want to disable automatic switching between recirc and outside air mode

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by asthmatic, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. asthmatic

    asthmatic Junior Member

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    I was disappointed to discover after purchasing my new 2012 Prius that it automatically switches between recirculate and outside air mode. This design feature is hazardous to my health, as I have asthma, and inhaling exhaust from the vehicle in front of me gives me an asthma attack. I've spoken to a few people at Toyota customer service and the service manager at the dealership where I purchased my Prius, and they all claim this design feature cannot be fixed. I don't buy this since this design feature is governed by a computer program an engineer could edit if Toyota were so inclined. Indeed, PCer dopler's dealer was able to switch the air intake/inlet mode to manual in his/her 2011 Prius:
    Is it possible to reprogram the AC default? | PriusChat

    I've contacted my dealer about this, and they have not gotten back to me. I've also tried PMing dopler but haven't gotten a reply.

    Has anyone else had success in getting their Gen III Prius (or 2012 Prius preferably) reprogrammed so that the automatic switching between recirculation mode and outside air mode is disabled?

    thanks :)
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Same problem with the Gen2... It's pretty essential from a liability point of view that there is enough air circulating through the cabin and a default return from inside air to outside air without your control lessens that liability. The problem is solved by cultivating an unconscious habit of always switching it....
     
  3. asthmatic

    asthmatic Junior Member

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    How is it essential from a liability point of view? I've had my 1998 Corolla permanently set to recirculate with no issues.

    And, Toyota gave PCer dopler the option to manually set the air intake mode.
     
  4. Les_PL

    Les_PL Active Member

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    I think the recirc mode is limited due to your own safety. How long the acceptable level of oxygen you can maintain inside the closed car? Not to mention the windows fogging. The other thing is micro dust and pollen filter - I assume in 2012 is the same system as in mine 2010 - perhaps it is possible to hack it to keep it continuously ON.
     
  5. asthmatic

    asthmatic Junior Member

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    Driving my 1998 Toyota Corolla with it permanently set to recirculate has been much better for my health than inhaling vehicle exhaust with my 2012 Prius. The only issue I have with my Corolla is occasional fogging.
     
  6. Les_PL

    Les_PL Active Member

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    It means the recirculation is not 100% :) I'm not allergic but also the fumes from other cars (in Poland still plenty of old scrap on roads) reminds me from time to time to push that button - I'm used to it.
     
  7. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    If you use the Mode button to select where the air is directed and adjust the fan speed with its switch (taking you out of Auto mode) the car should stay in recirculate mode indefinitely.
     
  8. Doug E B

    Doug E B Junior Member

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    I ran across this thread and got to thinking that MAYBE the liability issue could have something to do with the battery air filtration being in the back seat in the cabin??
    Just pondering??
     
  9. DaWeav

    DaWeav Junior Member

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    I agree it should be customizable since I live near dairy cows and farms where they are turning up stinky manure dust.

    The manual suggest they do this to conserve power making the Prius more energy efficient. I would like to see the overall efficiency data on this, but since they put this automatic feature in the Prius, it must make enough of a difference in power efficiency.


    GT-P7310 ? HD
     
  10. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    I'm told if you select "eco" mode the car will stay in recirculate, though I haven't verified this.
     
  11. peterjmc

    peterjmc Ping pong in Ding Dang...

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    I hate this feature too. My friends 2008 Camry does this as well.

    I need to pull the dashboard apart to clean the HSI display. While I have that apart, maybe I'll unplug the vent redirector so it remains in the recirc position.
     
  12. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    Just push the recirculation button to turn it on and it will stay this way until next engine start. This is part of the climate control and has nothing to do with liability.It brings in outside air if temperature outside is lower than the cabin in cool mode and if outside temperature is higher than cabin in heat mode, to improve efficiency.
     
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  13. peterjmc

    peterjmc Ping pong in Ding Dang...

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    I want to say that sometimes even though manually selecting recirc, the system automatically changes it to fresh air. I say this because I've sworn that I hit the recirc button manually and find later during the drive, after smelling exhaust fumes, that it's pulling fresh air again.
     
  14. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    If you change the temperature setting latter on, it will reset.

     
  15. kalome

    kalome Member

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    Same thing happen to me. I find it annoying as well. It only happens when I run the heater and for some reason it is inconsistent. Around 80% of the time after about 5-10 minutes of the heat running it automatically switches to fresh air and once in a great while it will happen twice and I have to change it back to recirc for a second time.
    I always leave my heater temp on HI @ 2 or 3 bars fan speed.
     
  16. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    The newspapers regularly cover tragic stories of people in the snow sleeping in their car with the engine on and not enough air circulation combined with car exhaust getting in the car and everybody dies, so that's an extreme example, which may or may not be addressed with the car defaulting to outside air. And in general, I suspect the main risk is if your vehicle had an exhaust leak that got into the cabin you'd be more likely to survive if you had outside air coming in. If you don't have an exhaust leak it's probably not an issue.
     
  17. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    Have you tried not driving so close to the vehicle in front, then you wouldn't smell their exhaust ;0)
     
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  18. Les_PL

    Les_PL Active Member

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    My experience is, when maintaining the reasonable clearance ahead, the other smart guy from right OR left lane immediately fills the gap :/
     
  19. asthmatic

    asthmatic Junior Member

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    That's not the issue for me. It will automatically switch to fresh air even if I've selected recirc (I'm not in AUTO mode either). This is a problem when the outside temperature is below 50 degrees as discussed here:
    Recirculate/Fresh Air Behavior | Page 2 | PriusChat
     
  20. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    If it switch to fresh air again, just hit the button again and it will stay until next start.

     
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