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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To deactivate automatic a/c feature:

1. Turn vehicle off.
2. Turn fan knob off.
3. Turn temperature knob all the way to the left (blue area..
4. Turn vent knob to panel only setting (next to max. a/c..
5. Hold down both air re-circulation button and a/c button while turning the key to the "run" position (one short of starting..
6. Continue holding for 7 seconds until air re-circulation button stops flashing.
7. Anytime you engage defrost or defrost/heat positions, the A/C will automatically turn on. Press the A/C button to turn the A/C compressor OFF, the light will go out.

NOTE: If the climate control computer is disconnected from battery power, it will likely revert to factory settings.

To reactivate automatic a/c feature:

1. Turn vehicle off.
2. Turn fan knob off.
3. Turn temperature knob all the way to the left (blue area..
4. Turn vent knob all the way to the right (defrost position..
5. Hold down both air re-circulation button and a/c button while turning the key to the "run" position (one short of starting..
6. Continue holding for 7 seconds until air re-circulation button stops flashing.
7. After the 7 seconds described in step 6, the re-circulation button will start to flash. Continue to hold the button for another 7 seconds. After this, the a/c light will turn to green and it's finished!

The Honda Canada website offers quite a few tips/tricks for the Element. The above is one of them.



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Phreaxer said:
What is the point?
Excuse me, but many of us avail ourselves of this feature on a daily basis... so what is YOUR point, Phreaxer? :x
 

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One of the reason's the defrost activates the AC is because the AC dries out the air, which assists with defrosting your windshield (at least, that is how it has been explained to me in the past).

So here is my question . . .

How well does the defrost work sans the AC assist? I can see real MPG benefit if I can run the defrost without the AC, but I still need my defrost to work.

Thanks in advance for the opinions about to flow . . .
 

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Very well, but not completely without the A/C. You still need it in high-humidity situations. However, you don't have to run it continuously for it to be effective.

To that end, I am constantly amazed that the windshield clears 4-5 seconds after I manually activate the compressor. It's a pain that I have to turn it on like that every few minutes (an "automatic" cycling method would be nice), but that I have the option to keep compressor operation to a minimum is really appreciated.
 

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Thanks for the turning off of the auto A/C on defrost. Living in the land of 100% humidity 99% of the time, the best thing I found out on my previous vehicles was to hit the defrost and then turn up the heat. Either open the windows or leave them crack and within 5 minutes, the windshield is clear and does not fog up as quickly if I had used the A/C method. Yes, the blast of heat is not nice in the 80 deg morning drive to work, but for the 5 minutes of suffering, I don't have to cycle the A/C or use the wipers since the condensation is on the outside of the windshield.
 

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That is so cool, I too needed this little bit of info and am glad to finally find it. I only need my defroster to clear the windscreen for couple of seconds as well, in the winter I just want heat and not run the compressor.
Veryy cool indeed!!
Thanks :)
 

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Love this "mod". This behavior is precisely how the HVAC should act by default IMO --- the A/C runs automatically and with the A/C light on(!!) however it can also be turned off manually but left in Defrost.

Think of the implications of NOT doing this mod --- many people might "forever" run the A/C, not knowing it's on, because the A/C light won't light when it was activated by earlier choosing the Defrost setting.

The directions on that Honda/Canadian site are a bit different, for whatever reason:

"Climate Control Information

For increased window defogging, the A/C comes on whenever the DEFROST or HEAT/DEFROST modes are selected. When another mode is selected, the A/C remains on unless it is turned off manually by pressing the A/C button.

The operational mode of the defroster control can be changed to permit the A/C to be turned off manually when the mode control is set to HEAT/DEFROST or DEFROST.

To change the operational mode to enable manual A/C selection with DEFROST and HEAT/DEFROST:

Turn the ignition switch to ACCESSORY (I).
Select the VENT mode.
Push and hold the A/C and REC buttons simultaneously then turn the ignition switch ON (II).
While holding the A/C and REC buttons, wait for the A/C lamp to flash 5 times, after which the REC lamp will come on. This sequence of lamps indicates you have successfully changed the operational mode to manual A/C.


To change the operational mode back to enable auto A/C with DEFROST and HEAT/DEFROST:

Turn the ignition switch to ACCESSORY (I).
Select the DEF mode.
Push and hold the A/C and REC buttons simultaneously then turn the ignition switch ON (II).
While holding the A/C and REC buttons, wait for the REC lamp to flash 5 times, after which the A/C lamp will come on. This sequence of lamps indicates you have successfully changed the operational mode back to auto A/C."
 

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Phreaxer said:
wow, little pissy there mike?
my point was "WHAT IS THE POINT OF TURNING OFF THE A/C WHEN HONDA DETERMINES IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO USE WHILE DEFROSTING?"
We're not going to get into this argument again, are we? Some people like manual, some people like auto, it's nice to have a choice.
 

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Strictly speaking, there is virtually no advantage to not having the A/C run, assuming that keeping the windshield is the actual goal.

You saw that I'm on record, however, for being wild about this "mod."

The answer for me lies in what I regard as Honda's bizarre implementation of the auto-A/C feature when Defrost is selected, as it relates to the Element --- other Hondas such as the CR-V do it intelligently from the git-go.

Default Annoyance #1: When Defrost is selected, the A/C indicator doesn't light. IMO the A/C indicator should always inform the driver that the A/C system is on, even when "air conditioning" per se isn't the goal.

Default Annoyance #2: Even if you think #1 is no big deal, or that it might "confuse" drivers to see the A/C light on, if the selector is then moved away from Default to something else, the A/C stays running and with its light still off. That's damn near friggin' defective behavior.
 

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Phreaxer said:
I'm not interesting arguing. Honestly, I'm fine with it the way I bought it, so I don't care. I just wanted to know what the advantage of turning it off would be...
Saving gas as one, better acceleration as two .
 

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Thank you thank you thank you!!!
I tried to do this several months ago but somehow I got confused and set my alarm for auto arm instead. Did'nt know for a few weeks until my wife and I went to pick up some flower pots at a strangers house. Imagine the scene as my wife opened the door to load a pot in and the horn starts going off (loudly). The woman we were buying the pots from was on her front porch holding her baby (screaming). Neighbors were across the street (staring). I was running to the E (freaking). I did a search for this mod and could'nt find it. Well I am happy to report my alarm only arms when I want it to. And now my ac helps with defrost when I want it to (great).
 

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As to why: here's my take:

I prefer to have air blowing all the time at a low-to-moderate rate, but the center console vents are too much and too focused. Instead I drive with the defrost/floor vents on almost all the time, and this fix allows me to do it without the A/C sucking up energy needlessly.

IMO, this should be the default, and there should be a 'max defrost' setting on the right end of the dial that kicks on the A/C.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here's a reason why I turned off the A/C Compressor the other morning. The temp had dropped down into the 60's when I was going to head to work before 7am. It had rained the night before and it was very humid. Every window had fogged up both inside and out. It was already a bit chilly wearing only a short sleeve shirt so instead of allowing the a/c to blow cold air I turned it off and moved the temp dial to the warmest setting. I sat there for a few minutes and the windshield began to clear and I headed to work.

The wipers obviously don't work on the inside and wiping them down doesn't really work. If I had left the compressor on the windshield would have continued to fog for my entire 27 mile commute... BTDT.

This works perfectly.



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I will have to second seb's post. I also can't stand the air coming out of the vents. During the summer, I never need to defog/defrost, and during the winter, the outside air is already too dry. The occassions that I'd actually need the extra power of the a/c are so rare that I'd rather have manual control.
 

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I have had my 2003 for a month and have been wondering why I always have a pool of water under the vehicle just about every time I drive the vehicle with out having the ac on...NOW I think I know (¿¿) This is a HUBERT two thumbs up!
 
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