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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I've had a 'B' max for a few months for my disabled wife, and have only recently used the different heating controls inside the car. I've had different Motability vehicles for the past 15 years, and this being my first time with a Ford, i was sure i was getting a good solid economical vehicle. It turns out i may be wrong, so i'm seeking some clarification.

I always have the fan control on directed to the screen -summer or winter- and when necessary, i add the forward and/or lower blowers when my wife needs them. All well and good so far. It's when i switch off the forward blower that the A/C light comes on. Now the colder weather is here i had not noticed it before. I contacted the Ford dealership i got the car from who in turn collected the car to check it out. They brought it back stating there was nothing wrong and it was normal.

Apparently it's part of the de-mist function. Ummm, not wishing to appear thick but if the car is already hot, i cannot see any reason why the A/C should kick in at all. I know the A/C comes on as the revs drop before the system compensates with an increase in revs, and the noise level increases.

So is it normal for the A/C to come on whenever the foward blower is turned off. Normal for the petrol consumption to increase just because i turned the forward blower off? This is the first time i have ever heard of this happening.

I have to keep in mind to turn off the A/C whenever i turn off the forward blower otherwise i'm wasting petrol. There is nothing in the manual stating this 'function', and i was not informed of it when i purchased the vehicle. If i was aware i'm sure i would have gone to a different manufacturer.

Your help in this would be welcome

Regards
 

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It is so complicated trying to work this out from a distance; and the handbook is pretty useless on this issue and several others.

On the left side of the control panel at the top is the master control for the heating and blower; this should be turned on. There is a control for auto heating etc, make sure this is off. On the right hand side of the control there are buttons in line , top directs air to screen, middle to vents, and lower to cabin, you can have all these on at the same time. To the right of these are buttons that operate the heated windscreen, and the rear screen, use as necessary. The air conditioning light should not operate at all, unless it is operated manually, or on auto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi. The only thing i have switched on is the top left master on/off button, and -normally- only the air to screen selected. There is only manual operation and no auto climate control (M in the manual). The temperature control is not in the MAX A/C position, and the a/c light is not on at the bottom of the control panel. So in a normal car operation i would select the middle to vents position so i would have both screen and middle vents selected.

Now i have warm/hot air directed not only to the screen, but also to myself and wife. Ok, we are at the stage where we are comfortable and decide to switch off only the middle vents button, as soon as the middle vents button is pressed, the a/c light comes on at the bottom of the heating control, the revs drop because the a/c pump is now engaged, and the system increases the revs to compensate to the additional loading.

At this point i have for all intents and purposes the a/c pump running, and with it, more fuel being used. As i said, according to the Ford guy this is normal and is to do with the de-misting function


The car is already warm enough, i always have the screen vent selected so there is no way the screen is going to mist up.

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I will experiment with mine tomorrow and report back. However, I do have climate control which may make a difference. I never turn off the vents on the panel control, preferring to close the twirl dials adjoining them. Cars are just getting too complicated !!!
 

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there are other permutations to get the a/c on
turn temp gauge to max cold and it comes on

turn fan fully on (as far as it goes) c/wise and it comes on

there are 3 buttons for direction

top screen

and 2 below (cannot remember what for, vents and footwell probably)

if you put middle or bottom on then off, a/c light comes on regardless of where temp dial is set.



All I do is remember now to switch a/c off if I do any of above actions because I too think it is weird to have both heater and cooler on simultaneously.

There will be a reason but life is too short to worry about it.

I just accept it as strange logic

SMcG in cold Glasgow
 

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I think you have the best solution SMcG !! You need to monitor the a/c light, and overrule its choices by manually turning the a/c on and OFF.
 

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I have wondered about this as well. I have climate control and when the top left button is switched on, the display says climate control on. I do not really want the climate control on, especiallyin the winter, howeverI am not sure whether this message actually means it is on.
The only buttons I have on are the top left (not a/c button which is to the right of the on/off button) and the 3 buttons for direction - high, middle, feet.

I was wondering if with climate control you have no choice, but someone may know to the contrary.

If the climate control is on all the time, presumably this is why with a 1.6 diesel I only get 55 mpg and not 60-65 as other forum members seem to get. I am quite light footed and recently did a motorway trip of 200 miles and never exceeded 70mph, still 55 mpg.

Anyone have any thoughts ?
 

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My 1.0L Titanium has auto climate control. I refer to page 70 of the manual as I too was a little confused and suffered from misting and icing in my early experiences with this car.

For today's conditions:

1. I press button 'B' which turns on the system.
2. I then press buttons 'E' and 'K'.
3. I turn knob 'H' to its central position. (thermometer icon vertical)

If I find the vehicle is either to hot or to cold I turn the knob 'H' appropriately.

When air conditioning is needed I use button 'E'

I suppose by doing the above I am ignoring the 'automatic' facility but I have found that the car does not automatically know what I want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi. It's the worrying thought that my fuel consumption is not as good as it is indicated in the manual. I just don't understand the logic of the a/c coming on when i turn off the middle vents! The a/c does not even turn off after a period of time, but rather stays on until i physically turn it off. If i don't turn it off it obviously stays on.

If i do a long distance journey and forget and don't notice the a/c coming on, then i am wasting fuel. We all understand that using the a/c increases fuel use because it states that in the manual, and also it is my choice whether to use the a/c in the warm climate. It's not my choice to use the a/c in the colder climate, and there is no written explaination, or indication of the purpose of the a/c coming on when i turn off the middle vents, or that fuel consumption will increase by turning off the middle vents if you are not aware of this hidden function.

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My a/c cannot come on if I have switched it off. Looking at the manual for the manual climate control, that a/c cannot come on if switched off.

However, the manual climate control system also has an a/c control on the temperature knob 'F'. I suppose if you turn that anticlockwise at some stage it will switch on the max a/c which they say is independent and more efficient that using the a/c button 'I'.

It that is not on and the button 'I' is not on I fail to see how directing the air to differing outlets can cause a/c to come on.

If you have auto climate control then if you turn that on then you are at the mercy of the system and air is directed where it thinks fit.

However it would be helpful to know exactly what system you have. Perhaps you could say which buttons you use rather than talk about 'forward blowers'

Looking at the manual for manual climate control I would think you should use button 'B' and 'D' to choose dash and foot-well outlets together, with 'F' at mid position and 'A' at 1 to 2.

When I talk to people who 'know' about cars they say all knob markings are centered on what is a comfortable range. So 'F' is confusing me because if you turn it anticlockwise you are turning the temperature down until a/c comes on and clockwise until it gets hotter and air is directed to the screen.

Turning 'F' clockwise makes some sense because as soon as the screen is demisted you would turn it anticlockwise to achieve a desired temperature. However, how do you choose a temperature when a/c is on? does it mean a/c is turned on gradually?
 

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Hi there guys !!! I spent a few minutes experimenting with my Titanium earlier, and had no problems whatsoever with the air conditioning; all combinations worked without problems !!!!!

UNTIL that is I pressed the auto button !! With the auto button on, if I closed down the 3 buttons operating the directional heating, the a/c came on; and to be honest it was quite difficult to turn it off; the easiest way seemed to be to turn off the heating master switch i.e. top left.

I get the impression you need to have at least one of the directional heating buttons on; and do not press the auto button, you then should be able to operate the vehicle without the air conditioning dominating life. I will again point out that my car does have climate control. Nevertheless, I have to say that the B Max is one of the most difficult cars to come to terms with. Apart from the heating, I find the radiovery complex, particularly when using the radio and going out of an area where reception was strong. When I listen to Classic FM I often lose the signal and thought that modern radios would automatically re tune to the strongest wavelength to restore. But this is not the case with mine; it usually restores to Radio 4, and I have to use the scan button to find reception manually. Any ideas here ???
 

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I thought all B-MAX's had climate control? It is either manual or automatic? Car manual page 68 onwards?

I am not surprised that if you tell the car to be automatic and then shut off all air outlets, that something unexpected happens.

As a matter of interest I was told that it is best to leave everything on automatic as that was designed for best overall effect of comfort and economy. I personally do not trust that.

Btw. the OP mentioned concern about these controls affecting the mpg as stated in the manual. I am sure we all agree you will never achieve the advertised mpg, a/c on or off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi. The vehicle version i have, has manual climate control (page.74 of the user manual).

Taking it from the manual as i perform it.

A (Fan Speed Control)= Typically position 1.
B (Power On/Off)=On.
C (Recirculated Air)=Off.
D (Air Distribution Control) - Top (screen) always selected on.
D ( " " " ) - Middle Vents (directed to driver & passenger) selected on.
I (Air Conditioning)=Off
F (Temperature Control)=anywhere between 12&4 O'clock position (never at max).

In this scenario i would select D (Air Distribution Control) - Middle Vents (directed to driver & passenger) and switch it off. I now have the A/C (I) light come on, the revs drop, system compensates by increasing revs. Thus A/C=On (or at least the pump comes on), and stays on until i manually press the 'I' (A/C) panel to turn it off.

If the dealership told me that 'yes it is a design feature, and no it does not increase the fuel rate', i will be more that happy to let it carry on. As it stands now though, i'm completely in the dark. If it does increase the fuel rate then i'm pretty certain i'm wasting a bucket load of money over the 3 years i will have this vehicle.

Hope this clarifies it better.

Regards
 

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What you describe appears to be what JohnWales experienced when he shut all outlets..

Why when you have selected exactly what you need to heat the vehicle, do you then close the air outlets? Are you trying to demist the screen? I notice you say you always have the screen outlet on, why?

If you are trying to demist the screen then all is working fine. Otherwise, I see no reason to have the screen vents open in normal conditions.

In your last paragraph you say you would be happy to leave the a/c on but do you mean with the air outlets turned off. That is the part I fail to understand. Trying to control the car interior with air vents closed. You must have something on surely.

If to much air is coming out, then turn down the fan speed. If air is comming from a vent that is not required, then shut it (but not all)

I leave both upper and lower controls switched on and then control the direction and amount of air using the manual vent controls to direct or reduce the airflow at one or more vents.

I tell you, this thread shows why we should have meetings where members can swap experiences and learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi. The screen outlet vent is always on, it's something i have always done since 1977 in my first vehicle, rain or shine, summer or winter. It's the 1 position i leave on to help circulate the air in the vehicle. In the colder months i would have it on all the time anyway to stop the screen misting up.

I don't touch the the digital clock either so it's always 1 hour different in the winter months. It's just something i have always done. It has no impact on the vehicles performance at all.

It's not the case of controlling the temperature inside the vehicle, just the direction of air flow. If my my wife doesn't want the air flow blowing against her, i can either spin the wheel control on the dashboard to shut off the air flow, or turn that air flow off altogether. It's a simple operation that solves a simple request from my wife. Except the A/C pump starts up. Are you saying that is normal?

Normal operation to me is that the A/C is a seperate function - meaning when it's not physically selected, it stays off. Not turns on when the center vent is turned off, or is that what you mean by normal?

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No, shutting one vent manually whilst the system is still 'on' and other vents are open should not affect the a/c. However, as your system is a manual climate control and we have automatic, it may be that it you turn off the airflow off to all the dashboard outlets this affect the a/c. We cannot know that. You need to ask someone who also has manual climate control.

My wife also says at times that the air on her face is to hot or to cold or blowing to hard. She either shuts a vent manually or directs the air away. We leave the electric controls untouched and have never needed to change them.

As I have said leaving the air flow electrically on to all vents and manually closing one or more vents on one side of the vehicle will not affect the a/c whether the control is automatic or manual, according to the car manual.

If it does and the agents say it will then your only option is to seek confirmation from another member.

I suppose you could speak to the Ford B-MAX team whom I have found do know the car in detail and are very helpful.
 

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Yes Makem you are right again !! All B Max's have climate control. I was confused by the term ' auto ',and find it difficult to comprehend why a car should be fitted with manual climate control. I always thought that c.c. involved selecting the temperature required, and the computer did the rest, including the decision as to whether a//c was n or off, and the volume of air from the blower.

Personally I am not happy with leaving such decisions to the car, and find that manual control is far more effective in the interests of economy.

What we need to do is have a forum meet up, compare cars, and jointly clear up issues some of which are very difficult on line. Not much help this idea though to members living in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
 

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Why do you say that?

I for one travel, intend to visit NI and Scotland again and other countries where I have seen we have members.

If a meeting was planned and I was not traveling in the other direction, then I would do my utmost to attend and have done so in the past with other car clubs.

Usually it needs two, three or four people to set up a meeting in their area and then others will try to join in. I have tried to cajole and offer to show where members are congregating but to no avail to date.
 

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I am happy to travel up to 150 miles each way to attend a meeting; so my boundaries are basically :-

Anywhere in Wales.

Furthest North Sheffield.

Furthest South Oxford.

Being retired I am free to travel at any time, but if at week end must not be in Feb or March because of Six Nations Rugby.
 
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