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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been >100 degrees here for the past several days. I have the A/C set to Auto, so when I get in the car after it's been sitting in the sun & turn on the car, the fan goes on 'highest' setting, the dash outlets are selected (as I always have them - I don't know if the selection is automatically chosen), and the vent goes to 'recirculate' (at least the recirc light is on).

BUT, the actual air volume/speed coming out of the vents is NOT the highest it could be ...

(Temperature setting can be 74 or whatever down to 'max cool', no changes are perceived.)

Sometimes, after a few (maybe up to 10) minutes, all of a sudden the air speed/volume increases (as if the recirculate was NOT on, then turned on). Other times it just never changes ...

I noticed that if I press the recirc button off, then on, it makes no difference. However, if I select the dash+foot vents, then reselect just the dash, voila! the air speed increases dramatically!

I don't believe the foot or other vents are on when the car first starts, just the dash.

Is there a problem with my recirculate gate valve or something? Is it supposed to stay open (to vent hot air from the cabin) for a while, even tho I can open the windows to do this very quickly?

TIA ... - Rick.
 

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I noticed that too.
I believe the air is going to other vents. I believe the logic behind that is to cool other parts of the car that could radiate heat back to you, and also to help out the battery behind the rear seats. The battery airflow comes from the rear of the cabin, so that has to be cooled properly too.
 

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I always assumed that this was the equivalent of waiting until the system had "warmed up" (in this case, cooled down) and then turning the fan way up. It is true that the Automatic A/C doesn't always behave exactly the way I would if I were controlling it, but I have decided after several months that if I try to ignore it, I wind up pretty comfortable most of the time with minor tweaks to the temperature setting.

The Prius for me is an exercise in letting go of control... somehow over a period of 10 years I morphed from a person leery of automatic windows to the owner of the ultimate in non-manual-control cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the responses ... seems like there *is* some air going to the floor vents, but the 'light' on the display indicates dash vents only ...

When I select combo vents, then dash vents again, the air from the floor vents seems to stop.

Oh well, when it's hot as heck, I will just have to push a couple more buttons to get what I want!
 

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The automatic climate control that we have is two-tiered. It will actually recirculate the foot area but blow fresh air through the "face" vents. This allows air to be heated up quickly but without foggy up the windows in the winter. I assume it's the same for summer. It doesn't want to blow hot air at your face to it recirculates the air at the foot level to get some circulation going. Once it gets the air cool enough, it'll blow out the "face" (or dash) vents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dang! this thing is too smart for me!!! I should just give up & enjoy! (I do enjoy it!)

Thanks for the explanation!
 

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If you look on page 181 of your manual (+/- a few pages), you'll notice the white arrows in the picture for dash airflow, with the footnote: In the beginning of the automatic air flow mode, air might be delivered.

So, in automatic mode, it may revert the airflow to dash and floor initially, even if it doesn't show it.
When you switch airflows, you lose auto mode.

2G: '04/'05 Prius. For North America, that's the 2nd generation.
 
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