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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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flymuck said:
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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:
 

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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. ;)
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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Update: Heat through center vents magically turns on w/ Auto

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.
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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I really like the system as is. I hope they don't change anything.
 

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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
 
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