Remote A/C & Climate Prep Quick Guide

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Since2002, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I will never forget in the 1970's buying a portable radio made in Japan in which the instructions cautioned "Do not enjoy your radio in the rain". After reading the (online) Prime manual regarding Remote A/C and Climate Prep it seems that instructions have only marginally improved in the ensuing decades.

    As probably everyone knows the main pages for Remote A/C (the keyfob function) are found on pages 509, 510, 511, 512. However I found a few other references scattered about the manual which (sometimes) shed additional light. Listed below, followed by a few scattered references to Climate Prep. (if this list should instead be a sticky feel free to move it out of this thread)


    Page 99

    Using the Remote Air Conditioning System (→P. 509) while the charging cable is connected to the vehicle can reduce electricity consumption immediately after starting off by operating air conditioning mainly using electricity from an external power source.

    Page 150

    When the following operations are performed while the charging timer is on standby, timer charging is temporarily canceled and charging is started immediately.
    ●When the Remote Air Conditioning System (→P. 509) is operated

    Page 173
    When the Remote Air Conditioning System is operated, the system will start charging immediately, even if the charge schedule is registered. To carry out charging using the timer, stop the Remote Air Conditioning System, and then reconnect the charging cable.

    Page 493

    If frost has formed on the outside heat exchanger, the heating performance will decline. The frost can be removed from the outside heat exchanger by operating the Remote Air Conditioning System before driving (→P. 509). When frosted over, the heating operation of the Remote Air Conditioning System starts after defrosting

    Page 740 (my paraphrase of the table) the default to turn on/off Remote A/C is you have to press and hold the Remote A/C button on the fob for 0.8 seconds. However you can have the dealer change this to a single press of the button, or a double press of the button, or you can have them disable the Remote A/C button.

    CLIMATE PREP

    Page 99

    When setting the timer, selecting the start time setting mode and setting “Climate Prep” to “On” can reduce electricity consumption immediately after starting off by operating air conditioning before charging is completed. (→P. 147)

    Page 147

    Air conditioning-linked setting (“Climate Prep”)
    When the charging mode is set to “Departure”, the vehicle air conditioning system (→P. 488, 498) can be set to automatically operate* according to the set time. By adjusting the cabin temperature in advance, passengers can enjoy a pleasant interior immediately after entering the vehicle.
    *: Operation starts approximately 10 minutes before the set departure time.

    Page 149

    “Climate Prep”
    ●When the air conditioning-linked setting is turned on, the air conditioning operates until the set departure time. Therefore, the air conditioning will consume electricity and charging may not complete by the set departure time.
    ●If the hybrid battery (traction battery) is fully charged, charging will not be carried out, even if the charge schedule is set. However, if “Climate Prep” is turned on, the air conditioning will operate only once when it nears the time set in “Departure”. If this occurs, the air conditioning will consume electricity and the remaining charge of the hybrid battery (traction battery) when departing may be decreased.

    Page 153

    ■ Registering the charge schedule (continued from page 152)

    8 - When the charging mode is set to “Departure”, set the “Climate Prep” (→P. 147) to on or off.


    Page 174

    When “Climate Prep” is set to “On”, the air conditioning operates until the set departure time. Therefore, charging may not complete by the set time due to charging conditions. To have the hybrid battery (traction battery) fully charged, allow charging to continue.
     
  2. Db17

    Db17 Member

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    I can't quite figure out from reading the manuals ... does this either/both heat or cool the car to the preset temp?
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it does both, but not at the same time. keep in mind, toyota refers to hvac as 'a/c'.
     
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  4. David Schwartz

    David Schwartz New Member

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    Wow, now I am more confused... so does the "Remote A/C" (pressing the button) turn on the climate control if the vehicle is unplugged? Will it fire up the hybrid system if the battery is low (like a remote starting switch) or is it just a slave to the plug/battery? (if not plugged in or the battery is insufficient, than the climate control will not turn on).

    If you have your Prime set to charge when plugged in right away (so it will be full ASAP), than you have a departure time with climate prep turned on, will you still get a full battery and the climate control will be turned on in time before departure? The documentation you quoted seems to say otherwise.

    Anyway, this is a GREAT vehicle, just got it yesterday and I will be doing my own experiments and post my results here. Glad to be a Prius owner again and I am Primed up about this vehicle!
     
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  5. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Yes.

    It's a slave to the battery. It won't fire up the engine.
     
  6. Swauger

    Swauger Junior Member

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    My complaint is that we have our Prime connected to a ChargePoint L2 charger. When we set/use the climate prep, every time she gets into the car in the morning, it says "10 minutes to full charge" and she only has 19 or 20 miles of estimated range. I wish the car would know its plugged in and ask for electricity from the charger and not from the car's own battery. I even checked with Charepoint and the charger is working correctly. It only charges the car when the Prime tells it to.
     
  7. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    The manual says, and others have reported, that the charger keeps up with climate prep when plugged into L2. I don't know why you aren't seeing it.
     
  8. Swauger

    Swauger Junior Member

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    That's what I read too but it's not happening.
     
  9. gocachin

    gocachin New Member

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    I've only had mine for two days, so bear with me. I'm in Maine, so it's wicked cold here right now. The first night I used the remote A/C at a friends house with the outside temp at 2 degrees F. The Prime started the engine to heat the car. The second night while out to dinner again used the remote A/C and the electric heat pump started at about 15 degrees F. I am obviously not religious about fuel conservation, but just want to figure out how things work.
     
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  10. Cave Arnold

    Cave Arnold Member

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    I thought I would share my experiences versus expectations based on the same manual entries quoted earlier in this thread. I have had my prime for a couple of weeks now. I started using the departure time with climate prep set to on.

    My expectation was that the climate prep would enable 10 minutes prior to the set departure time. This is similar to the way I have verified both remote climate via Entune and A/C button work, where they start the Air Conditioning and/or Heat Pump at the previous temp settings and run the system for 10 minutes only. My experience has been that the climate prep is not working 10 minutes prior to the departure time. I checked and the A/C system never enabled as it does when I press A/C.

    I next tested different scenarios with the SoC. In my initial testing I had the departure time set far enough in the future that the battery was able to complete it's charging 30-60 minutes before departure. I thought perhaps because the charging had completed prior to departure that may have been why the A/C did not activate.

    My next test was to set the departure time in such a way that the battery would not be fully charged and see what would happen. I set the departure time for one hour when the 120V charging would take about 5 hours. I checked in on the vehicle at 10 minutes til departure time and waited until departure time. The A/C never started although it was plugged in and charging the entire time.

    I tried this a couple of more times during the charge cycle with the same results. Climate prep never triggered the A/C to start.

    Lastly, I tried using the vehicles estimate of charge time remaining to set the departure at the exact time it would be finished charging. My thought was that perhaps when it realized the battery was not fully charged, it did not stop the charging to start the A/C. If it were closer to 100% charged it might act differently. This experiment failed on both attempts to produce the expected result of the A/C being enabled prior to departure.

    I have thus far never had an instance where the departure time with climate prep has caused the A/C to be turned on in the Prime.

    Since my prime is garaged the satellite remote access to enable A/C also fails, but that is understandable and I get the timeout in the Entune app as expected. What I do now is about 10-15 minutes before I depart I press the A/C button on my key FOB. The battery is always completely charged as I leave the departure time setting the way it is with the climate prep enabled so the battery SoC is 100% 30-60 minutes before departure. The Prime is also still plugged into a 120V outlet and the charger is connected to the vehicle, When I press A/C on the FOB the A/C system starts and the charge port light turns on slightly before I hear the Heat Pump and fans engaging. the A/C button has always worked for me when the vehicle is garaged.

    When my Prime is parked outside at work I use the remote climate via Entune on my iPhone to start the A/C a couple of minutes before I leave the office. I have no access to L1 or L2 chargers at work so it is running off the traction battery which is normally empty by the time I arrive after the 28 mile one-way trip. I love that the A/C works though and so by the time I walk to my car in the cold it is nice and toasty.

    I thought I would share my experiences on this thread. If you have had a different experience with departure time and climate prep please let me know. Thanks.
     
  11. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I think someone else said it doesn't work at all unless the doors are locked.
     
  12. Cave Arnold

    Cave Arnold Member

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    I locked the doors and I have verified that departure climate prep works exactly as I expected. I would not have thought to lock the car. I keep my cars in a locked garage and never lock the vehicles themselves. I will change that practice going forward as departing in a vehicle that is pre-warmed or pre-cooled is worth it.
     
  13. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    To me, that's a bug. I can't find anywhere in the manual where it says the doors must be locked and I can think of no reason this would be necessary.
     
  14. Gen 3 for me

    Gen 3 for me Member

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    Tremendous help to me. I could not figure what I was doing wrong.
     
  15. Tom_06

    Tom_06 Active Member

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    Using the "A/C" button on the key fob beeps, locks the doors, and then starts climate prep. With climate prep and the departure timer, the beep happens but the doors do not lock automatically (if they are not locked) and no climate prep occurs. You would think they would have done it using the same bit of code - apparently not.

    I have found it useful if I am not leaving at the set time to not lock the doors so that climate prep is skipped without having to change my timer program.

    And they lied in the Prime brochure when they said it uses the charger to run climate prep. It runs the traction battery down for running climate prep which turns off after 10 minutes right at departure time. Then if you wait for the charger to top off the traction battery the car is cold again. At least that is how it works for the L1 charger. I am running 240V to my garage and have bought an L2 charge cable so I should be able to see what happens with a 240V charger soon.
     
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  16. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I think it may related to the statement about the companion function Remote AC on page 511:

    ■Security feature
    Any unlocked doors will be automatically locked when the system is operating.

    Which I can only guess is because of the possibility that the system could malfunction and run the heater indefinitely, making it dangerous if a child gets into the car. As alluded to in one of the warnings for Remote AC

    ●Do not use the system if people are in the vehicle. Even when the system is in use, the internal temperature may still reach a high or low level due to features such as the automatic shut-off. Children and pets left inside the vehicle may suffer heatstroke dehydration or hypothermia or could result in death or serious injury

    But that still doesn't explain why Remote AC will lock the doors for you, but Climate Prep won't. Maybe because pressing the key fob is an instantaneous action while you are presumably somewhere near the car, whereas Climate Prep will be happening in the future with no one around. I still don't see the difference but maybe someone at Toyota did.

    So either it's a bug, or if it was designed this way it is an omission in the manual.

    Based on the manual, it does use the charger for AC, but since that starts 10 minutes prior to departure, you miss the last 10 minutes of charging, so by departure time you won't have a full charge. I think some people reported experiences that line up with what the manual is saying.
     
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  17. Tom_06

    Tom_06 Active Member

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    No, you don't miss the last 10 minutes of charging. Charging generally finishes 1/2 hour early or more. I have watched it multiple times and have monitored the charging with an ammeter. When climate prep comes on, it only draws a fraction of an amp. When the battery discharges enough to resume charging, the current jumps to the battery charging level. I posted the results in an earlier thread on climate prep and charging.
     
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  18. Cave Arnold

    Cave Arnold Member

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    I can also confirm Tom's assertion above as I did my own tests. I have my weekday departure time with climate prep enabled for 7:40 am.

    Sunday I had a full charge but left the Prime plugged into the 120V, so Monday at 7:30 am I confirmed that the HP and fans were on. I left at 7:45 am and the battery was at 100% SoC.

    Monday night I charged the car to about 70% and then left it plugged. I received notification that the car was completed charging at 7:10 am and at 7:30 am confirmed that the HP and fans were on. I left at 7:40 am and I had 100% SoC.

    Tuesday night I left the battery at 0% SoC. I received notification that the car was completed charging at 6:44 am. At 7:30 am the HP and fans were on and I interrupted "charging" at 7:35 am 5 minutes into the heating cycle and I still had 100% SoC.
     
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  19. David Schwartz

    David Schwartz New Member

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    Interesting, that is my experience as well... I have a LEAF and would take it to work where I have my L2 cord plugged in.. when I plugged it in, it would start charging, be done in about 3-4 hours. I had the climate control set to depart at 4:30, at 4pm it heats/cools the vehicle and I get a toasty warm or nice cold car when I leave work.

    So I thought with the Prime, since it has EV like features, it would be similar. I set the charger to depart with climate prep at 4:30. At about 2:30, the car starts charging and I get a nice notification on my iPhone (Entune works great!). But alas, there is no climate prep. even thought everything is set right, I don't think this car is doing the same thing. I would complain to the dealer but they kind of hate me and understand the car even less. When I send email to Toyota customer service, they forward it to the dealer! ARGH! Such bad customer service.

    I am forced to conclude it is some kind of software bug. Another "feature" I don't like is that since I have the 4:30 event scheduled, I don't get a charge when I get to the office at 9, I get nothing until 2:30. I know I can override this by pressing the magic button before the car drives away on the screen (really cool animation BTW) or I can go through the manual menu with the dashboard button if I forget and select it that way. BUT I have to remember that each time and of course I still don't get the climate prep. That option is as useless as shields in a nebula.

    So who do you complain about software bugs too? How can this be updated? Does Entune take care of it? What about Navigation map updates? There is no more DVD, so I wonder how it would take place? Time will tell!
     
  20. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    This is post 19, and the answer is in post 11 and confirmed in post 12.
     
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