Reprogram climate fan speeds?
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    1. #1

      Reprogram climate fan speeds?

      In my XC90, in a fairly hot climate (Texas), the first fan speed is too low and all the other fan speeds produce noise that is way too loud.

      I was wondering if anyone has had success getting the fan speed settings reprogrammed? I'm assuming this is a setting that could be hacked, electronically.

      Or is there some way to make the fan less noisy, at the second-step setting and above?

      The vehicle seems broken, the amount of noise the fan makes. Like they just specified in/out pieces that are too small for the force of air produced.

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    3. #2
      Member phillipu's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Milesandmiles View Post
      In my XC90, in a fairly hot climate (Texas), the first fan speed is too low and all the other fan speeds produce noise that is way too loud.

      I was wondering if anyone has had success getting the fan speed settings reprogrammed? I'm assuming this is a setting that could be hacked, electronically.

      Or is there some way to make the fan less noisy, at the second-step setting and above?

      The vehicle seems broken, the amount of noise the fan makes. Like they just specified in/out pieces that are too small for the force of air produced.
      I don't think I can hear fans speed 1 at all. Level 2 is very quiet. Level 3 is audible if no media is playing but totally reasonable and can't be heard over road noise at highway speed as a comparison. Level 4 is notably louder and level 5 is very loud. Obviously these are subjective opinions, but just thought I'd make them as a comparison to your experience.

      I've not tried them but maybe a sound meter app on your phone or a dedicated tool used while placed resting in the center of your armrest might be a way to objectively measure whether something is different/broken with your climate system. Or, of course, you could take it to a dealer to have it checked out.

      I've not looked into any kind of adjustment to the fan speeds and don't know if it's possible or not.

      EDIT: also, if your vehicle is so equipped, the rear seat fan speed setting can affect the amount of noise since the front fans are used to supply air flow to the rear and if they're set to level 5 while the front is at level 2, you'll hear the fan blasting to meet the rear settings.

    4. #3
      Do you have the rear fan on (the one at the back of the center console)? If you don't have anyone in the back seat, I find that the fan noise is much less if turn that off and just have the front air going on the second or third setting. I stay nice and cool (Im in L.A., so it gets hot here too), and the fan noise is under control.

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    6. #4
      Junior Member Aw9nineteen's Avatar
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      Worst climate system I've ever encountered. My least favorite part about the car. Hands. Down.

      Was in the car today and didn't have any air at all coming out on Auto 4. I legit had to turn it to 5 to make it work. It was like the car wasn't ready after starting it up


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    7. #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Aw9nineteen View Post
      Worst climate system I've ever encountered. My least favorite part about the car. Hands. Down.

      Was in the car today and didn't have any air at all coming out on Auto 4. I legit had to turn it to 5 to make it work. It was like the car wasn't ready after starting it up


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      This happens to me all the time during the winter months. Sometimes it takes 5-10 minutes for the fan start blowin hot air when the car is first started. Really frustrating.

    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kh0805 View Post
      This happens to me all the time during the winter months. Sometimes it takes 5-10 minutes for the fan start blowin hot air when the car is first started. Really frustrating.
      Isn't it normal that it takes some time after a (really) cold start before hot air is available?

    9. #7
      @phillipu, good idea about measurement. I tried it, notes below. @avj73, yes this is definitely with the rear fan OFF. With the rear fan on the noise is much worse.

      On my iPhone I used an app called Decibel 10 that I downloaded for something else.

      For reference, this chart equating various sound levels: https://www.chem.purdue.edu/chemsafe...n/dblevels.htm

      Sitting in a quiet suburban house before anyone else is awake - 39db (little air purifier running 3 feet away)
      In the XC90 in a parking lot, engine running, 85 degrees F - around 55db
      Turning fan on to the first level adds no measurable level of sound - I can hear it, db meter doesn't really register it. Parked facing the sun, this isn't quite enough air circulation.
      Turning fan on to second level adds about 15db, to 70db ... chart referenced above equates 70db to noise from a vacuum cleaner. This is more than enough air circulation. It's not just the volume, the quality of the noise is just really annoying.
      Turning fan on to third level adds another 10db to 80, or the sound of a garbage disposal, possible hearing damage after 8 hrs exposure
      Fourth and fifth level seem exactly the same as 3, both in noise and the perceived amount of air being pushed. Turning on rear air gets things to the same as 3/4/5.

      Note, for whatever reason it felt like xc90 was idling loud during this test. I suspect the baseline would normally be lower.

      I moved the mic around a bit, the base measurements vary but the incremental measurement was fairly consistent. Of course, this is an iphone app and many ways measurement could go wrong.

    10. #8
      Member phillipu's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Milesandmiles View Post
      @phillipu, good idea about measurement. I tried it, notes below. @avj73, yes this is definitely with the rear fan OFF. With the rear fan on the noise is much worse.

      On my iPhone I used an app called Decibel 10 that I downloaded for something else.

      For reference, this chart equating various sound levels: https://www.chem.purdue.edu/chemsafe...n/dblevels.htm

      Sitting in a quiet suburban house before anyone else is awake - 39db (little air purifier running 3 feet away)
      In the XC90 in a parking lot, engine running, 85 degrees F - around 55db
      Turning fan on to the first level adds no measurable level of sound - I can hear it, db meter doesn't really register it. Parked facing the sun, this isn't quite enough air circulation.
      Turning fan on to second level adds about 15db, to 70db ... chart referenced above equates 70db to noise from a vacuum cleaner. This is more than enough air circulation. It's not just the volume, the quality of the noise is just really annoying.
      Turning fan on to third level adds another 10db to 80, or the sound of a garbage disposal, possible hearing damage after 8 hrs exposure
      Fourth and fifth level seem exactly the same as 3, both in noise and the perceived amount of air being pushed. Turning on rear air gets things to the same as 3/4/5.

      Note, for whatever reason it felt like xc90 was idling loud during this test. I suspect the baseline would normally be lower.

      I moved the mic around a bit, the base measurements vary but the incremental measurement was fairly consistent. Of course, this is an iphone app and many ways measurement could go wrong.
      As comparison, I went and downloaded the same app and tested it while parked in my driveway with the engine running (I have a T8 so it's quieter if it isn't running the engine.)

      With engine running with climate turned off, I was around 55db as well. At the lowest level climate fan speed, like you, there was no appreciable difference in sound level. Maybe a decibel or two. The difference in my readings from yours is that when I went to level 2, I only see about a five decibel increase and this continues on roughly for all the following fan levels until I maxed out around 77db at the max fan setting. This is with the second and third row climate turned off, tested with temp set at both 62F and 80F, and blower set for only through the dashboard vents which seem louder than the auto setting which may be splitting the air flow. So levels one through three are perfectly acceptable to me. Levels four and up are loud for sure but acceptable for when such extra cooling is needed for short periods of time.

    11. #9
      Quote Originally Posted by phillipu View Post
      As comparison... when I went to level 2, I only see about a five decibel increase and this continues on roughly for all the following fan levels until I maxed out around 77db at the max fan setting.
      This is promising! Seems consistent with dealership in a very hot place either receiving or changing their fan speeds to compensate for local climate. Which is dumb, but so is shipping a car to Texas with a huge sunroof that has no proper cover.

      Or T8 having finer fan control.

    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Milesandmiles View Post
      ....Which is dumb, but so is shipping a car to Texas with a huge sunroof that has no proper cover.
      So why did you buy it?

    13. #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Zahra View Post
      So why did you buy it?
      I believe this is standard equipment here. I definitely didn't see any properly optioned vehicles without it.

    14. #12
      Member phillipu's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Milesandmiles View Post
      I believe this is standard equipment here. I definitely didn't see any properly optioned vehicles without it.
      I don't think any XC90 in the US has a different sunroof. I'm not even sure if any region does. I have not yet owned mine through a Summer, yet so it remains to be seen how warm it will get but even if it is hot, I and my kids really enjoy the view and the light. I kind of wish there were two layers to the cover. One that was completely light blocking and one that was translucent enough combined with the glass tint to bring it to around 50%. Then you could have it fully opened, dimmed and fully closed.

    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Milesandmiles View Post
      I believe this is standard equipment here. I definitely didn't see any properly optioned vehicles without it.
      Oops, I didn't know that!
      I also assumed that the glass would be such that it doesn't heat up the interior more than the steel roof.
      In the EU, the sunroof can be ordered as a separate option (as can most options).

    16. #14
      Member phillipu's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Zahra View Post
      Oops, I didn't know that!
      I also assumed that the glass would be such that it doesn't heat up the interior more than the steel roof.
      In the EU, the sunroof can be ordered as a separate option (as can most options).
      The glass is tinted a bit and UV protected but it still means the vehicle is practically a greenhouse. The retractable cover is perforated and does not block 100% of the light and is thin so I imagine the heat from the sun might transfer through fairly easily even when closed.

    17. #15
      I agree with the fan speeds need to be reporgrammed.Mine also at 1 is nothing and at 2 has high noise.

    18. #16
      I find that operating on auto climate with no specific settings to windshield, dash,or floor keeps fan quiet. Cool is well in Florida with fan speed on 2. Also keeping temperature in the upper 60s rather than on low also quiets.

    19. #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Gold Coast View Post
      I find that operating on auto climate with no specific settings to windshield, dash,or floor keeps fan quiet. Cool is well in Florida with fan speed on 2. Also keeping temperature in the upper 60s rather than on low also quiets.
      I haven't tried that. However, I am curious do you have any added tinting to your windows? I'm at factory tint, or whatever standard US tint is. I need to get both my cars' windows tinted before the real summer starts.

    20. #18
      Got my 10k service yesterday. They updated software and the problem is completely resolved. Get that update.

    21. #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Milesandmiles View Post
      Got my 10k service yesterday. They updated software and the problem is completely resolved. Get that update.
      This is great news. Mine is in for an update and I'm praying they resolve mine fan speeds. Thanks for the news

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