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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum Anti-Fog function - anything but!!!!
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      11-15-2011, 08:41 AM   #1
22andcounting
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Anti-Fog function - anything but!!!!

My car is currently with the dealership for them to investigate and hopefully sort out the Climate Control System Anti-Fog function's insane behaviour. After the first unexpected icy blast and a quick read of the manual, I soon realised that when you have 'AUTO' switched on the system will use the Air Conditioning to prevent the car from misting up when it feels appropriate - irrespective of whether you have AC or snowflake on.

What a useless and dangerous feature this has become in my car. Anyone with any experience of driving a car in a cold damp climate (as we have in the UK at this time of year) knows that constantly switching on and off the AC will have one result, constant annoying misting and demisting of the windows and residual dampness and condensation in the heating and vetilation pipes and vents. This is now the situation with my car. Leave it overnight on the drive when its cold and in the morning you are presented with condensation running down the front and rear screen. Whilst this is bloody annoying and far reminds me of my old mini days some 30 years ago, the other behaviour is down right dangerous.

I am driving along in the dark and rain on a busy motorway and bang gone is your lovely ambient 20 degrees and you are instantly subjected to an icy blast from the vents, then shortly followed by the car totally fogging all its windows, resulting in you being totally destracted from negotiating the traffic and instead fumbling for a resolution.

The only remedy is to switch off AUTO all together and have a totally manual system - which is not what I expect or have paid for. This means no auto stratification and no auto fan control.

The dealer has informed me, "other 5 series drivers at the dealership have expressed a similar frustration" so it looks like a feature.

This forum was directly responsible for BMW quickly and effectively correcting the jerkiness which was afflicting the 520d - as we collectively raised our complaints. So this is another rallying cry - are other members as hacked off at this pointless and imho a dangerous innovation?
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      11-15-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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I didn't have this issue last winter on my 520d F11. Am also in the UK. I never switch off Auto nor the snowflake.
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      11-15-2011, 11:44 AM   #3
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Leave the A/C on all the time, it will run even with the heat on and remove moisture from the air, just like it does in your home. I don't see what the big deal is as all cars will fog in this same manner without the AC being on.
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      11-15-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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No problem here, everything works perfectly.
I also leave A/C on all the time.
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      11-15-2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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This is my 21st BMW and never had this problem before, never had fogging problems in my previous cars, never had condensation in a BMW, seems a pretty idiotic feature which causes the windows to completely mist over in a matter of seconds. I wouldn't mind so much if it didn't freeze your balls off in the process of doing its thing, with the facial air vents set to max heat and the temp on 20 degrees why the hell is the car delivering icy blasts from the vents - there must be a fault
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      11-15-2011, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22andcounting View Post
This is my 21st BMW
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      11-16-2011, 10:31 AM   #7
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One fault found, centre vent temperature sensor faulty, reading 4 degrees out - hot and cold so might explain the sudden icey blast. now for the condensation problem
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      11-16-2011, 10:39 AM   #8
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I am also UK based and rarely put any trust in the Auto option - in any car. I always leave the A/C on, but in the manual direction mode ... so the windscreen, or windscreen + footwell. I have never had any condensation issues running like this. Hope you get the prob sorted ... cheers.
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      11-16-2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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Again, based in the uk, always auto ac and auto recirculate, rather unhelpfully no problems with condensation. However I had a be polo which had a leak in the boot, would always mist up in all weathers, do you maybe have a leak somewhere?
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      11-16-2011, 02:45 PM   #10
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Sounds like you might have a problem - hope the dealer resolves it for you.
I've done 12k+miles in my 535d since Sep '10 and other than making a very occasional temperature adjustment or selecting de-mist, which it does in a matter of seconds, I never find the need to alter fan speed or air distribution and always leave everything in 'auto'.
I find it an extremely efficient system.
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      11-16-2011, 05:58 PM   #11
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Not an issue with my 2011 model, I have the air con on always without the auto, and I have the vent sent to low speed, this somehow works just fine especially with the wet Irish climate.
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      11-26-2012, 04:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22andcounting View Post
One fault found, centre vent temperature sensor faulty, reading 4 degrees out - hot and cold so might explain the sudden icey blast. now for the condensation problem
I dug this topic out because this weekend I started noticing the same misting issues that you have described (not the ice blast, though). Could you please follow up on where you left? Did you overcome this misting problem?

This weekend it was raining a lot and with the climate options on "auto", "auto recirculation" and not too cold weather, the windscreen was misting a lot and no air was coming out of the windscreen air vents. I had to use the A/C in order to defog, whereas with my previous E60 I didn't have to do.

I suspect that probably the mist sensor is faulty…
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      11-26-2012, 05:49 PM   #13
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Personally I believe these latest systems are best left to be fully automatic, including the 'snowflake' dehumidifying function. They are so complex in design, trying to be economical and at the same time doing a better job of keep fogging under control.

I ran my E39 up here in the Highlands, pretty wet and moisture laden in the winter, and it would work if dried out over distance*, without snowflake button on. But no way would it work if you switched it 'on and off', on demand, as that made misting worse.

E91 definitely needed the snowflake on to help winter use, fogging control required lots of air to keep it clear if on auto, and without snowflake button on. Run the dehumidifying function and no real issues, misting totally under control with minimal airflows.

With the F11 535i, I leave everything on auto, and there is not any misting, not even in the most severe wet periods we have had this autumn, even dropping to temperatures just above freezing.

* When I say drying out, I mean running the car at least 3 miles after switching the snowflake button off, to dry out the system. Or on the next start up there would be moisture put back into the car. Then the difficulty to get it out of the car without dehumidifying... and that just starts the cycle of adding to the condensation problem.

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      11-27-2012, 02:15 AM   #14
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I understand the problem one would have had with the Mini 30 years ago, I owned one then. My F11 never fogs, even when you bring a lot of water in the car by entering with a couple of wet people the car dries very quickly. In the wet Holland climat I leave all the systems on automatic and very seldom change the temp settings, never more than one degree celsius. It really works fine, the only drawback is the whistle the centre air outlet makes when the temperature flap is in a in between air mix position.
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      11-27-2012, 03:47 AM   #15
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Thanks for the prompt help, HighlandPete and F11-Diesel. I appreciate it!
However, I am not ready to give in without a fight. There’s no way the F10/F11 would be a regression from where the E60/E61 left. My E60 530d was impressive in this regard. In the wet German weather, I would not use A/C during wet/humid days and still the climatization system would manage the airflow into the cabin and towards the windscreen in such a way that it would keep the cabin at the desired temperature (e.g., 20 degC) and at the same time blow hot air from the upper vents into the windscreen and into the side windows, all of this automatically. The car would do this with “auto” climate, “auto” recirculation and with A/C off. Only in extreme conditions would I need to use the “demist” button to clear the windscreen.
I believe that this might have to do with a faulty mist sensor (the car manual states that there is one) or some leak. Even if the wipers are working automatically (i.e., the car “knows” it is raining), there is absolutely no air being blown into the upper vents with “all auto” settings, with or without A/C. I can’t see any logic in it. For all I know, the upper vents are only working if I manage the airflow manually and this is not acceptable in such a high-end car.
The question I need some answers for is: on a rainy day, do you guys feel any air coming from the upper vents when all settings are on “auto”, with or without A/C?
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      11-27-2012, 05:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
...The question I need some answers for is: on a rainy day, do you guys feel any air coming from the upper vents when all settings are on “auto”, with or without A/C?
That is the same question I'd be asking after you description. I'll check mine, when out in it next time in the wet. I'm sure there is, as there is definitely air flow to the screen area at times.

BTW, what airflow intensity are you running for driver and passenger zones? (Even in the auto programme).

If you don't get airflow to the screen in any circumstances, then that does suggest you may have an issue with your particular system.

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      11-27-2012, 06:29 AM   #17
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another UK F11 owner. Like highlandPete, JonD and others, I have my A/C set permanently to "Auto" and "ALL" with said snowflake "on" and a low auto fan speed.

have not had a single issue with misting or condensation ever so your car definitely has an issue as others have said. I had two E60's before the F11 and have to say in the 2 years I've owned it I've been very impressed with its ability to "clear" the screen on icy mornings, much improved system over the E60 so I'm afraid to say no complaints here at all in fact a big thumbs up to BMW....system is leaps ahead of the system fitted to my wifes audi, speaking of which she used to always turn her climate control settings to manual in the winter as "A/C is only for sunny days..." and then wonder why the windows misted up in seconds....needless to say she's changed her opinion on that one now.

I also buy into the mantra the modern air con systems (in these kind of cars) work better if left permanently in "auto" with the "snowflake" on. done that in my last 4 BMW's and not had any issues or seen any real impact on real world MPG well not an impact I care about enough to make me want to run it in manual mode. at the end of the day its climate control so if the snowflake is on it doesn't mean the car constantly blasts out chilled air the system regulates the cabin to the preset desired temp...well that's how i understand it works and it seems to work like that in my car drive around with system set at 19.5 deg and the car never mists up in winter, never feels hot or stuff and the windows all clear and stay clear no matter how many people are in the car with me.

Last edited by northernmonkey; 11-27-2012 at 06:41 AM.
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      11-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
That is the same question I'd be asking after you description. I'll check mine, when out in it next time in the wet. I'm sure there is, as there is definitely air flow to the screen area at times.

BTW, what airflow intensity are you running for driver and passenger zones? (Even in the auto programme).

If you don't get airflow to the screen in any circumstances, then that does suggest you may have an issue with your particular system.

HighlandPete
Good! Thanks for seeing this for me.
So far I have been using it normally on 2 (second bar lit up). I can only try different settings when I return to Portugal. Hopefully we will have a rainy winter so that I can sort this problem out.
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      11-27-2012, 10:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northernmonkey View Post
another UK F11 owner. Like highlandPete, JonD and others, I have my A/C set permanently to "Auto" and "ALL" with said snowflake "on" and a low auto fan speed.

have not had a single issue with misting or condensation ever so your car definitely has an issue as others have said. I had two E60's before the F11 and have to say in the 2 years I've owned it I've been very impressed with its ability to "clear" the screen on icy mornings, much improved system over the E60 so I'm afraid to say no complaints here at all in fact a big thumbs up to BMW....system is leaps ahead of the system fitted to my wifes audi, speaking of which she used to always turn her climate control settings to manual in the winter as "A/C is only for sunny days..." and then wonder why the windows misted up in seconds....needless to say she's changed her opinion on that one now.

I also buy into the mantra the modern air con systems (in these kind of cars) work better if left permanently in "auto" with the "snowflake" on. done that in my last 4 BMW's and not had any issues or seen any real impact on real world MPG well not an impact I care about enough to make me want to run it in manual mode. at the end of the day its climate control so if the snowflake is on it doesn't mean the car constantly blasts out chilled air the system regulates the cabin to the preset desired temp...well that's how i understand it works and it seems to work like that in my car drive around with system set at 19.5 deg and the car never mists up in winter, never feels hot or stuff and the windows all clear and stay clear no matter how many people are in the car with me.
Thanks for the info, northernmonkey. I understand that A/C has different uses than just cooling the car down on a hot summer day, but I normally try to keep it off to help with mileage.
But first I need to understand why air is not blowing off the upper vents while on auto, then I will try using A/C...
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      11-27-2012, 03:44 PM   #20
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Do you have the airflow direction for the windscreen on?
By pressing the airflow button you can choose between a couple of different presets.
For manual as well as for the auto setting.
I have my auto setting selected with the airflow for screen, foot and center airflow.
The airflow speed is on medium. Snowflake and auto and auto recirculation is always on. Temp setting between 19.5 and 20.5. System works flawless, better than that in my former E61.
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      11-28-2012, 10:00 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F11-Diesel View Post
Do you have the airflow direction for the windscreen on?
By pressing the airflow button you can choose between a couple of different presets.
For manual as well as for the auto setting.
I have my auto setting selected with the airflow for screen, foot and center airflow.
The airflow speed is on medium. Snowflake and auto and auto recirculation is always on. Temp setting between 19.5 and 20.5. System works flawless, better than that in my former E61.
Right now I am abroad and will only be able to test the settings again in two to three weeks time. I will reply then. Thanks!
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      11-29-2012, 05:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
Good! Thanks for seeing this for me.
So far I have been using it normally on 2 (second bar lit up). I can only try different settings when I return to Portugal. Hopefully we will have a rainy winter so that I can sort this problem out.
I tried my car, set to auto, 20C temperature setting, airflow intensity set to one bar, with snowflake button off. Driving in conditions at around 2C ambient, not raining, wet with damp laden air. Air flows to all vents, certainly a warm flow from the screen vents. Not high, but there all the same.

Stopped after about 13 miles. When I started a hour later (snowflake button still off) there was instant misting on the front screen and front side windows. Never seen this before in the F11, and it took about 30 seconds to clear. Goes to show even after 13 miles of driving, the HVAC system had not dried out inside.

Lesson: Don't switch snowflake button 'on and off' in cold weather.

I drove home with the snowflake button switched on, very similar conditions and airflows were near identical to the trip with the snowflake button switched off.

If we get rain, I'll try it again.

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