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Old 04-27-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
brubins
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2007 AURA XR
Default Why can't I recirculate without A/C

My 2007 Aura will not allow the recirculation button to be activated without automatically turning on the A/C (which can't be turned off while in the recirculation mode). Doesn't matter which type of air flow is selected (floor, vent, etc) and does not matter what temperature it is outside (even at 20F).

I understand that the A/C prevents fogging in the car, but I sure would like to be able to use the recirculation on very cold mornings or when I'm behind a polluting vehicle without being forced to run the A/C. Is this how it's designed, or should it allow recirculation when the outside temp is below a certain level? Manual isn't completely clear on the subject. Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

It won't work without the A/C. I still can't figure out why everyone wants to breathe their own air. I've only used recirc to cool the car down faster with the A/C find no other reason to use it. The polluting vehicle thing doesn't make sense either. Air is pulled in through the vents at the bottom of the windshiled and wipers, not the front of the car.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

I miss that feature from my LW200. I hate having the A/C come on when I put the system on recirc. It was a big problem in Cincinnati with all of the smokers, but the diesel trucks here in Illinois are not much better.

Oh well, I guess it's better to freeze with A/C than breath cigarettes or diesel fumes.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Unless someone can come up with an easier modification, there are two simple methods to disable the a/c without voiding any warranty anyone may have; simply wiring another 15amp toggle switch in series with the power wire at the compressor or (more sophisticated and requiring wiring expertise with a wiring diagram) wiring a smaller rated switch in series with the a/c relay ground connection that powers the relay coil (not the power going to the compressor). By adding one of these two switches, it leaves the system intact (when switched ON) and invisible to normal HVAC operations. Flipping either switch disables the compressor from powering up while leaving the rest of the HVAC system to be used any way you please including recirculate mode (and quicker fogging up in cold wet weather!?). I too use recirc when accelerating behind a truck spewing more smoke or diesel exhaust than I want. After going around I switch back to ventilate mode.

The wiring interrupt to the power connector at the compressor disables the main 12v power and would require a large current handling switch for safety. The other interrupt circuit just disables the ground signal from the ECM/HVAC control circuit and only requires a very small toggle switch. This would be the preferred circuit but requires knowledge of the a/c relay wiring and having access underneath the fuse panel to cut and splice in the two small gauge wires to run back into the driver's side area for easy reach. The same for the compressor power wire but the two wires will have to be large gauge in order to carry the 5-15(?) amps of current the compressor clutch needs for safety.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:23 PM   #5
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2007 AURA XR
Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Learning from what I have read here on this forum, the A/C isn't cooling and the compressor isn't running just because the A/C led is on. The system seems to have a progressive mode that only runs the compressor as much as required to cool the car according to the temp setting.
So fell free to recirculate all you want. if the temp setting is above the ambient temperature, the compressor won't be steeling any power. it is free wheeling as if it was not on at all.

At least that is what we have been told by those that really understand this new technology.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Yes, I have to agree as mine is that type, the variable displacement compressor (VDC), and I overlooked mentioning it. There are those that still don't like the idea of having their compressor running so I suggested the work around to satisfy those wanting more control. Its really a take it or leave it alone approach once its understood that our compressors can still run but not output any cooling according to temperature settings.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaeton Driver View Post
Learning from what I have read here on this forum, the A/C isn't cooling and the compressor isn't running just because the A/C led is on. The system seems to have a progressive mode that only runs the compressor as much as required to cool the car according to the temp setting.
So fell free to recirculate all you want. if the temp setting is above the ambient temperature, the compressor won't be steeling any power. it is free wheeling as if it was not on at all.

At least that is what we have been told by those that really understand this new technology.
I'll have to agree with your rationale. Coming to the Aura from 3 Hondas, I was used to using the recirculate setting when cooling and heating and it was really strange not being able to do it in the Aura. Just really weird. However, this forum set me straight on it and now if I need to recirculate because of emissions from a vehicle in front of me, I just adjust the temp and it works just fine for me. It's only temporary anyway, for me at least.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:27 AM   #8
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2007 AURA XR
Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Thanks for the replies. Good to hear that mine isn't just malfunctioning. The more complex they make these climate control systems, the more I want to go back to a simple fan knob and old fashion hot/cold gauge. I'd rather be able to easily and directly adjust the temperature coming out of the vents rather than having the system try to match a digital temperature reading with its inherent delays and/or overly aggressive settings.

That's interesting about whether the compressor is actually operating when the set temp is above the ambient temp. I could have sworn that I could feel it come on (cooling and drying the air) when I tried to recirc on very cold mornings. But I'll have to pay closer attention next winter.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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2007 AURA XR
Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Quote:
Originally Posted by metgol View Post
It won't work without the A/C. I still can't figure out why everyone wants to breathe their own air. I've only used recirc to cool the car down faster with the A/C find no other reason to use it. The polluting vehicle thing doesn't make sense either. Air is pulled in through the vents at the bottom of the windshiled and wipers, not the front of the car.
thats the whole purpose of recirc. to cool the car down the quickest.

the smelly air finds its way into the vents. i agree with what the thread starter is saying. i wish the AC would start in recirc mode when using remote start. its manual tho.

and ummm. the windshield wipers are on the front of the car
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

I can run recirc without the AC on in my 08...
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

I've always heard that the manufacturer was concerned over carbon monoxide levels, and moisture fogging the interior windows causing a safety hazard...
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

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Originally Posted by Tallboy View Post
I can run recirc without the AC on in my 08...
on the 08's the AC light doesn't come one but that doesn't necessarily mean that the AC isnt on. like what was said before it all depends on the temp whether or not the ac will turn on.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Neither my 2008 Aura XE 2.4 or the 2009 Malibu LS 2.4L I have this week from my companies fleet light up the AC light when in recirc mode. And I have driven them at all temps, including up to 70 deg F this week and at times I actually turned on the AC due to the heat from the sun today. Now as to why anyone would want to use the recirc mode, there are several reasons and I used some today 1) quick cooldown on a hot day, 2) keeping the dust from getting sucked in when you are driving through the spring or fall planting or harvesting dust-storms that get kicked up or in construction zones and 3) when I am stuck in traffic behind some clod driving a smelly diesel car, truck or bus. Turn on recirc and either turn the AC on or leave it off. Note, both cars have manual HVAC controls. Perhaps the original poster has the automatic HVAC controls, which I have in my Bonneville (and usually over-ride to manual since the auto feature does whatever it wants to, not what I want it too). Finally, after having this 2009 Malibu for a week, I am looking forward to having my Aura back. The base Malibu LS seats are uncomfortable, and this particular Malibu is getting horrid gas mileage (not even 30 mpg after over 500 miles and 2 tanks of gas).
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaeton Driver View Post
Learning from what I have read here on this forum, the A/C isn't cooling and the compressor isn't running just because the A/C led is on. The system seems to have a progressive mode that only runs the compressor as much as required to cool the car according to the temp setting.
So fell free to recirculate all you want. if the temp setting is above the ambient temperature, the compressor won't be steeling any power. it is free wheeling as if it was not on at all.

At least that is what we have been told by those that really understand this new technology.
I don't know about this. I just tried it. Outside temperature is rather warm. Was behind a stinky car and put the recirc on. Immediately the car began to cool down. I also have this problem on snowy foggy mornings like yesterday (Yes....it's warm today and it snowed yesterday)... It was very cold and had to use recirc to prevent foggy windows. Glad I had a jacket.

My corolla and my wife's VUE does NOT do this and we've never had a problem!
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

Quote:
Originally Posted by VWCarcrazy View Post
Note, both cars have manual HVAC controls. Perhaps the original poster has the automatic HVAC controls, which I have in my Bonneville (and usually over-ride to manual since the auto feature does whatever it wants to, not what I want it too). ).
Forgot to add something.... I also have the manual HVAC. It doesn't matter, the recirc still turns on the A/C. Also, the compressor does actually kick on. Go figure!
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

This is one of the few, but biggest complaints I have about my Aura. Have an '08 XE 2.4L...and HATE, HATE, HATE the fact that IT determines for me whether or not I recirc. Aaaargh...

Mine allows recirc when not on a defrost dial setting, however I've noticed that if I'm in the "red" zone on the temp dial it will automatically switch back to outside air after a few (3-4 minutes). The biggest issue I have is that I'll be driving along only to notice a bit more humidity a few minutes later, then I realize it probably switched itself to outside air...sure enough I look down and it has. Or again I'll get a whiff of diesel fumes, and of course the system has switched itself over to outside air. I hate it. I do mostly expressway driving (lots of semis) and using recirc is the best way to keep the fumes to a minimum. But with this car you have to work at it apparently.

Some engineer overthinking the design IMO. I mean, I can tell when the car is fogging up and adjust accordingly if that's the reasoning behind it. Don't need the car doing it by itself, esp when it DOESN'T need to be done! I too, came out of Honda/Acura products as a previous poster did...could always hit the recirc button and guess what? It stays in recirc...when you're driving, when you turn the car off & restart, etc...it stays on when you want it on.

Not so much a problem in the summer, when I'm in the "blue" zone on the temp dial it doesn't seem to switch itself over. Looking forward to a few month of less frustration with this system. It is supposed to be a MANUAL system after all, isn't it?
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why can't I recirculate without A/C

My 2008 XE has the manual AC controls. I need to go to recirc mode briefly a couple of times during my rural commute to avoid sucking-in "farm dust". When it's 40 or 50 degrees F outside, running the AC is unnecessary.

Interestingly, when the mode is with the dash vents only, it won't go into recirc when the AC is off. However, I have found that if it is in the bi-level 1/2 dash vent - 1/2 floor mode, it will go allow recirc and the AC compressor doesn't seem to be forced-on either.
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