METALandMIRRORS: Life: Climate Controls & Fuel Economy - 2016 Mini Cooper S Electric Blue Metallic (Post #5)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Life: Climate Controls & Fuel Economy - 2016 Mini Cooper S Electric Blue Metallic (Post #5)

Below are the current fuel efficiency summaries along with the cost to operate by day and by mile; with and without maintenance.  The last two graphs are new and will be presented going forward. 

For the most part, cost per mile is still steady with a small increase, and although the average MPG dropped slightly,  I still feel they are within tolerance of one another.  The largest variance is still fuel cost, and I don't see that ever remaining too steady.  I do expect the average MPG reading to take another drop due to the extreme temperatures we've had here.  I've really used the A/C a lot more than usual due to temps near 100° (37.77 Celsius).  I've had my first oil change by choice at ~4100 miles just as a precaution to breaking in a new engine.  Take a look at the data, and let me know if you have any questions, or wish to see the data in other ways.  BY the way, the cost for the oil change was ~$108.00 if anyone was curious.  You can get approximately 10,000 miles per change based on Mini's guidelines.
Now on to the primary topic - Climate Controls.  I've been driving for now for 34 years.  I've driven A LOT of vehicles in that time; some with sparse features, and many fully loaded.  For the most part, vehicle features operate in roughly the same manner, it's just where they were located within each model that has most people scratching their heads.

The climate control features for the Mini are pretty straight forward, very easy to see and operate.  See the picture below for the layout.  The picture below indicates the climate control is in Max A/C mode with all vents displacing air at maximum output and maximum cooling.  60° is as low as the temperature setting will go.  The max temperature setting is 84°.  You'll see when Max A/C is selected, the button is illuminated (same as the regular A/C button).  Whenever this button is active, the A/C system will drop both sides to 60° and go full fan speed.  However, when you disengage the Max A/C option, the individual temperature settings will go back to whatever the defaults were for each passenger. If you push the A/C button while it is illuminated, it will shut off the air conditioning and place your vehicle in essentially a circulated air mode, or heating mode.  Circulated air is fine given the outside temperature is not too warm. To turn the climate control system totally off, all you have to do is rotate the center dial all the way left.  To turn it back on, a small turn to the right is all you need.
Dual climate controls make it very nice to keep each passenger relatively comfortable without impacting the interior climate one way or the other.  The two buttons at the far left and right control the heated seats.  Three warming options are available.  I won't go into anymore detail about those, but wanted to bring attention to them as they are related to the climate control features of the car.  That said, my focus will be on the actual climate temperature settings, fan speed controls, and the vent configuration options.

There are seven (7) fan speed settings, and eight (8) vent configuration options. The photo below shows the fan speeds set at low (1st setting), medium (4th setting), and finally max output (7th setting).  The lights indicate what fan speed you selected, and are very easy to see as the photo depicts.
Although the photos were all taken when the system was in manual mode, the only real difference when your system is in Auto mode, is that the green indicator above the word Auto will be highlighted as noted in the photo below.
Below is a photo of all the eight (8) vent configurations you can choose.  The larger bottom photo below without any arrows represents all vents are in use.  Note, that if you are in AUTO mode, any attempt to select a new vent setting will automatically take you out of AUTO mode.  You can only change the fan speed in Auto mode.  Hence the word Auto I guess.  More on that in just a moment after the photo below.
Now, here is where it's slightly different to any vehicle I've ever owned with an Auto mode for A/C & Heating.  When you select AUTO mode and set a temperature, the system takes care of everything else for you which is essentially the fan speed, and of course the blended air to maintain the temperature.  Set your temperature and walk away so to speak.  The Mini is the first vehicle that let me control the fan speed in Auto mode.  A little strange for me at first because why would I want to do that?  I selected Auto for a reason, right?  Well, the Mini does adjust the fan speed as necessary in Auto mode; however, I've come to like the fact I can choose to increase or decrease that fan speed to speed things up, or slow them down as necessary.  Almost crosses the line back to manual mode, but for me, I like that little bit of extra control.

Let me know your thoughts.  For the next blog, I'll be talking about the cruise control options on the Mini.  It offered something new I've never seen before.

Until then, Motor on!

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