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Old 09-25-2009, 08:02 AM   #1
Bulwark
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Default Sky A/C weirdness

ok, I have a 2007 Sky Redline. On the A/C there are 2 buttons, the A/C button (compressor, etc) and the vent (interior recycle).
When I have it set to recycle air from the inside, the compressor will stay on, no matter if I turn the A/C button on or off. Basically, it always blows cold. The dealership said this was normal.
Is that right?

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
ToledoEngineer
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

That doesn't sound right to me. The compressor's only function is to be part of the refrigeration cycle. If u didnt have a/c, you wouldn't need a compressor. Plain and simple.

The recycle button's function is to determine where the air intake (for the heat and a/c) is to come from. Basically, does it heat/cool the air inside or outside of the car. The ONLY thing the recycle button should actually do is to activate a servo motor to either open or closed.

Now let me clarify part of your question, just to make sure. When you say "the dealership said this was normal", do you mean that the compressor would stay on, or that the air would always blow cold? Because technically you can have the a/c on (and thus the compressor) with the temp all the way up. If you meant that the compressor would always be on with the recycle, that is a big fat no. If you meant that the air would always blow cold with the recycle, then that depends.

If the air in the car is cold, and then the recycle is turned on, then the air will stay cold. At least in the immediate short term. Over time (5min to 1hr) the air would slowly warm due to the sun creating a greenhouse effect in the car.

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:28 AM   #3
Bulwark
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

ok, a few more clarifications. The temperature was turned all the way to cold. If I turn it to hot, it still gets hot.

However, if I press the button for A/C, the light goes off, but the temp is still cold, even on 100 degree days with the top down.

Now, I did read in the manual that when you turn over to defrost, there are some things that override your settings (AC goes on and vent is external, I think). But this was just normal AC settings.

I'd just like to be able to drive around on a balmy afternoon with the air blowing, but no cooling, is that too much to ask

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Old 09-25-2009, 12:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

If I'm not mistaken, your dealer is correct. If GM/Saturn hasn't changed the "recycle" function, more appropriately termed "recirculation", the a/c system is turned on. Selecting the recirc function means closing off outside air flow from entering the interior to recirculate interior air; there's a very good possibility of recycling interior air creating fog on all the windows so having a/c running dehumidifies recirculating air. This does not affect temperature control and if you want air conditioned air but want some heat, you can still select/dial as much heat as you want - all the recirculated air will be dehumidified.

Perhaps you mean you want ventilation and not recirculation.

My L300 gave me frustration for the exact same set-up until I learned that recirc and defrost turns on a/c use. I cannot over ride the two functions unless I manually pull the compressor wire off for the fall/winter season. My controls have the "Econ(omy" (a/c OFF) button so I can have normal air ventilation w/o having the a/c on.

Last edited by fdryer; 09-25-2009 at 12:15 PM..

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Old 09-25-2009, 05:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

Thanks fdryer, that makes perfect sense.

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Old 09-25-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulwark View Post
ok, I have a 2007 Sky Redline. On the A/C there are 2 buttons, the A/C button (compressor, etc) and the vent (interior recycle).
When I have it set to recycle air from the inside, the compressor will stay on, no matter if I turn the A/C button on or off. Basically, it always blows cold. The dealership said this was normal.
Is that right?
I've got that same issue with my 08 Red Line. I'll press the knob to turn the A/C off but when I have the recycle knob pressed to recirculate, it still blows ice cold. I'm taking mine in for inspection next month and have it checked - it's never bothered me, but none of my other vehicles have ever done that so I don't think that's what should be happening.

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
reedred
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

Recirc engages the compressor on many cars, this happens to be one of them. Defrost does too unless the external temp is near or below freezing.

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Old 09-26-2009, 10:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulwark View Post
ok, I have a 2007 Sky Redline. On the A/C there are 2 buttons, the A/C button (compressor, etc) and the vent (interior recycle).
When I have it set to recycle air from the inside, the compressor will stay on, no matter if I turn the A/C button on or off. Basically, it always blows cold. The dealership said this was normal.
Is that right?
Thats the way it works, turn the temp control and it'll blow warmer all the way to hot.

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Old 09-26-2009, 10:09 PM   #9
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2007 ION Red Line
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpartrid View Post
I've got that same issue with my 08 Red Line. I'll press the knob to turn the A/C off but when I have the recycle knob pressed to recirculate, it still blows ice cold. I'm taking mine in for inspection next month and have it checked - it's never bothered me, but none of my other vehicles have ever done that so I don't think that's what should be happening.
It works the same on the 2008 SKY

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Old 09-27-2009, 07:40 PM   #10
Tom of Detroit
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

It's the default behavior.

I drove a Cavalier (old enough to have a 3 speed auto trans) that ran the air conditioner when the recirc button was pushed. My foreman at work just got assigned a vehicle. He ran the air all summer by using the recirc button- he didn't know there was any other way to run it! The vehicle? A Silverado pickup.

It's not just Sky or Saturn. It's GM's default behavior. To call it "normal" is a stretch.

-Tom of Detroit

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Old 09-27-2009, 07:48 PM   #11
RoadIon
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom of Detroit View Post
It's the default behavior.

I drove a Cavalier (old enough to have a 3 speed auto trans) that ran the air conditioner when the recirc button was pushed. My foreman at work just got assigned a vehicle. He ran the air all summer by using the recirc button- he didn't know there was any other way to run it! The vehicle? A Silverado pickup.

It's not just Sky or Saturn. It's GM's default behavior. To call it "normal" is a stretch.

-Tom of Detroit

Normal for the SKY and other GM rigs is not a stretch, it's the way it is.

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Old 09-28-2009, 03:56 PM   #12
ToledoEngineer
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If I'm not mistaken, your dealer is correct. If GM/Saturn hasn't changed the "recycle" function, more appropriately termed "recirculation", the a/c system is turned on. Selecting the recirc function means closing off outside air flow from entering the interior to recirculate interior air; there's a very good possibility of recycling interior air creating fog on all the windows so having a/c running dehumidifies recirculating air. This does not affect temperature control and if you want air conditioned air but want some heat, you can still select/dial as much heat as you want - all the recirculated air will be dehumidified.

Perhaps you mean you want ventilation and not recirculation.

My L300 gave me frustration for the exact same set-up until I learned that recirc and defrost turns on a/c use. I cannot over ride the two functions unless I manually pull the compressor wire off for the fall/winter season. My controls have the "Econ(omy" (a/c OFF) button so I can have normal air ventilation w/o having the a/c on.
Doesn't work that way on my 2008 Sky RL. Nor any other vehicle I have driven for any extended period ('87 Astro, '88 Astro, '02 PT Cruiser, '92 SL1, '08 Sky RL). I can have the recirc button on and the windows will either begin to frost (when the a/c is on long and high enough) or fog (if the heat is on). So I know the that the air is not conditioned when just recirc is on. Plus you can usually feel a slightly different vibration throughout the vehicle when the compressor kicks on.

I have a picture of this happening on my SL. I sat in my SL one night with the heat on high and recirc on for about ten minutes so I could get a picture (and then post here) of the passenger window, which gets some funky V-pattern that does not fog-up. If what you say is true for the S-Series too, then the air would have been dehumidified due to the a/c system being on. Thus, not causing fog.

I'm not saying you're incorrect though. It is GM afterall, so who knows what they've decided to do. I'm just saying that this defies my personal experience.

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Old 09-28-2009, 05:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sky A/C weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToledoEngineer View Post
Doesn't work that way on my 2008 Sky RL. Nor any other vehicle I have driven for any extended period ('87 Astro, '88 Astro, '02 PT Cruiser, '92 SL1, '08 Sky RL). I can have the recirc button on and the windows will either begin to frost (when the a/c is on long and high enough) or fog (if the heat is on). So I know the that the air is not conditioned when just recirc is on. Plus you can usually feel a slightly different vibration throughout the vehicle when the compressor kicks on.

I have a picture of this happening on my SL. I sat in my SL one night with the heat on high and recirc on for about ten minutes so I could get a picture (and then post here) of the passenger window, which gets some funky V-pattern that does not fog-up. If what you say is true for the S-Series too, then the air would have been dehumidified due to the a/c system being on. Thus, not causing fog.

I'm not saying you're incorrect though. It is GM afterall, so who knows what they've decided to do. I'm just saying that this defies my personal experience.
Recirculation is different from defrost mode.

Selecting 'defrost' mode immediately turns on the a/c and directs all the air flow to the base of the windshield to help defog windows. All fresh air is used in this instance. Setting the fan on high may blow cold air onto the windshield and in humid conditions may form condensation and/or fog. Lowering fan speed alleviates this condition and doesn't occur often.

There's a very simple test to know whether the a/c is on or off when 'recirc'[ulation] is selected (only if the a/c works); if the compressor suddenly engages (the fan on medium speed, temperature dialed/selected to cold) and in a few seconds the interior feels colder or a thermometer placed in vents displays a lower temperature, the a/c is running. Recirculation does not direct all the air flow to the base of the windshield but circulates air flow either through the floor vents or in combination of the floor and face vents without letting in any more fresh air from the outside. Recirculation mode sends very little air flow to the windshield and that may be the reason for a certain amount of fogging taking place but there's certainly air conditioned air going on. If the ambient outside air is humid the windows may fog up immediately until the moisture is dehumidified and the recirculated air has been cycled through the HVAC system a few times. A broken a/c system and recirc mode selected will quickly fog up all the windows; the more people in the car the more exhaled breathing creates moisture to quickly fog any window. Recirculating air may not be the best selection with people in the car unless the a/c is working well to cool off everyone and dehumidify the interior; the results are apparent when stopped as you can see a trail of condensation pooling up under the car from all the humidity removed. Recirc or normal a/c mode.

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