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2011 Equinox 1LT V6 3.0L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2011 1LT V6 3.9k: Seems like A/C is always ON

Took the vehicle on a 160-mile roundtrip drive last night. I did NOT turn on the A/C (the "snowflake" light was OFF), but I DID select RECIRCULATE and turn on the fan. I also did NOT have the defroster on (both buttons' lights were OFF).

I definitely was getting A/C-coolish air from the ducts the entire trip. Had to turn the fan down to level 1 because it actually got too cold.

I then tried pressing the "snowflake" button to make sure it wasn't on, and when I did I saw "A/C ON" displayed on the LCD and the amber light on the button illuminated. Pressing it again displayed "A/C OFF" (and the amber light went out). So the A/C was definitely (selected to be) OFF, but I was still getting A/C-like air from the ducts.

Is this right? Is the A/C activated anyway if you turn on the fan with Recirculate selected and the A/C and defrosters both OFF???
 

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From the owner manual Section 8-1:


h(Recirculation): Press to turn
on the recirculation. An indicator
light comes on. Air is recirculated
inside the vehicle. It helps to quickly
cool the air inside the vehicle or
prevent outside air and odors from
entering.
The air conditioning may
come on under certain conditions.


%(Outside Air): Press to turn
on the outside air. An indicator light
comes on. Outside air is circulated
throughout the vehicle[/color]

That is from the NON-AUTO Climate controlled portion of the manual
since you have a 1LT...I think that applies to you
 

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With recirc on the AC condenser is engaged to help remove moisture from air. It may feel cooler the more humid air.
 

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Terra-Nox said:
With recirc on the AC condenser is engaged to help remove moisture from air. It may feel cooler the more humid air.
Well not quite...
On a 1LT with Manual Climate Control...with A/C turned off...and Recirc selected...
The A/C system may...at times...engage to dehumidify the air within the cabin.
However...it does not automatically come on and stay on...

It has been the case in other cars over the years that when recirc was selected...A/C would automatically engage full time...not always though...depended on how the engineers set up the system.

Also, and just to be more technically correct:
The "condensor" mounts to the radiator
The "evaporator" is inside the dash
When the A/C is engaged...the entire system is operating, not just a portion of it
 

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with recirculate button pressed....
my 2003 Trailblazer, 2007 Impala, 2010 Traverse do the same thing- compressor comes on.
 

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rbarrios said:
with recirculate button pressed....
my 2003 Trailblazer, 2007 Impala, 2010 Traverse do the same thing- compressor comes on.
1988 GMC Jimmy, 2004 Avalanche and 2009 Camry...all with Manual Heat/A-C did the same thing - ReCirc on = A/C on
But the 2011 1LT with NON-Auto Climate Control is different according to the Manual and my "hands on" experience
 

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MOCHANOX said:
But the 2011 1LT with NON-Auto Climate Control is different according to the Manual and my "hands on" experience
I have also had some vehicles where it was always engaed when recirc was on, dried my eyeballs out with it quite a few times. Change is good ;)
 

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Terra-Nox said:
I have also had some vehicles where it was always engaed when recirc was on, dried my eyeballs out with it quite a few times. Change is good ;)
Since you have the SLT2...do you also have the Auto Climate Control?
Can you speak to how that system operates when in Manual Mode?

The owner manual only seems to suggest that when it manual mode to switch back and forth between circ and non-recirc...and makes no reference to "may come on"...

From the portion of the Manual on Auto Climate Control when in Manual Mode Section 8-4...

Air Conditioning
# (Air Conditioning): Press to
turn the air conditioning on or off.
If the fan is turned off or the outside
temperature falls below freezing, the
air conditioning will not work. When
in AUTO, the air conditioning will
come on automatically as needed.

h(Recirculation): Press to turn
on the recirculation. Press to
alternate between recirculation and
outside air, if the vehicle does not
have a separate outside air button.
The indicator light turns on when
recirculation is selected. Air is
recirculated inside the vehicle.
It helps quickly cool the air inside
the vehicle or prevent outside air
and odors from entering.

%(Outside Air, If Equipped):
Press to turn on the outside air. An
indicator light comes on. Outside air
is circulated throughout the vehicle.[/color]
 

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Colt Hero said:
Had to turn the fan down to level 1 because it actually got too cold.
BTW...rather than turning down the fan speed, you could have simply rotated the "temp select" knob towards "heat" (the red portion of the scale) until you reached a desired temperature.
 

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I have to say that the hvac is my single biggest - hell maybe my only real - complaint on my 2011 terrain. a/c does default to on too much. but more irritatingly whether on auto or not when you change temp it seems to hunt for the temp you want. what i mean is that say you are hot so you want it colder, so you turn dial to colder. then i get a burst of colder air then it get's warmer again. or same thing if you want it hotter. you turn dial hotter. then you got some hot air then it gets cooler.

i took it in and they relearned or whatever they do and it is pretty much the same. i talked to mechanics they said it just works that way. pretty much have to get used to it. they agreed that it was better when there was a cable going to the heater core. oh well.
 

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Yup...not a fan of GM's Auto Climate systems over the last decade...

It's the reason we buy down to a Model we can get without it (that and heated seats)

My experience and exposure to them shows not only do they act funky...they are expensive to repair and diagnostically difficult to pin down problems

The flip side is the "fun" of "modding up" in some areas that can only be obtained in a "higher trim level".
 

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scottb said:
I have to say that the hvac is my single biggest - hell maybe my only real - complaint on my 2011 terrain. a/c does default to on too much. but more irritatingly whether on auto or not when you change temp it seems to hunt for the temp you want. what i mean is that say you are hot so you want it colder, so you turn dial to colder. then i get a burst of colder air then it get's warmer again. or same thing if you want it hotter. you turn dial hotter. then you got some hot air then it gets cooler.

i took it in and they relearned or whatever they do and it is pretty much the same. i talked to mechanics they said it just works that way. pretty much have to get used to it. they agreed that it was better when there was a cable going to the heater core. oh well.
If you are adjusting the temp in a big swing then it will cycle like you are saying.

The easiest way to get the temp right in the auto climate cars is to turn it on the max cold/heat until you start feeling cool/warm air. Then, adjust it to with a 2 degree window of what you find comfortable. If you turn it on and leave it on cold for a longer period of time and then adjust it up to 73, it will actually attempt to get it to 73 as soon as it can. IE, it'll pump out warm out to get it up to 73.


Also, make sure you guys dont have the auto temp set to default to the last on setting. It'll make it easier too.
 

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MOCHANOX said:
Since you have the SLT2...do you also have the Auto Climate Control?
Can you speak to how that system operates when in Manual Mode?
Yes, it does have auto. Can't speak on manual mode yet as I haven't tried it yet.
 

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Terra-Nox said:
Yes, it does have auto. Can't speak on manual mode yet as I haven't tried it yet.
Ok, well...wanna be "the tester" ? See if the A/C comes on full time in recirc in Manual Mode?
 

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If you feel that this is the result of come other concern, I would recommend contacting your local dealership for more information. Please feel free to keep me posted.

Tricia, GM Customer Service.
 

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2011 Equinox 1LT V6 3.0L
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the owner's manual excerpt. After a dozen or so pages cleanly fell out of my manual, I stopped reading it.

I'm sure my '97 Taurus does not turn on the A/C on it's own, and I don't think my '02 Impala does it either (although I've driven this vehicle sparingly over the years, so maybe it does .. I'll have to test it to see).

Just for the record, I drove 80 miles each way and the A/C was operating on its own the entire time. There was no cycling off and on. It was ON all the time. And on the way back, it couldn't have been more than 75 degrees with very low humidity. It was very comfortable at the ballpark.

I don't think I like this design. I mean - we put controls on the dash to allow the driver to manually control the A/C as he/she deems appropriate. To be turning the A/C ON when it's not requested is wrong - not to mention that the display says the A/C is OFF ... when it's actually ON.
 

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Its to dry the air in the car. When the car notices that you want cooler air and its humid outside, it will turn on the A/C. Literally all new car systems work this way.

Your body is nothing but a huge heat pump so that is why the A/C comes on. Helps defog the windows even if you dont want the A/C.

Also, just an FYI, the light wont turn on and off with the A/C condenser. However, it will cycle. If you are traveling at speed you just might not notice it.
 

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bballr4567 said:
Your body is nothing but a huge heat pump so that is why the A/C comes on. Helps defog the windows even if you dont want the A/C.
Exactly, With x number of people (or people and pets) spewing hot humid air constantly, then getting it re-cycled it creates possibility for windows fogging up and would generate much more of a complaint from owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Terra-Nox said:
Exactly, With x number of people (or people and pets) spewing hot humid air constantly, then getting it re-cycled it creates possibility for windows fogging up and would generate much more of a complaint from owners.
How about the complaints about lower fuel economy?
 
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