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Old 10-11-2017, 09:38 PM   #1
amphora001
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Default California fire & air recirculation button

My car's recirculation button doesn't do ****. I press it, and less than a minute later I can smell the smoke in the air outside. This is bad because of the massive fire in California. Is it just my car or should GM fix this?
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:51 PM   #2
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The re-circ shuts off the outside air and recycles the air inside at a higher fan rate. Usually it helps you cool down faster. However, your car is not air tight. Run over a skunk and you'll smell that, too. There is nothing wrong with your car.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:16 PM   #3
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Newsflash - your car is not airtight! Ergo smoke from fires you drive past.

Recirculation will help but not eliminate outside scents. The only way to eliminate outside scents it so make it so that there is no way for outside air to get in. Impractical for a car...
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:15 PM   #4
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Years ago I read that there was some sort of restriction that required a certain percentage of outside air even when you were on recirculate. I think the reasoning was for carbon monoxide, but if it were truly sealed, you'd eventually suffocate.

The other part of what I read mentioned that cars built in the US had to comply with this, but not foreign built cars. That was always hard to believe, except for the fact that every foreign car I've owned has a MUCH better recirculate system than every domestic car I've owned.

Don't get me started on skunks, since it must be skunk season here in TN, but at least you can get past those and roll the windows down. The smoke situation is inescapable.

Rusty

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Old 10-12-2017, 01:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amphora001 View Post
My car's recirculation button doesn't do ****. I press it, and less than a minute later I can smell the smoke in the air outside. This is bad because of the massive fire in California. Is it just my car or should GM fix this?
On our 2017 2LT, the default seems to be recirc. Pushing the Recirc button can actually turn the recirc off.

With the car running and system in auto, try changing the temp control by just 1 degree, to open up the screen that shows you the current settings for all the climate control stuff. That will tell you if you're in recirc or not.

Let us know what you find, I'm still learning this stuff too.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:12 PM   #6
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In this situation the Porsche is a lot better.

That "restriction" that you mention makes no sense. Tesla has a Bioweapon Defense Mode that is definitely air tight.

Last edited by amphora001; 10-12-2017 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:04 PM   #7
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Tesla does not have an internal combustion engine that exhausts carbon monoxide.
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:08 PM   #8
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A better cabin air filter will also help with that, the factory filter is Kleenex thin and doesn't do anything for smoke and/or odor. I've had great experiences with the Fram FreshBreeze in my C7. In my Volt and Cruze I use the TYC carbon filters and they're ok, batter than factory at least, but not as good as the FreshBreeze when it comes to trapping things like smoke, odor, and diesel exhaust.

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Old 10-12-2017, 03:13 PM   #9
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Tesla does not have an internal combustion engine that exhausts carbon monoxide.
good point
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:13 PM   #10
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A better cabin air filter will also help with that, the factory filter is Kleenex thin and doesn't do anything for smoke and/or odor. I've had great experiences with the Fram FreshBreeze in my C7. In my Volt and Cruze I use the TYC carbon filters and they're ok, batter than factory at least, but not as good as the FreshBreeze when it comes to trapping things like smoke, odor, and diesel exhaust.
I'll definitely order one. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mschuyler View Post
The re-circ shuts off the outside air and recycles the air inside at a higher fan rate. Usually it helps you cool down faster. However, your car is not air tight. Run over a skunk and you'll smell that, too. There is nothing wrong with your car.
The recirc does NOT shut off all outside air. There is always a fresh air bleed to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. I think it reduces it to 10 or 15 percent of non recirc.
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:45 PM   #12
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On our 2017 2LT, the default seems to be recirc. Pushing the Recirc button can actually turn the recirc off.
I think you will find that it appears to be the default because it starts in that mode if your car is warm. If you just leave it alone, after a few minutes it turns off the recirc and reverts to normal as the HVAC catches up. "Auto" would also have to be ON for it to work this way. If you hit Recirc when AUTO is on, it will turn off because effectively you put it in Manual mode.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschuyler View Post
I think you will find that it appears to be the default because it starts in that mode if your car is warm. If you just leave it alone, after a few minutes it turns off the recirc and reverts to normal as the HVAC catches up. "Auto" would also have to be ON for it to work this way. If you hit Recirc when AUTO is on, it will turn off because effectively you put it in Manual mode.
Our C6 worked that way, but so far our C7 seems to stay in recirc forever. I've checked it an hour after starting and it was still in recirc.
I can force it into non-recirc, but then it's no longer in Auto.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:46 PM   #14
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I believe there is a fault in the system, then. It certainly is not normal for all C7's. Mine works as I explained.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:07 PM   #15
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The ONLY way you are going to keep outside air from coming in is to have a source of clean atmosphere that pressurizes the cabin so that it is slightly above atmospheric.

The "bio defense mode" of Tesla uses its HEPA filter to also filter a small amount of incoming air used to help keep the interior above outside atmosphere but it isn't going to protect you against a bio-terror attack given the filter pass size versus virus size. That hyped promise comes from the same culture that creates the over-hyped production quotas that don't quite happen...
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:00 AM   #16
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Uh, I drove through the hugh Oregon fires 🔥 hit the recirculation button and it work well keeping the dense smoke out.
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