Center air vents and heat [Archive] - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums

: Center air vents and heat


methodtim
08-24-2005, 03:38 AM
I just noticed this while driving home from work tonight (yes, it's 1:30 am, no, I don't work swing or graveyard, yes I'm tired, yes I'm an addict... moving on :)). When I turned the climate control to AUTO and set the temperature to heat (i.e. significantly higher than the ambient temperature), the center air vents (both driver and passenger - I almost crashed into the center divider checking the passenger side) turn off. I thought my vent was broken until I did the following:

1) Turned the AUTO temp down so that the AC kicked in - center vents worked
2) Adjusted the MODE setting so that the upper vents were activated and turned up the temperature to heat - center vents worked
3) Turned the AUTO temp up to setting Hi and left it on AUTO - center vents deactivated

This all leads me to believe that Honda designed things this way. Now I'm left to wonder why. What happens in the middle of winter (yes, it's a California winter, but it still gets a bit chilly) and I want both my hands warm without fiddling with the MODE settings?

I invite you all to try these steps to see if you can reproduce my experience. Any insight would be appreciated.

shingles
08-24-2005, 08:26 AM
I thought, and I could just be dreaming here, that I read that the fan won't come on until the temp is where you want it to be. This is especially the case when you first start the vehical.

vertrkr
08-24-2005, 09:06 AM
In AUTO heat always comes out the bottom vents, under the front seats for the back, and cold air from the top vents. This is for better circulation as heat rises and cold sinks.

flymuck
08-24-2005, 11:36 AM
Yep, that's exactly correct. If you want heat to come from the center vents, you have to fiddle with the mode. Heat rises. :)

Plus, people like me *hate* to have warm air blowing on my face -- drives me nuts. I can't sleep breathing warm air either. I think maybe I was suffocated by evil older siblings when I was young. :( So I think Honda did this just for me. OK, maybe not.

captmiddy
08-24-2005, 02:18 PM
Yep, that's exactly correct. If you want heat to come from the center vents, you have to fiddle with the mode. Heat rises. :)

Plus, people like me *hate* to have warm air blowing on my face -- drives me nuts. I can't sleep breathing warm air either. I think maybe I was suffocated by evil older siblings when I was young. :( So I think Honda did this just for me. OK, maybe not.
EEK! at least you made it long enough to buy a Ridgeline. Just remember they will age faster than you too since they were older to begin with ;).

As to the vent thing, this is true of just about every car, also I don't believe it is possible to have the upper vents (all 4) and the defrost on at the same time, just the way these cars are designed. This personally drives me batty but I get over it. As to the heat in the face, I am more concerned with heat on my hands. When it is below zero outside the steering wheel is pretty darn chilly.

BillB
09-04-2005, 07:33 PM
I also noticed some strange behavoir from vents today. After I turned the A/C off, air was still coming out of all dash vents. I tried all modes and all fan settings and could not stop the air flow. Is this an engineered feature to keep air circulating. Maybe I am old fashioned, but if I do not want air to come out of the dash vents, I want NO air to flow from vents.

djdj
09-06-2005, 10:39 AM
If you always want air coming out the top vents, set the mode to always blow out the vents. One time deal, no need to change it every time.

As for air always coming out the vents, if you want it completely off, turn on the Recirculate mode. The air that comes through when the system is off is a result of air just being pushed through because of vehicle motion.

BillB
09-06-2005, 11:51 AM
Thx DJDJ, I will try recirculate solution. That makes sense and should work.

BillB
09-09-2005, 12:59 PM
Recirculate button on stopped the air flow when A/C is off. I still think this is second best to it not blowing at all when A/C is off, but at least it is something.

theghost
10-26-2005, 11:10 AM
I, too, have found this 'feature' misguided. While it might aid airflow, my right hand feels slighted by the lack of warm air...

In case Honda is reading this, my vote is to open all 4 dash vents in auto mode.

- theGhost

mike kennedy
10-26-2005, 11:52 AM
Anyone notice that the dash vents give out a gentle breeze even when the ac/fan units are off? This morning while driving to work and the ac/heat and fans were off the air comming out of the vents was warm and a few times in the past the air comming out of the vents were cool. This happens depending on the outside temp. If it's cool outside the vent air is warm and if hot out the vent air is cool.
Even when the ac/heat and fan system is totally off with no reading on the liquid crystal dash display, the ac system is running because the air comming out of ther vent is cool on hot days. Does the (SHIPS COMPUTERS) know what the temp settings are and work with them even though you have the ac/heat enviroment system turned off? That means the compressor runs when you don't want it to and that would be using more gas. Did anyone else notice this?
Something tells me a few of the post replys will be "Did you read the 'new' manual? It's all in there!
thanks, Mike:confused:

shovelhd
10-26-2005, 11:56 AM
The compressor does not run when the climate control is off, or when the climate control is in the A/C Off state. It's all in your new, factory updated manual. ;)

Webwader
10-26-2005, 04:08 PM
Unless you shut the system completely off, it is always working in at least a partial automatic mode. For example, if you shut the A/C off, the system will still try to maintain the temperate you have set by varying the heat/fresh air mix and adjusting the fan speed. Manually adjust the fan speed also, the system will still work with the heat/fresh air to try and make you happy.

swampler
10-26-2005, 05:17 PM
Anyone notice that the dash vents give out a gentle breeze even when the ac/fan units are off?
Turn the recirculating on and it will cause the breeze to stop.

GJRUGBY
10-26-2005, 07:44 PM
It is called "flow-through ventilation." Most cars/trucks these days have that...it makes more sense to have the "automatic" ventilation for obvious reasons...no need to run the fan or the heat...just adjust the temp accordingly and let it FLOW THROUGH the truck...even works with the windows UP and closed. However, you CAN stop this by turning "on" the recirculate button, as suggested above. Like, if you pass a manure truck or pig farm...close it up, and nothing gets through to the interior...very tight truck!

I LOVE IT!
George

theghost
11-01-2005, 11:24 AM
In the past week, it has gotten noticeably colder here in the NE and I was lamenting the fact that I could not get the center vents to turn open with Auto turned on.

After several days of testing, I have found that the center vents WILL 'magically' open after a period of time. It appears that once the temperature in the cabin stabilizes at the chosen value, the center vents will open up. At first, I thought I was going crazy, but I brought a thermometer into the truck and, sure enough, that is what is happening. (I know, I have way too much time on my hands... But if you think I am crazy, this is nothing compared to the lunacy happening over on ABC's "Lost" message boards.)

The reason I missed this incredibly, over-engineered solution initially was that I was taking shorter trips to and from work and the temp didn't have a chance to stabilize.

(Comments for the lurkers from American Honda):
While I understand the motivation behind this HVAC solution, my vote would still be to turn on the center vents immediately. The reasoning is that, during the winter, my hands are the least bundled up (I don't like to were gloves while driving) and tend to stiffen when cold. If you don't want to do this as a standard setting, than a good option would be to offer an optional 'Winter' setting for the HVAC where the center vents open immediately. I would even pay a $mall amount to have this changed (hint, hint) at the dealer.

GJRUGBY
11-01-2005, 07:28 PM
It sounds like you need the heated steering wheel that so many "Asian" manufacturers are producing.

I think you can buy those aftermarket.

I just have a steering wheel cover, but it is still very cold...that steel!

George

BillB
11-02-2005, 08:15 AM
There is no way Honda keeps this Heating/AC solution as is in future models. We are just first model-year losers. I have been resigned to leaving the heating in AUTO mode and setting the temp to a comfortable number and letting the truck do its thing. When defrost is needed, I blast it manually with the defrost button and then turn it off, which puts the mode back to AUTO by default. The only plus seen so far is that the truck seems to warm up quickly to operating temparature so heat comes on quickly.

shovelhd
11-02-2005, 08:39 AM
I really like the system as is. I hope they don't change anything.

ridgeln
11-02-2005, 10:32 AM
I totally agree w/ shovelhd - keep the system "as is" - the auto mode is nice, and I am smart enough to pre-program the settings to blow where I want it. Being a contact lens wearer, I prefer the air coming out at the feet.

-ridgeln

swampler
11-02-2005, 11:20 AM
I like the system "as-is" also. If you want it out of the center vents, just press "mode" until you get center or center/floor (whatever you prefer) and everything else will still be automatic. The defrost button will still toggle you between this setting and defrost. Simple...

theghost
11-04-2005, 10:05 AM
Steve,

According to the manual, your suggestion should work. However, I have found that it does not seem to work as described (at least on my RL).

Here is what occurs:
Start truck on cold morning. Press Auto and set temp to 72. As the coolant is cold, the fan remains on low for about 5 minutes. If nothing else is pressed, the fan will slowly speed up as the coolant warms up. The center vents will remain closed until the air temp stabilizes and then the center vents will magically open.

If I press the Mode button prior to the coolant warming up, the airflow direction will indeed change. However, the fan also immediately jumps to High and blows out cold air for the first 5 minutes... Yes, I could then also press the fan speed button 3 times to slow the airflow until it warms up. But, then I have to guess at when the heat is flowing and remember to turn it back up... If I liked to press buttons, I would have bought the RT... :-) While this might just be unique to my RTS, I was hoping that Auto was more Auto and less Manual.

Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE THIS TRUCK! (Well, besides the center vents and dead pedal, but that is another thread.) I'm just trying to work out the very few quirks that it has.

- theGhost

swampler
11-04-2005, 02:34 PM
Ghost,

I'll try to remember to give it a try on my RTS. That works on A/C (except in the opposite direction) where you don't have to wait for the engine to warm up, but I've not actually tried it on heat.

captmiddy
11-05-2005, 08:40 AM
The fan part I would think we may see an update to because in other Hondas the fan can be automatic or you can manually deal with the fan speed. Even my Civic does this properly. But everything else works as I would expect it to, and even in my Civic I almost never change the fan speed myself since I usually run it on full automatic.

mentallyabused
11-14-2005, 03:12 AM
if u turn the heat all the way up does it say 77degrees and if u move it back alittle it says HI. i think mine might be broke.

swampler
11-14-2005, 08:49 AM
if u turn the heat all the way up does it say 77degrees and if u move it back alittle it says HI. i think mine might be broke.
Nope. Mine says HI when turned up all the way. Move back a bit and it goes back to a number (higher than 77, I think).

swampler
11-14-2005, 08:51 AM
Steve,
...
If I press the Mode button prior to the coolant warming up, the airflow direction will indeed change. However, the fan also immediately jumps to High and blows out cold air for the first 5 minutes... Yes, I could then also press the fan speed button 3 times to slow the airflow until it warms up. But, then I have to guess at when the heat is flowing and remember to turn it back up... If I liked to press buttons, I would have bought the RT... :-) While this might just be unique to my RTS, I was hoping that Auto was more Auto and less Manual.
Ghost,

It finally got cold enough to try the heat again and I see the problem you're talking about. Sounds like a glitch in the system.

mentallyabused
12-03-2005, 01:56 AM
I leave mine on 72 most of the time maybe 75 if its real cold. i like to keep fan noise at a min. anyways thats why they invented jackets.

BillB
12-03-2005, 06:26 PM
Its been cold here for a couple of weeks now and I use the Auto (lazyman) setting at 72 degrees. The center vents have NEVER done anything at this setting. They did work with the A/C this summer just fine. Anyone know where the inside thermostat is that detects cabin temp so the Auto setting does its job?

flymuck
12-03-2005, 08:14 PM
Its been cold here for a couple of weeks now and I use the Auto (lazyman) setting at 72 degrees. The center vents have NEVER done anything at this setting. They did work with the A/C this summer just fine. Anyone know where the inside thermostat is that detects cabin temp so the Auto setting does its job?

Heat rises. It's doing its job -- the heat comes out of the floor vents. If you want to change the mode to force the heat to come out of the center vents, use the mode button. HTH.

swampler
12-03-2005, 08:19 PM
Anyone know where the inside thermostat is that detects cabin temp
It's on the dash by your right knee.

BillB
12-06-2005, 08:54 AM
What does it look like?

BillB
12-06-2005, 09:01 AM
Flymuck, your answer about heat not coming out of center vents unless directed by mode makes sense. I still feel that auto mode should direct some heat to center top vents as a balance so it can get to back seat faster. One of te members described in this thread about the heat coming out of center vents in auto mode and that seems confusing when weighed against other members comments about it not coming out. maybe I have that gasket problem mentioned above. Time to do a bit more experimenting.

swampler
12-06-2005, 09:04 AM
What does it look like?
Here's a pic from the owner's manual.

swampler
12-06-2005, 09:05 AM
I still feel that auto mode should direct some heat to center top vents as a balance so it can get to back seat faster.
There are vents under the front seats that directs air to the back seats in floor mode.

flymuck
12-06-2005, 09:18 AM
Flymuck, your answer about heat not coming out of center vents unless directed by mode makes sense. I still feel that auto mode should direct some heat to center top vents as a balance so it can get to back seat faster. One of te members described in this thread about the heat coming out of center vents in auto mode and that seems confusing when weighed against other members comments about it not coming out. maybe I have that gasket problem mentioned above. Time to do a bit more experimenting.

Maybe they're talking about the side vents that are also part of the dash? Heat will come out of those -- both for defrosting the side windows and for warming the hands... Of course, you have to have them open for them to do that... ;)

And, as someone else mentioned, there are separate vents for the rear seats... also, I believe some heat comes out of the defroster vents for the windshield regardless of mode, which helps to add to the ambient heat in the truck. Honda engineers are trying to do the "smart" thing when it comes to heat; I can imagine a lot of people complaining if, say, the heat *only* came out of the center vents, or if putting it on floor-mode would prevent heat from trickling out of the side vents or defroster vents...

One thing I've always liked about Hondas and other foreign cars is that for *years* they've provided a separate re-circ button... I remember my mom's Ford didn't have re-circ (it was only on re-circ when it was on "max AC") and I thought, this is dumb! We'd be driving behind some diesel thing on the highway going nuts from the fumes...

Remember, you can adjust the fan speed too if you think the cab is not warming up quickly enough!

BillB
12-06-2005, 10:33 AM
Thanks all for the answers. I do like the hand warmer feature of the side vents.

BillB
12-06-2005, 06:54 PM
Well I did some experimenting and sure enough the Mode method gets the heat flowing to the center vents. And I found that thermostat sensor. I did sense a strange smell when I tried the recirculate button in on position to try and minimize venting out of side vents and that "musty" smell was pretty annoying and sensed almost immediately after recirc button turned on. Smell cleared up when I turned recirc off. Side vents were unaffected by recirc in the brief time I had it on. Any guesses where that smell came from.

swampler
12-06-2005, 09:36 PM
Bill,

The recirc button keeps air from coming through the side vents when the system is turned off. If you press the off button, you will notice some air still coming through the side vents. Pressing recirc while the system is off will stop that air.

BillB
12-07-2005, 09:20 AM
Yes, side vents only shut off completely when entire system is off and recirc is only part of system activated. I was hoping to find a way to have heat flow specifically to vents I wanted it coming out of, but the "system" seems to want to tell me the vents it wants to use. Somewhat frustrating but there are worse things in life to worry about. Thanks again for the tips.