Issues with controlling the cabin temperature - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Issues with controlling the cabin temperature

We just got 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited with 30k miles on it and started to notice that something is wonky with temperature control. We just couldn't set the temperature right for some odd reason, so my wife and I started playing around with it to find the pattern. Here's what we've found so far:

1. The first thing we noticed is that there's a lag from when you make the temp change to when it actually starts happening. To make things even more confusing, this lag is inconsistent between the driver side and passenger side even though they are in "Sync" with the same temperatures.
2. We tested in 1-degree increments. What we found is that cold air will be blowing up until 67F, and when set on 67F, on passenger side very hot air's start blowing almost immediately, while on the driver's side it takes maybe another minute before the hot air starts blowing. I'm not sure why there's a lag, however, I can live with that. My major concern is that piping hot air starts blowing at 67F, right after blowing cold air at 66F. The air it is blowing at 67F is equivalent of 80-85F in my other vehicles. So it's really hard to set comfortable temperature in the car. We drove for a little over an hour and kept having to mess with controls. It was either too warm or too cold.
3. Switching from auto or manual to defrost front raises the temperature of the air being pushed out for some reason, even though temperature control was not even touched.

I'm yet to see how this behaves back cabin.

This morning I did some more testing, and it behaved differently:
- After switching to front defrost, while temperature set on 67. the temperature raises (without me changing it), and continued to blow hot (did this in 1F decrements), all the way down to 61F when it started blowing colder air.
- Next, I put it on Auto and set to max temperature. Hot air started blowing at feet, which I guess is expected, then I reduced the temperature down to 72F and this had no effect on the temperature of the air blown out. Then I switched to manual at full blast (still at 72F) and was still blowing very hot air. It almost as it was stuck.

Overall it climate control just behaves very erratically. This is very frustrating.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 08:29 PM
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That sounds frustrating, and I imagine it's going to be extremely challenging to figure out. Since your warranty, I would take it to the dealer and have them take a look. There are several temperature sensors located throughout the cabin and the HVAC system, one of the may be reading wrong. If they're all reading correctly, and the blend doors are reacting as commanded, it may just be a characteristic of the design.

I've not noticed this concern, but I like it a lot warmer than most. Mine stays between 78–80° most of the time.

2019 Tesla Model 3

Former: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Last edited by TomB985; 03-03-2019 at 06:28 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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+TomB985 Yep, I'm planning to take it in on Monday. I'll report back.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 12:22 PM
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A couple of thoughts. It does sound as if something is wonky with your system, and you should get it checked out. I've not had any difficulty keeping the car comfortable.

That said, I'm not sure everything you describe is necessarily a problem. Every car I've had with auto climate control increases the blower speed and air temperature when front defrost is selected. That includes brands such as MB, Ford, Subaru, and Honda. That said, the Pacifica owners manual doesn't specifically state that heat is increased, and implies that temperature control is maintained (pg. 109 of the 2018 owners manual). There's always the possibility the manual is inaccurate. I'll try to remember to check out how my 2018 operates and follow up to report if it is the same or different.

I think your assumption that the temperature of the air produced by the system should change with each adjustment of the set temperature is incorrect. If the set temperature is above the current cabin temperature and hence the cabin requires heating, I would expect warm air to be produced. If the cabin temp is, for example, 60 degrees, I would not expect setting the temp to 80 to produce warmer air than setting the temp to 70 degrees - both call for significant heating of the cabin. Only when you lower the setpoint of the control below the current cabin temp (or just set it to "Lo") would I expect it to switch over to producing cooler air.

That said, I would expect that you could find a narrow range of set temperatures that provide for a comfortable cabin. For me that is 68-72, depending on the outside temp, amount of sunshine, etc.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting that you say that. I experienced neither of those in the vehicles I've owned previously which include Ford, Chevy, 2xToyota, Acura, and now Chrysler. Increase in fan speed when on front defrost is the only thing I can say I've noticed in my previous vehicles. However, that's a non-issue.

Quote:
I think your assumption that the temperature of the air produced by the system should change with each adjustment of the set temperature is incorrect.
I don't expect it to change, or at least for me to notice, with each increment. I did the 1F increments to test, so I can record at which point the temperature will start blowing cold or hot air. In my original post, I've noted that there was an abrupt switch from hot to cold when going from 66F-67F. In any case, when going from 80F to 70F I expect a noticeable difference in air temperature coming out of the vents. That's not the case with my Pacifica.

Quote:
If the set temperature is above the current cabin temperature and hence the cabin requires heating, I would expect warm air to be produced. If the cabin temp is, for example, 60 degrees, I would not expect setting the temp to 80 to produce warmer air than setting the temp to 70 degrees - both call for significant heating of the cabin. Only when you lower the setpoint of the control below the current cabin temp (or just set it to "Lo") would I expect it to switch over to producing cooler air.
I currently own Acura MDX and Toyota Prius. If I set the temp to 80F in any of the two cars and drop it down to 70F, there will be a noticeable difference in the temperature of the air coming out of the vents regardless of the fact that cabin temp may be 60F. I think this is by design, no? I'm yet to own a car that blows only one level hot and one level cold depending on the cabin temperature. Having hottest air blow at you until the cabin reaches set temperature would be an awfully uncomfortable experience and bad design in my opinion. I'm not a mechanical engineer specializing in cars, but my guess is that there is some (or it should be) mixing of cold/hot air. If I get in my car on a cold winter day, I'd set climate to max temp and keep it that way until I feel warm. During that time it will blow the hottest air. Then, I'd drop it down to around 70, and as soon as I do that, the air temperature from the vents drops. It does not continue to blow the air of the same temperature as it was just because of the cabin temperature is still below the set temperature.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

Last edited by srki80; 03-03-2019 at 09:02 PM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 07:27 PM
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OK, I tried switching to defrost during a 30+ mile drive today. Outside temperature was 32 degrees with overcast skies. The cabin was at the set temperature when I switched from auto to defrost. In 5 minutes the cabin became uncomfortably warm and my feet also got cold. I think what you are experiencing is normal for full defrost.
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