A/C in Gen III is not on par with Gen II

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by wwbarr, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. wwbarr

    wwbarr Junior Member

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    Still have less than 60 miles on our new Gen III V but have noticed that the A/C is considerably less cold than in our Gen II (at startup to quickly cool off a hot interior). We've never though we've had a problem quickly cooling the Gen II in a minute or so but the Gen III definitely took several minutes to cool everything down.

    We know that the Gen III A/C is much more efficient and now we think we see how some of this efficiency is achieved.

    Nonetheless, anyone know what the rated lowest temperature of the Gen III's A/C is versus the A/C in the Gen II ?

    Or, since I'm not an air conditioner technician, is this comparing apples and oranges ?
     
  2. rachaelseven

    rachaelseven New Member

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    No air-con technician here and I never owned a Gen II to compare to, but our new Gen III seems pretty dang cold to me. One thing that did catch us off guard was the way the vents opened and closed... we were 70 miles into our first trip when we realized the reason we were still warm was that half the vents were closed! Once we opened them up, we cooled off almost instantly.
     
  3. dc202

    dc202 Member

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    95 degrees today with high humidity and my AC worked like a charm. Very cold, absolutely no complaints. As good as any other vehicle I have had, and I have had plenty of new cars.
     
  4. wwbarr

    wwbarr Junior Member

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    okay, we've set our Gen III & Gen II to 70 degrees. Set the Gen III to 67 degree to see if that would help cool off quickly as we are used to in the Gen II but it did not seem to make a difference.

    maybe will have to set it at the lowest temperature to see if the really cold air kicks in immediately at the much lower setting.

    I'm not knocking the Gen III A/C, just trying to figure out if it just works differently than the Gen II A/C.

    thank you for helping me re-calibrate my expectations.
     
  5. maledyris

    maledyris New Member

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    You're probably aware of this, but just in case... are you by any chance driving in Eco mode while you're trying out the AC? As you may know, the AC runs in "reduced" mode when you're in Eco to help further improve fuel efficiency.
    If you're not in Eco, well... Maybe don't try that mode when you're really feeling hot or you'll be even more disappointed ;)
     
  6. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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    Are the cars the same color?

    It would be interesting, if you feel up to it, to test them both simultaneously.
    If you have a couple thermometers, or if you want to blow money on a couple cheap ones, you should park them next to eachother and test it out.

    Maybe even two of those electronic thermometers with remote sensors...
    Leave them parked for a while, check the temps, then simultaneously turn on both A/C systems, and then record the time lengths it takes for them to cool in set increments.

    Of course, them being as close in color as possible would be an important factor... but it would also be interesting to see results of a differently colored pair of cars.
     
  7. wave_slider

    wave_slider New Member

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    No doubt the exterior and interior colors are a large part of the equation. My wife's Corolla is Magnetic Gray and Dark Charcoal interior and in the middle of the day, takes forever to get cool. Tinted windows seem to help a little, but stays on fan setting 2 in the daytime. My other SUV never had to go to setting 2 cause it got too cold...
     
  8. Vincent

    Vincent Don't Wait Until Tomorrow

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    From South Florida.
    I've owned the Gen II and Gen III in the same colors (Classic Silver).
    I find the Gen III A/C much quieter and cools faster.
     
  9. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

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    Just my $.02, you may want to run your A/C in the "Recirculate" mode for about 5-10 minutes. This recycles the chilled air in the cabin rather than constantly pulling in outside air and trying to cool it.

    Best regards,
    Jabberwocky
     
  10. claridiva

    claridiva New Member

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    I agree with Jabberwocky, make sure you are in "recirculate" and not in ECO mode if you want the full AC. I find that the AC works better in the Gen III. I live in TX where it averages at or over 100 with substantial humidity in the summer and I find that I am keeping the AC set at a higher degree (76-79) than I did in my previous car. I actually keep mine in ECO mode to reduce the output! I also use a heatshield screen in the front window (ordered from the PriusChat shop) and I purposefully bought a light colored exterior/interior combination. Best of luck!
     
  11. fred garvin

    fred garvin New Member

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    i came home one day and the house was waaay too cold. The ac was set on 72, and i asked my wife why it set at 72. She told me the house had been 80 degrees and she wanted it to cool off fast, so she set it lower than the 76 degrees she was after.

    analagous to setting it at 67 vs 70 and expecting it to maybe cool faster.
     
  12. Salsawonder

    Salsawonder New Member

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    I get way too cool in my Gen III and regularly decrease the fan or increase the temp. I love the more flexible controls on the AC and with the solar roof the car cools off much faster as it is not as hot inside.
     
  13. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    This is my first Prius so can't compare it to previous gen, but compared to other cars I've owned, the A/C works very well. Gets cold very quickly.

    Also--I'm wondering if others have experienced what I have, that is I need to keep the temp 6 degrees higher (74) than I have in previous cars (68) to maintain a comfortable temp. At 68 it's freezing.
     
  14. jestoy7

    jestoy7 New Member

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    I have found the AC to be extremely good in my Gen III relative to other cars that I have owned.
     
  15. rachaelseven

    rachaelseven New Member

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    Yup. I keep the house at 72 and I'm comfortable and I did about the same with the Lincoln I traded in. But even with all the glass in the Prius, anything below 76 causes icicles on my nose :)
     
  16. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    My 2006 was black and my 2010 is blizzard pearl, but I find the A/C on the 2010 to cool much faster than it did in my 2006. And that's even with the car in ECO mode. I know exterior color matters but the dash is still black and the seats are even darker in my 2010...
     
  17. eglmainz

    eglmainz New Member

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    Don't confuse ECO mode (Engine mode) with Recirculate (A/C venting mode). While you are in ECO mode, the top fan speed (and possibly other settings) are reduced to conserve power. However, while in ECO driving mode (or any other mode, EV, normal or PWR), you can still select between 'recirculate' and 'outside air'

    The difference is the source of the air being cooled (or heated when heat is on). When on Recirculate, it takes the interior air, and runs it back through the system to cool additionally. (or heat). As opposed to venting in outside air, and cooling that.

    Optimally, if it is very hot inside your car (100+ degrees), you will want to start by bringing in outside air, (as it will likely be cooler than the 150 degree inside air) until it starts to feel a little cooler. At that point, you could switch to recirculate mode, so that it make that inside air cooler and cooler. Similarly, you will want to run in recirc mode in the winter as well, so that you are not always heating cold outside air, but heating and reheating inside air to make it warmer.
     
  18. claridiva

    claridiva New Member

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    Thanks, I didn't mean to imply that ECO mode and "recirculate" were connected. I meant that as 2 separate entities that could both effect the air conditioning productivity. I run mine in ECO mode and recirc. most of the time.
     
  19. IraS

    IraS Member

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    From my experience, the A/C in the Gen III is better than the A/C in the Gen II.

    I had the temperature set to 75 in my 2004 Prius. When I got the 2010 Prius, I set the same temperature, and I was cold. I increased the temperature to 77 and I am now comfortable. (Of course, my wife normally fiddles with her vent controls and is waiting for the car to cool off. That is no different than before. When she is "comfortable" I am freezing.)

    Since I normally have the car in Eco Mode, I know the A/C is running at reduced power. Even so, it appears to cool faster than in my 2004 Prius and keeps me comfortable.

    The color of the car also makes a difference. My 2004 Prius was Seaside Pearl (light blue), while my 2010 Prius is the Blue Ribbon Metallic (dark blue), which I would expect to absorb more heat (i.e. the inside temperature would be higher).

    I live in Austin, TX where the temperatures have been at or over 100 degrees for the past couple of months. This afternoon it is a little cooler - it is only 98 degrees outside!

    Unless you measure the inside temperature with a thermometer (as was suggested previously), I think the comparison of the A/C between different cars is rather subjective. It is also subject to personal feelings, so what appears to be better to me may seem worse to you.
     
  20. DanMode

    DanMode Brooklyn Prius Guy

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    Just a quick side note. Make sure that the A/C light in the 2010 Prius is lit 'green'. I had someone test drive my car and told me that the AC was broken and just blowing 'hot' air. I took a look at the console, and saw that the Auto button was pressed, but the A/C button wasn't. So it was blowing warmer air instead of cooling down the cabin. Could be a simple oversight such as this.