climate control in '03 Twn&Country

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by PeabodyMat, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. PeabodyMat

    PeabodyMat Guest

    I have a new 2003 Town and Country minivan, which we purchased in September.It
    has (supposedly) 3 zone climate control, where you set each of three digital
    temperature controls on the dash, and it supposedly senses the 3 zones and
    automatically adjusts each zones ac/heat accordingly.

    I have a few questions about the way this system works (or doesn't work). And,
    BTW, it has been checked out by the mechanics in the Dealer's service dep't,
    and they claim it is "operating as designed".

    1. The little "snowflake" symbol, indicating that the air conditioner
    compressor is running, runs ALL the time, regardless of the temperature in or
    out of the vehicle. This morning, it was 26 degree, and when left in "auto"
    mode, the snowflake was on. I KNOW that this is useful in cold weather as a
    defroster-enhancer, to dehumidify, but in my other vehicles with "climate
    control", the compressor only runs if the vehicle is either in A/C mode or
    defroster mode, not on heat-only or other mix modes. It seems that the only
    way to have the compressor NOT run is to manually turn it off....which takes
    the entire system out of automatic mode and puts in all into manual. Kind of a
    lousy trade-off if other aspects of the automatic system are desirable, such as

    2. When we still had warm weather here in the northeast, the AC would of
    course run. The vehicle has a number of ceiling AC outlets for the middle and
    rear seat areas. But, I discovered that even when it was quite warm outside,
    and at least 120 degrees in the van when we first start it (after having it
    parked in the hot sun), only the front dash AC outlets are spewing cold air.
    The rear outlets seemed to be off. So, we checked the settings, and the rear
    system was set for "auto", meaning the system was supposed to be determining
    how much air, etc. When we turned the rear system to "rear control", we had no
    trouble manually turning on the rear AC, but again, that defeats the purpose of
    having an automatic system. But, it seems that there is no condition in
    auto-mode that makes the rear AC come on, on its own.

    What gives? Has Chrysler seriously cut corners on the climate control system
    on a $40,000 vehicle, requiring it to be put in manual control to get it to do
    what its auto-system should have been designed to have it do?
    Or is the dealer service department wrong, and the system is not operating as
    Any helpful advice would be appreciated.

    PeabodyMat, Nov 10, 2003
  2. PeabodyMat

    Art Begun Guest

    Have you checked the instruction manual which came with the car? It
    is quite detailed for the 300M climate control which is the best I've
    even had (better than Ford, Toyota, and previous Chrysler).
    Art Begun, Nov 11, 2003
  3. PeabodyMat

    PeabodyMat Guest

    Have you checked the instruction manual which came with the car? It
    As a matter of fact, my other vehicle is a 300M. And so, my expectation was
    that this mini-van, being also a Chrysler, would have a climate control system
    that worked pretty much the same way. The controls are very similar, other
    than the "3 zones" for thermostat temp. adjustment.

    The manual instructions and descriptions are also very similar to those found
    in the 300M manual, and so I really thought the system would operate with
    similar parameters. Nowhere in the manual does it suggest that the a/c
    compressor runs constantly; in fact, the manual states that the automatic
    system will determine when it is needed and run it accordingly...yet according
    to the service manager at the dealer, it is designed to run constantly. So, it
    is not "determining" is as dumb as an on-off switch in the on

    And the manual certainly implies that the rear a/c will run as strongly as
    needed to respond to the thermostat temp selected and the inside/outside temp.
    conditions. But says it is "operating normally", and the way it
    operates, it needs to be run manually to run in the rear.

    I hope someone here knows how this is really supposed to work. The dealer will
    not fix what the dealer claims is "normal operation", but so far, these aspects
    of this climate control system seem like a sham from where I sit.

    PeabodyMat, Nov 11, 2003
  4. PeabodyMat

    Sam Man Guest

    The compressor request is always on when in Auto mode but it's the
    refrigerant suction temperature that determines wether or not it actually
    runs. This means that even though the snowflake is on the compressor clutch
    is actually not if the system senses low/freezing temperatures.
    Sam Man, Nov 11, 2003
  5. PeabodyMat

    PeabodyMat Guest

    The compressor request is always on when in Auto mode but it's the
    Ok, just so I understand, you are saying that the snowflake symbol being lit up
    means nothing...that the compressor runs when needed, and is idle as needed,
    and the symbol is always on.

    The manual says that the symbol is on to indicate when the compressor is
    running. This would make sense. Why would they have it always on?

    PeabodyMat, Nov 11, 2003
  6. PeabodyMat

    mic canic Guest

    the a/c status lite being all the time is not right a reflash of the hvac may be
    in order
    mic canic, Nov 12, 2003
  7. PeabodyMat

    Art Begun Guest

    Actually even in the 99 300M the snowflake isn't a reliable indicator
    of the compressor running.
    Art Begun, Nov 12, 2003
  8. PeabodyMat

    Sam Man Guest

    Nope, it is most definitely correct operation.... The snowflake is always
    on in "AUTO".
    Sam Man, Nov 12, 2003
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