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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my car the AC compressor will run if in the manual mode with the recirculate mode selected. The little yellow LED inside the temp control knob is not illuminated but the AC compressor is defiantly running. Yesterday it was 94° outside and the temp control was set for 72°. The AC LED was not lit but the car cooled off nicely while in the recirculate mode. Anyone else notice this type of AC operation? If it is not hot outside and I am driving in a area with a lot of air polution I want to be able to use the recirculate but may not need the AC as I feel this just uses power from the engine and may lower fuel mileage.
 

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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 SLT-1...I think that applies to you

If while the A/C is engaged you wish to increase temperature (ie it's too cold) you could offset the temp by turning the cold/heat knob toward heat (from the blue section toward the red section)...
When you rotate the knob toward "heat" it actuates the "blend door"...allowing hotter air from the heater core to be "blended" with the "cooler" air coming from the evaporator.

CarrollB said:
...I feel this just uses power from the engine and may lower fuel mileage.
agreed...this is a "penalty" of the design...which is supposed to eliminate moisture build up and lessen window fogging during recirculation
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Terra-Nox. The other post explained it very well. Like some of the other members have said I think it's a stupid design to have the AC compressor running and yet the light says it is not. I don't like the way the system operates in my 93 vette either. When the auto mode is selected the car decides what vents, the floor or dash get the heat or AC. I guess GM doesn't think I am smart enough to know where I want it. Best system I ever had was in a 93 Acura. I could put the air any place I wanted it with or with the AC turned on. I like everything else about the Terrain so I guess one complaint isn't too bad. Now that I know how it works I will not use the re-circulate mode as much which means I'll have to change the cabin air filter more often when the pollen count is high.
 

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The 2011 Buick Regal takes this a step further.

There is a windshield temperature sensor and inside humidity sensor behind the rearview mirror - to control the defroster automatically??

There is also a air quality sensor at the intake duct which automatically puts the system into recirc. mode when the pollutant level gets too high (outside pollutant level ::) ).
 

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CarrollB said:
On my car the AC compressor will run if in the manual mode with the recirculate mode selected. The little yellow LED inside the temp control knob is not illuminated but the AC compressor is defiantly running. Yesterday it was 94° outside and the temp control was set for 72°. The AC LED was not lit but the car cooled off nicely while in the recirculate mode. Anyone else notice this type of AC operation? If it is not hot outside and I am driving in a area with a lot of air polution I want to be able to use the recirculate but may not need the AC as I feel this just uses power from the engine and may lower fuel mileage.
Has this issue been resolved? If you have further questions or concerns regarding this system, I would be happy to look into them for you. In order to do more research, I will need the VIN for your vehicle. Thank you in advance.

Tricia, GM Customer Service.
 

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Chevrolet Customer Svc said:
Has this issue been resolved? If you have further questions or concerns regarding this system, I would be happy to look into them for you. In order to do more research, I will need the VIN for your vehicle. Thank you in advance.

Tricia, GM Customer Service.
Seems odd, for example, that if it's cool outside as well as inside the Terrain but let's say a diesel buss is in front and you hit the recirc. button to avoid fumes, the A/C will be on (without an indicator light showing) and literally freeze you out. I've had other auto temp set-ups in other cars and none ever did this. Can the dealer reprogram?
 

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RetiredBuyer said:
Seems odd, for example, that if it's cool outside as well as inside the Terrain but let's say a diesel buss is in front and you hit the recirc. button to avoid fumes, the A/C will be on (without an indicator light showing) and literally freeze you out. I've had other auto temp set-ups in other cars and none ever did this. Can the dealer reprogram?
Not to repeat myself but:

If while the A/C is engaged you wish to increase temperature (ie it's too cold) you could offset the temp by turning the cold/heat knob toward heat (from the blue section toward the red section)...
When you rotate the knob toward "heat" it actuates the "blend door"...allowing hotter air from the heater core to be "blended" with the "cooler" air coming from the evaporator.

If your vehicle has Auto Climate Control - set it to Manual Mode and use the procedure above

and no...the Dealer cannot reprogram...and even if they could it would violate Safety Regs designed to prevent fogging of glass from excessive moisture build up when fresh air introduction is "restricted".
 

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RetiredBuyer said:
Seems odd, for example, that if it's cool outside as well as inside the Terrain but let's say a diesel buss is in front and you hit the recirc. button to avoid fumes, the A/C will be on (without an indicator light showing) and literally freeze you out. I've had other auto temp set-ups in other cars and none ever did this. Can the dealer reprogram?
I would recommend contacting the dealership directly regarding any further information about a reprogram.

Tricia, GM Customer Service.
 

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RetiredBuyer said:
Seems odd, for example, that if it's cool outside as well as inside the Terrain but let's say a diesel buss is in front and you hit the recirc. button to avoid fumes, the A/C will be on (without an indicator light showing) and literally freeze you out. I've had other auto temp set-ups in other cars and none ever did this. Can the dealer reprogram?
just increase the temp- so the air that comes out is heated -Air conditioned air-- a bit redundant-- but it works in the diesel bus scenario you mention.
 

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RetiredBuyer said:
Seems odd, for example, that if it's cool outside as well as inside the Terrain but let's say a diesel buss is in front and you hit the recirc. button to avoid fumes, the A/C will be on (without an indicator light showing) and literally freeze you out. I've had other auto temp set-ups in other cars and none ever did this. Can the dealer reprogram?
I don't understand - if you have the "auto temp set-up" - it doesn't matter if the unit is on recirc with the A/C compressor on or not - the system is still going to control the inside temperature to what you have it set for and not "freeze you out". It will automatically back the blower speed down or add warm air to control the temp.

If you are referring to a manual setup - just turn the temperature knob towards warm.
 

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Anyone out there have any words of "wisdom" for my current predicament, beside " You are SOL?
I dropped off my 2010 Equinox at the dealer to analyze why my A/C stopped working properly (ONLY blowing ambient air) and he quickly called me back to inform of his analysis-
1) They charged the system with 2-lb. of refrigerant and put the dye in. (Saw NO signs of leakage anywhere!)
2) He says the compressor "sounds" noisy and "He Thinks" it might be that a bearing has begun to fray.
3) "He Thinks" that this "fraying" has caused metal particles to clog up the Expansion Valve thus keeping the unit from operating properly.
4) When I informed him of this "Re-circulate" scenario as a potential cause of "pre-mature" failure of the compressor bearings (always engaged), he stated that this was NOT how the Climate Control design operates.
5) He then proceeded to set all the buttons to their "required positions", A/C button off, re-circulate button on and temp control in the blue zone (BTW - my system blew cold air in all vehicle air-flow positions). He then informed that the compressor was NOT engaged.
- WHAT am I to make of all this? WHAT is the real way this system is supposed to be set up?
- WHY is this compressor going out after 18-months in service?
- Service personnel with analysis results that are based on "I think" or "It could be.." and that don't appear to understand HOW the GM systems are designed to operate?
*** NOW I am told that it will cost me $1200 to fix this vehicle with only 18 months in service?
*** Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!!! Contact me at [email protected]
 

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You have BtB warranty for 3 yrs/36K miles, so if you are within that, it should cost you NOTHING.
 

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RIT333,
Thanks for the reply, unfortuneately I am already over my mileage so for any A/C related work it is not covered. I am hoping that one of the GM reps that monitor these sites can give me a lead-in to address this failure in a more thorough manner. Hey, I can dream can't I ????
 

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Chevrolet Customer Svc said:
Has this issue been resolved? If you have further questions or concerns regarding this system, I would be happy to look into them for you. In order to do more research, I will need the VIN for your vehicle. Thank you in advance.

Tricia, GM Customer Service.
I too experience this and wonder about it. I was just in to the dealer service dept for an exterior body warranty issue and asked about it and mentioned some others describing this as well as what I experience. The best answer the rep could give me is that as they've added more options, they've also taken some away. He is not surprised that it comes on automatically even if no A/C light is AND it says A/C is off. To be fair, he was doing his best to help.

Still, I can't be the only one who find this "design" odd if it is that. To be clear, here is exactly what I've noticed and my conditions:

1) 2011 Nox just hit 3300 miles. I have everything programmed such that Auto climate control is not on. Haven't even used it yet...
2) I tend to prefer outside or recirculated natural air over heat or A/C half the year given the climate I'm in. I also don't care for the "bite" of the cold of A/C most of the time until it's really needed. The current temps I have to vary in recirculate turn from cold to "stale" lukewarm to heat. I've owned a car for 14 years that allowed the basic outside or inside and a/c or not. It was perfect and how a car should be...
3) I have tried exterior air but find there to be an unpleasant smell coming in the vents, so I immediately switched to recirculate and found it worked fine for smell. Also, I bought the car in a cold season, so turning it to heat in recirculate was fine and not unusual from an previous car operations. I expected it to be warm and found the varying warm temperature a nice feature.
4) Spring comes...while I wanted outside air at its temperature, the smell was unpleasant so I switched to recirculate not expecting any temperature control. The temp as is was just fine. I just wanted a fan moving the inside air which makes the interior climate pleasant. I didn't expect to find any temp control to this, but I did find it did so - kept around 75 with slight variation. NOTE: I did not turn on A/C. I found it to give me varying air that I thought had to be A/C but couldn't figure out why as the A/C was off. I turned it on/off just to confirm this and the light and the on/off message on my Nav screen. I can't say I noticed any difference in the temp coming out.
5) I have recently noticed that the Recirculating air intermittently "turns off" the cold air coming in. This is what made be begin to questions the A/C on/off and recirculatie feature more. Just driving on a trip then feel the air from the vents suddenly change to muggy while on the interstate. Then I saw some posts on this same type of issue.
6) I've also noticed a couple of times where when I first start driving in the car, the fan system seems to slow down. This is not at a time when a phone call has come in either as that bluetooth connection automatically lowers the fan speed I've found with no option to change that. I actually just remembered this while typing this list of observations.

If I want A/C working, I want that choice. I'm fully capable of managing that as is comfortable for me. If I want Auto, then I want Auto to be exclusive and not confused with A/C and recirculate.
When I want inside air recirculating at it's natural temperature, then that's what I want - not a/c or compressor or extra power draw involved. Also, as far as I know (please tell me if otherwise), operating A/C used more gas which is not something I want to do. I'm already disappointed with what I'm getting in my 12 mi daily roundtrip of half "hills" in middle NC.
I am disappointed with the fan power and the delay in changing fan speed when I do so. Sometimes, I'm sure a "6" setting isn't as powerful as "6" at other times, for example. Turning the fan speed up seems to take time for it to react to do so.

I don't want anyone else to have what appear to be problems, but it would be nice to see if there are more who have experienced this.

If you read this GM rep, it's VIN: ...(sent in personal message)

NOTE: some other threads I just looked up that mention this. I'm including them for reference. I don't see that any of them actually answer the observations and conditions I mentioned above.
http://www.equinoxforum.net/index.php?topic=1516.0
http://www.equinoxforum.net/index.php?topic=2910.0
I see nothing wrong with some sort of auto A/C for defrost, but when defrost isn't turned on.....
http://www.equinoxforum.net/index.php?topic=786.0
 

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I wonder if when you have it on recirculate that they may require the occasional fresh air in, just as is required in buildings. Also, every car I have had the blower speed varied with RPMs and voltage, perhaps the alternator is just varying voltage a lot, like it doesnt put out so much at idle to 1500rpm where it might cruise at low speed in 6th gear, but does put enough out at 2000rpm.

As to why the AC compressor has to come on, may be another safety thing, if you have a car full of people with the windows up, they may need to scrub the air or something. No idea, but I wouldnt assume its only GM that does this these days. In fact, Dodge has done it for quite some time, my cousins 90s dodge dakota did the same thing and it wasnt fancy.
 

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kcequinox said:
Anyone out there have any words of "wisdom" for my current predicament, beside " You are SOL?
I dropped off my 2010 Equinox at the dealer to analyze why my A/C stopped working properly (ONLY blowing ambient air) and he quickly called me back to inform of his analysis-
1) They charged the system with 2-lb. of refrigerant and put the dye in. (Saw NO signs of leakage anywhere!)
2) He says the compressor "sounds" noisy and "He Thinks" it might be that a bearing has begun to fray.
3) "He Thinks" that this "fraying" has caused metal particles to clog up the Expansion Valve thus keeping the unit from operating properly.
4) When I informed him of this "Re-circulate" scenario as a potential cause of "pre-mature" failure of the compressor bearings (always engaged), he stated that this was NOT how the Climate Control design operates.
5) He then proceeded to set all the buttons to their "required positions", A/C button off, re-circulate button on and temp control in the blue zone (BTW - my system blew cold air in all vehicle air-flow positions). He then informed that the compressor was NOT engaged.
- WHAT am I to make of all this? WHAT is the real way this system is supposed to be set up?
- WHY is this compressor going out after 18-months in service?
- Service personnel with analysis results that are based on "I think" or "It could be.." and that don't appear to understand HOW the GM systems are designed to operate?
*** NOW I am told that it will cost me $1200 to fix this vehicle with only 18 months in service?
*** Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!!! Contact me at [email protected]
I would be happy to look into this for you. In order to do so, I will need some more specific information from you. If you could please send me your full name, address, phone number, the VIN for the vehicle, current mileage, and dealer name via private message, I will be able to take further steps. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you.

Tricia, GM Customer Service.
 

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36000 miles in 18 months, you were probably one of the best candidates for that extended bumper to bumper warranty out to 5 years, the factory one lasts other people 3 full years.

The only reason I went ahead and got the extended warranty was two fold, they came down to $1200 and we put about 20k miles per year on it, so factory warranty will last less than two years.

Our Ford Escape Hybrid runs the AC compressor anytime it wants to cool the high voltage battery. It took 5 years and 120,000 miles for it to crap out. And AC was regularly used for the cab as well.
 

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CarrollB said:
On my car the AC compressor will run if in the manual mode with the recirculate mode selected. The little yellow LED inside the temp control knob is not illuminated but the AC compressor is defiantly running. Yesterday it was 94° outside and the temp control was set for 72°. The AC LED was not lit but the car cooled off nicely while in the recirculate mode. Anyone else notice this type of AC operation? If it is not hot outside and I am driving in a area with a lot of air polution I want to be able to use the recirculate but may not need the AC as I feel this just uses power from the engine and may lower fuel mileage.
When I had my HHR which I had for over 2 years at the time while coming home from work one hot day I had it on full blast recir mode. When I was getting close to home I turned of recir. and started getting warm outside air. Drove straight to the dealers and complained to the service writter what was happening. Of course my brain fart left at the same moment he told me that in recir. mode it automatically turns on the compressor and when that light was on you may or may not have the regular air light light depending on what mode you had it in before. I always new that but the old timer moment and the heat of many days got to me. So you are ok and everything is working as it should.
 
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