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Last night I notice my engine appeared to be "lugging" at idle after a half-hour trip. I then noticed that the climate control was on "recirc", despite it being a beautiful day, and the difference between the outside and inside temps only being a few degrees. Manually cycling the A/C off caused the lugging to go away, implying that not only was the A/C on (this is normal), but it was running under full load (instead of running lightly like it should have been.) Fan speed was low. Adjusting the temperature to match that of the outside produced no change. Forcing the air mode to "Fresh" shut the Auto function off.

The temperature in the car itself was fine, but there was no reason for the climate control to be running the A/C like it was the middle of the summer (and then presumably blending in heat so as not to freeze me.)

The behavior persisted even after I reset the infotainment unit (don't know exactly where the brains for the climate system are; the climate panel, the infotainment system, or the Body Control Module.)

When I was almost home later that evening (with recirc still stuck on whenever I was in Auto mode), inspiration struck me, knowing that the info on the ECON button said that it didn't control temp tightly in that mode. I cycled ECON on, and the climate control immediately shifted to "fresh" and cut the A/C. Pushing it again to go back into normal mode did not turn recirc back on.

If it happens again, I guess I'll leave it "stuck" and take it to the dealer. (I'm sure I'll get the "it's normal" song-and-dance... not looking forward to working through that one.)
 

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Keep us posted as I've noticed the recirculate setting stays ON is Auto mode.
 

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Keep us posted as I've noticed the recirculate setting stays ON is Auto mode.
I noticed that when I first got my Touring and felt like it was odd. For many reasons recirculate mode is not the ideal setting to be in under "normal" conditions.
I haven't noticed it lately however and I am not sure why not. I did do the battery disconnect reboot of the system and I have to wonder if that was the trigger that turned it off. I will look into this more next time I drive the car.

Interesting. I had forgotten about this but I did also notice it when the car was new.
 

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The system will typically start in recirculation mode so that it can get the cabin to temperature faster, but should eventually switch to fresh air once everything has stabilized.

I thought my system was stuck on recirc the other day, but when I stopped and looked at the buttons more closely, it was actually the fresh air button that was lit. Oops!
 

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In the above noted instances, is it safe to assume that the climate system is set to "Auto"?
 

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I noticed this today on my CR-V. I tried econ on and econ off and it continues to be stuck on recirculate. No matter what I set the temperature to as well. It's "stuck on". I know it was not doing this a couple of weeks ago when I picked up the car.
 

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The system will typically start in recirculation mode so that it can get the cabin to temperature faster, but should eventually switch to fresh air once everything has stabilized.

I thought my system was stuck on recirc the other day, but when I stopped and looked at the buttons more closely, it was actually the fresh air button that was lit. Oops!
This is our experience too.
 

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Researched the 2017 maintenance manual and there is no reference to the ac automatically switching modes. Specifically says to change the mode from recirc to fresh once the vehicle is cooled down.
 

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Researched the 2017 maintenance manual and there is no reference to the ac automatically switching modes. Specifically says to change the mode from recirc to fresh once the vehicle is cooled down.
It does. I have primarily been driving in full AUTO mode, and have noticed it switch between recirc and fresh air a few times. But the overwhelming majority of the time, the HVAC stays in recirc mode which I find odd. You can probably hit the fresh air button and retain AUTO functionality (minus recirc/fresh mode) as the manual states. I have done this with the vent modes as it seems to be dash vent airflow only most of the time whereas I prefer floor and dash vents. I can press the dash/floor vent mode, but the fan speed is still automatically controlled to match my temp setting.
 

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For what it's worth I researched auto climate systems for different manufactures and they all have different approaches. I also checked with the service department of my local dealer who says this comes up frequently. Honda has designed their system to stay in recirc when it is in the auto mode. The computer blends a certain percentage of fresh air with recirculated air to maintain the set temperature and humidity. Switching to fresh takes the system out of the auto mode and temperature is then manually controlled much like non auto systems.
 

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For what it's worth I researched auto climate systems for different manufactures and they all have different approaches. I also checked with the service department of my local dealer who says this comes up frequently. Honda has designed their system to stay in recirc when it is in the auto mode. The computer blends a certain percentage of fresh air with recirculated air to maintain the set temperature and humidity. Switching to fresh takes the system out of the auto mode and temperature is then manually controlled much like non auto systems.
Thanks for sharing this information. It was driving me crazy. I notice though, when the outside temperature is below the temperature you set the climate to, it does switch to fresh air mode. I assume it is due to the climate control heating instead of cooling the cabin. However once it is warmer outside than the set temperature, it locks to recirculate mode. Which is likely how it will be all summer.
 

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Same problem

For what it's worth I researched auto climate systems for different manufactures and they all have different approaches. I also checked with the service department of my local dealer who says this comes up frequently. Honda has designed their system to stay in recirc when it is in the auto mode. The computer blends a certain percentage of fresh air with recirculated air to maintain the set temperature and humidity. Switching to fresh takes the system out of the auto mode and temperature is then manually controlled much like non auto systems.

My wife just got a 2018 CR-V EX-L. This was out first trip today, and the exact same thing happened. 2 1/2 hours with as little as a 4 degree inside/outside differential, and the recirculate mode never changed. She has had 5 previous generations of CR-V's and this never happened. I know as an owner of older cars you were always warned to turn the recirculation off after 10 minutes or so for safety reasons, so the thought that Honda has built in a computer controlled mix of fresh air makes sense, but they put fuel economy first above AC function by using recirculate to maximize cooling. I need to get a laser thermometer to check the air temperature coming out of the registers to make sure the system is otherwise working properly. You should see a temp below 60 degrees.
 

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So how can I get my 2018 EX to stay in recirc mode? I prefer it that way. When in fresh air mode it seems to pick up the exhaust smell from other cars on the road, especially when following large trucks, etc.
 

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When I put my 18 Touring HVAC system in Auto mode, it goes to recirc. I haven't taken a long drive, and it has been 100 Degrees here, but it does seem to stay on recirc. I push the fresh (or outside air button), and it stays with fresh air. The AUTO light turns off, but the fan seed will change as the temperature comes down and goes back up when needed, so it is still in Auto mode, as far as I can tell. And this setting seems to stay through the next start and restart.
 

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When I put my 18 Touring HVAC system in Auto mode, it goes to recirc. I haven't taken a long drive, and it has been 100 Degrees here, but it does seem to stay on recirc. I push the fresh (or outside air button), and it stays with fresh air. The AUTO light turns off, but the fan seed will change as the temperature comes down and goes back up when needed, so it is still in Auto mode, as far as I can tell. And this setting seems to stay through the nest start and restart.
This is my experience as well. Other aspects remain in auto.

I'm pretty sure that I've seen it with outside air in full auto.

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I sometimes use the Auto mode but now that the temp has hit 90 I'm using a/c in manual mode. I for one like that when I put in in recirc mode it stays there. Other vehicles seemed to reset to fresh mode whenever switching car off. I prefer recirc mode most of time because I don't like smelling the diesel fuel burnoff from the redneck boys around my area w/ their monster trucks. I live in rural area where there is frequent roadkill that I don't want to smell either.
 

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The thing I don't like about recirc is after a while the car starts to smell musty...if you never get any fresh air in there it's going to start to smell stale. A lot of it depends on the climate you live in. I live in the desert so it's hot and dry most of the time...so I switch back and forth between recirc and fresh depending on how fast I want to cool off the car inside and how hot it is when I get in. I like that when I put it in auto mode it goes on recirc and then when I switch it to fresh air it stays there and next time I turn the car on it stays on Fresh and yet it still in Auto mode.
 

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I had the same problem in Auto mode and I talked to a technician at my dealer. He said this is the way Honda designed the system and although it looks and feels absurd, but this is the way they designed it.

What I see is for Almost All times:
In winter, no matter how cold is the outside and how high you set the temperature, It stock to Fresh Air.
In summer, no matter how little is the difference between outside and what you set, It stock to Recirculate.

It never switches to the other mode while driving.
There are some exceptions that nobody knows why. Could be related to humidity.
and the other point is you never know when AC is actualy working. ( in manual mode you turn AC on or off but in auto, AC button always looks like off, but sometimes it is not)

It was on my nerves for long time and then I get over it and let the car do whatever he wants to do.
 
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