone will come up with a good answer? I mean just becuase the light is on does it mean the AC is actually on? Maybe it just means it has the capability to turn it on. Someone needs to check by setting it to the highest temp possible then doing auto and figuring out if the compressor is on or something.
 

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Kodak said:
My point is that there must be a reason that the a/c works when the air does not need to be cooled (from the posts air-conditoned air is dehumidified air, so helps in demisting process). I just thought that it is a bit pointless if the windows not misted up AND the result means less power for accelaration AND more fuel comsumption....


Thanks
would it be pointless if the air you were breathing felt a little "fresher" and it prevented the windows from fogging up in the first place? I mean it's possible that the one second where your car gets fogged and you need to turn on the demister something terrible were to happen? your MINI loves you and only wants the best for you :)
 

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Auto AC is just great

I just had to comment on this topic because it seems that there's so much confusion on what's AC for and what's it's not and especially during winter time.

I've owned/driven/used cars with no AC, with manual AC and with auto AC (my MINI has auto AC). The general rule is that you can adjust the temperature in all of above mentioned options but it varies a bit between them.

First, no AC option. Just adjust the temp where ever you want and do the same with the fan speed. No hassle there.

Secondly, manual AC. You CAN (you don't have to) use the AC on all the time no matter what's the temperature outside. The AC will not cool the incoming air and won't operate in temperatures below +5 degrees celsius (condenced water would freeze inside the system otherwise). So, adjust the temperature and fan speed where ever you want and you can "forget" the AC on. The only downside is that fuel consumption is slightly bigger than with AC off.

Thirdly, auto AC. Just adjust the desired temperature and the auto-system will take care of the rest. You CAN (you don't have to) turn off the AC if desired (look above). The auto-system WILL adjust the temperature according to your selection. No hassle, no need to adjust anything, just drive.

Now, why to turn off the AC in the first place? Well, fuel consumption is one reason. Lack of acceleration is another (AC eats up some power you know...). Actually, I have AC on only during summer time and don't have it on at this time of year (fuel consumption is the reason for me). However, it is EXTREMELY important to have AC on (in both manual and auto) every now and then to keep parts inside the system lubricated. You can achieve this by turning the AC on by pressing the snowflake-button (you all knw this already, didn't you?! ;D) and having it on for 10-15 minutes. This needs to be done roughly once a month so it's not such a big deal.

So, to sum up everything:
1. Use auto AC all year around
2. If you are lazy just "forget" the AC on for winter time also
3. Don't forget to use AC on every now and then if you don't want to use it for winter

My experience is that MINI's auto AC works just great all year around (both AC on or off). It adjusts the temperature just fine and I've had absolutely no problems with it whatsoever.

I hope this helps you all to understand how it works and to choose the way you want to use your AC in your car.

Nuno.
 

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Even the "rain sensing" wipers have to be turned on before they start sensing, so they're not totally automatic either.

As for the AC part of it, once you turn it off until you turn it back on or chose the manual override.
 

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The wasy air conditioning works is buy removing the water from the air, this cools it down. It also makes it easier to adjust the temperature of the air. That is because water needs more energy to warm it up. So its actulaly quicker (and safer in the case of misted up windows) to air con the air and heat it that otherwise.

People slate the air con by trying to play with it to much, when if they just left it alone it would do its job in a more efficient way.
 

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now I rememer why I do not lke the auto AC

After reading this whole thread a couple days ago, I decided to give the auto AC another try...I had stopped using it months ago....now I remember why...the fan is always on and noisier than I ordinarily have it, even once the car has gotten up to the desired temp, the darn fan stays on and is noisy...stays on to 3 or 4 of the 8 notches on the fan motor dial...when I control it myself, I leave it on the softest/slowest speed and is fine...so my opinion is the auto AC is a nice idea,in theory, but not for me....imho
 

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umberto said:
After reading this whole thread a couple days ago, I decided to give the auto AC another try...I had stopped using it months ago....now I remember why...the fan is always on and noisier than I ordinarily have it, even once the car has gotten up to the desired temp, the darn fan stays on and is noisy...stays on to 3 or 4 of the 8 notches on the fan motor dial...when I control it myself, I leave it on the softest/slowest speed and is fine...so my opinion is the auto AC is a nice idea,in theory, but not for me....imho
You either have your stereo on a too low volume or your engine is not revving hard enough if you can listen the fan noise... ;D ;D ;)

Honestly, it's a matter of taste. If you like it then use it, if you don't like it then don't use it... Simple as that.

Cheers,
Nuno.
 

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No, by reducing the fan speed, you are forcing the fan to expell hotter air to maintain the same temp. Some don't like such hot air forced at/near their feet, so a faster fan temp is a good compromise. The whole 'auto' thing is automatic at various levels.
 
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