Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thursday Twister: Three Little Knobs

Welcome back another edition of the Thursday Twister, DT's weekly quiz show where the contestants are contestable and the questions are questionable.  This week, let's take a walk inside your average car and take a look at the climate control system.  What cars do not use the standard 3-knob setup?



Most cars built in the 1990s through early 2000s have the three knob setup (above image is a 2004 Subaru STi), although modern infotainment/nav/climate control touchscreens have been replacing these tri-cli setup.  What we are looking for today is cars built between 1990 and 2010 that used a setup that was NOT the three knob style.


The W211 E-Class is an example of a car that used an atypical setup -- and frankly each time I rode in a colleague's E55 AMG, I had the darndest time trying to adjust the airflow to the passenger side.  It was as if all logic was tossed out the window and the system was designed to be completely on or completely off based on random input from the 50-odd buttons that were both above and below the nav screen.  This is what we are looking for -- the non 3-knob setup. 

Some examples of cars that don't qualify include the E36 BMW 3-series that used a 4-knob setup (the two center knobs control left or right side), so just try and find the wackiest climate control scemes.

Standard twister rules are as follows: 

1. Only one car per comment (be sure to hit the refresh button on your browser before you post in case someone else has posted since you loaded the page).  Do not nest the replies, just reply to the main post -- if you reply to someone elses comment it should be in reference to his comment and not a new submission.

2. You can post again, but only after someone else posts another car.

3. The contest will end at Sunday, May 31, 4pm PST.

4. One submission per generation of each make/model.

5. Each car must be a running/driving car (no clay model prototypes) and at least two must have been built of that particular car (no one-offs.)  and sold as 1990-2010 model year examples.

6. No anonymous submissions -- pick a name with the Name/URL dropdown.

Ready...set...turn up the AC! 

99 comments:

  1. Late ninety's Mercedes SL,S,E class.

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  4. Alfa Romeo 164. Contemporary magazines always gave the Alfa stick because the scribblers couldn't just get in the car and figure it out without consulting the manual. I guess that is a problem if you drive 5 different cars a week, but I always thought it was a fine example of cool Italian design.

    [img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aBeyz2H7XF4/UKXiHFmjATI/AAAAAAAAC-Q/caV4iPCI2BU/s1600/1991ALFAROMEO164SINSIDE%2B1.jpg[/img]

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    1. Bonus points: Where is the radio from?

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    2. @Gianni - I guess the Italians have never driven in a snow storm, where you are juggling heater controls like a madman, while wearing the equivalent of Mickey Mouse hands.

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    3. B! Not that my opinion counts for much but I drove mine in SLC - in the snow - and, as everyone knows, I'm not the greatest snow-driver (is that English?). I got used to it surprisingly quickly and could operate the controls without looking; something I can't do with many of the new touchscreens these days.

      G knows I know where the radio is from, so I won't answer. If you don't know already, it will surprise you! Very cool bit of trivia, G.

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    4. I know where it is from. Fun piece of trivia.

      @Bobinott - You probably wouldn't have any heat in such a cold climate by the time you got to your destination anyway. It is typical pre-FIAT Alfa: Runs cool at about 175 - 185. In the mild winter climate where I live it took about 5 miles before I got any heat out of the car.

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    5. No, I KNOW you know where it's from G. I meant the global DT population. You know, them...from the deepest, darkest part of the interwebz...

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/6gG4a8N.jpg?1[/img]

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    6. I remember being very surprised by the answer (who makes the 164 stereo). It's actually rather complicated.

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    7. Well, yes. But there's more to the answer...

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    8. Infinity. if your still following... is my guess.

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    9. Infinity. if your still following... is my guess.

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    10. Correct, William Robinson! Way to go. There's more to the answer, but you're right.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/8BmPelL.jpg?1[/img]

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  5. Much to my frustration, 2008-2011 NA Ford Focus. They replaced the "direction" selector with a group of relatively small buttons, which you must take your eyes off the road to operate. They are also awkward when wearing winter gloves. It is the only car I have ever owned where I ask my co-pilot to make the selection, depending on traffic conditions.

    [img]http://thumbs.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mC4V6eqPCCqwkamt_eKF9BA.jpg[/img]

    At least with the proper knob on the previous generations, you could just grab it and step through the settings without looking at them.

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    1. p.s. (so it doesn't count as breaking the multiple sequential post rule!):

      Don't even get me started about the absolute stupidity of touch screens for such controls. Come and drive one mid-winter commute with me, and you will understand.

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  6. 2005-2010 Honda Odyssey equipped with Navigation received this setup
    [img]http://i.ytimg.com/vi/4nHBhIngJU4/maxresdefault.jpg[/img]

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  7. Saab 9-3, 2003-2010? with the automated climate control
    [img]http://www.fop-dortmund.de/cms/upload/bilder/news/93_ACC.jpg[/img]

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    Replies
    1. Obviously AFTER Government Motors took over Saab and ripped out their soul. Swedes would know better!

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    2. True. One of my favorite Saab AC controls are the arrows on the right dial...I owned one of these and am still a little mystified at what they all do...
      [img]http://www.saabsunited.com/upload/images2009/02/great_moments_in_saab_design_-_saab_900_hvac_system/Saab900HVACcontrols.jpg[/img]

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    3. This is actually the optimal control layout for someone who wants control. Left is fan, middle is temperature, right is where the air comes out. AC means whether the AC is engaged (otherwise cranking the temp down gets you nothing below ambient air + whatever heat it picks up in the ducts) and the car-pic with the arrow in it means 'shut off outside air and recirculate what's inside' which will cool faster with the AC on (it's what other cars get with their 'max AC' settings).

      Saab 900 '79-93.

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  8. '02 - '05.5 Audi A4.

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  9. 10th Gen Ford Thunderbird

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/YWCFcYI.jpg?1[/img]

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    Replies
    1. This is the most annoying setup in the world. Heaven forbid I want max A/C on my feet or the A/C coming through the windshield. I really hate all Fords that use this system.

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  10. Lamborghini Diablo:
    http://cartype.com/pics/7958/full/lamborghini_gallardo_lp-570-4_superleggera_in2_10.jpg

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  11. Honda Accord, 5th Gen

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/naZOrr5.jpg?1[/img]

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  12. E36 both analog (4 knobs) and digital (zero knobs).

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    Replies
    1. Blah, just read that the analog 4 knobber doesn't count in the E36.

      Delete
  13. NA MX-5 Miata...simple, pimple...

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/c1HigVC.jpg?1[/img]

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    Replies
    1. What, you didn't get the AC?

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    2. Wow, sliders! I had almost forgotten them. When Fords used them in the 1980s, they were self adjusting, by sliding full right, then full left, then back to whatever setting you wanted. Worked very well, and dead simple to repair.

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    3. Fine. Here you go. Here's mine - with a/c. Sorry for the blurry piccy; I took it while sitting at a stoplight.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/kvgmnep.jpg?1[/img]

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  15. BMW E30. Sliders and two knobs. Why? Because they are so focused on making the ultimate driving machine, I guess.

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  16. 4th gen Maxima

    [img]http://www.willmanselectronics.com/images/dashMaxNis1998.jpg[/img]

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  17. Honda Civic del Sol

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/qVypcYN.jpg?1[/img]

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  18. Volvo 240
    [img]http://www.vlvworld.com/photo_pieces/24climate.jpg[/img]

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  19. Lexus ES300 system. I personally thought it was nicely layed out, and the car had fantastic A/C/heating abilities.

    [img]http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/tP8AAOxy3NBSgcxx/$_35.JPG[/img]

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  20. Chevy S-10 Blazer

    [img]http://i.ytimg.com/vi/f8mySvtxyPg/0.jpg[/img]

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  21. Z32 Nissan 300ZX

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/3OBwdrF.jpg?1[/img]

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  22. Citroen 2CV (come on, you knew I was going to do it....)

    The heat control slider is up under the wiper motor, on the passenger side of the dash (still easily reached by the driver). It directly operates a cable to flapper doors on shrouds around the exhaust pipes near the head.

    [img]http://specialiste-2cv-voitures-anciennes.com/photo/image/336.000.gif[/img]

    The "direction" control is just a little push-pull knob near the floor, which pushes a flap to direct heat to the floor, the windscreen, or sort of both, at the centre detent.

    [img]http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimages/1069351/2cvrnov35.jpg[/img]

    And unlike a VW Bug, the heater actually works.

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  23. Saab 9000 ACC
    [img]http://www.saabcentral.com/phpgallery/albums/1994-9000CS/Saab9000_30.jpg[/img]

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    Replies
    1. More useless Saab trivia: those head units were built by Alpine in Japan.

      Note that Saab 9000 has a Ford Taurus, etc. cointray/cupholder insert in one of the two single-DIN slots under the HVAC control. The Turbos and Aeros usually had that slot filled with the Clarion CD player/equalizer...

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  24. So when has three knobs ever been 'standard'?

    Looking at the double-digit number of cars around here, I have none with twisty-knobs, lots of levers and buttons and sliders and a wheel but no twisty-knobs.

    I won't have time to post any of them today.

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  25. Replies
    1. [img]http://i.imgur.com/PY3ddvc.jpg?1[/img]

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  26. Okay, I'll do one: Taurus/SHO EATC:

    [img]http://www.rcmautomotive.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/sho-eatc.jpg[/img]

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  27. all Nissan Pathfindersfrom 1990 up:

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  28. all Nissan Pathfindersfrom 1990 up:

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  30. Replies
    1. [img]http://i.imgur.com/AE0pBRA.jpg?1[/img]

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. That's the 'usual and customary' Detroit heater controls of that era. Very much like my '64 and '65 Fords.

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    2. Probably where Westmoreland sourced them.

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  32. Replies
    1. [img]http://i.imgur.com/L1Xttok.jpg?1[/img]

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  33. [img]http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDM0WDYwMA==/z/~9kAAOSw8cNUO97U/$_12.JPG[/img]

    Typical of US-market E38/E39/E53

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  34. Vector W8

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/imxYeqA.jpg?1[/img]

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    1. My vote for one of the most insane dashboards ever created. This image doesn't even remotely display how mental it truly is.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/hgQBIHw.jpg?1[/img]

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    Replies
    1. "Push this button for frappe!"

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    2. Let's see, where do I dial in altitude and waypoints?

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  36. The redesigned 1990-1991 Buick Reatta interior...

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/amFhSNe.jpg?1[/img]

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  38. Shock the monkey while you build excitement in your Pontiac 6000...

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/qkJEApp.jpg?1[/img]

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  40. Mark 2 Toyota MR2

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/EiQD1T0.jpg?1[/img]

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  42. The fantastic Volvo "floating" dash in a V50...

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/SmOG4Ob.jpg?1[/img]

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  43. Volvo S60 doesn't really have knobs, save for the temperature..

    http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2012/06/28/15/48/2004_volvo_s60_2_5t_awd-pic-1747261361441343555.jpeg

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  44. Old molds & bile, throw fey out...I mean, Oldsmobile Trofeo.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/PcPGXyG.jpg?1[/img]

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  46. Oh, snap. I guess I should read the rules. I missed #5...

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  47. 1991 Honda CRX

    [img]http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/2046/3009/30114004116_large.jpg[/img]

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  48. Audi C5 A6/S6/RS6:

    [img]http://c1521972.r72.cf0.rackcdn.com/img/news/C5A6ClimateControllarge20110608084401_large.jpg[/img]

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  49. Infiniti M series based on the Nissan Fuga (2005-2010). I have a 2007 M35, with these controls:

    [img]http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/35750/2006-infiniti-m35-sport-audio-climate-controls-and-navigation-display-photo-39144-s-1280x782.jpg[/img]

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    Replies
    1. I have a 2006 infiniti m35, this radio will fit my car?
      Mine does not have gps.

      Delete
  50. Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/BFW6hnT.jpg?1[/img]

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  51. B13 Sentra used sliders - my 1993 SE-R had these. Actually many 1990s cars used sliders, which were largely carryovers of 60s/70s/80s designs. The controls in my 1986 T-Bird were remarkably similar, for example, to those in my 1970 Mustang - just with modernized colors/graphics.

    [img]http://se-r.strictlyeta.net/pictures/sale/interior01.jpg[/img]

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  52. Impulsively riding the storm...Isuzu Impulse RS/Geo Storm

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/OSMWP1Y.jpg?1[/img]

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  53. GMT800 trucks, this is I think the early dual-zone version:

    [img]http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m571/oakley6575/IMG_0692.jpg[/img]

    and the later electronic dual-zone version:

    [img]http://i.ytimg.com/vi/N6zAoPPCau8/hqdefault.jpg[/img]

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  54. Peugeot 405

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/REo78T4.jpg?1[/img]

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  55. Prius C:

    [img]http://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/toyota/prius-c/2012/lt/2012_toyota_prius-c_cc_lt_190413_600.jpg[/img]

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    Replies
    1. introduced in 2012 in US.

      Delete
  56. Chrysler 300M

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/rvqvSpI.jpg?1[/img]

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  57. BMW 850

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/vuDjT85.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  58. Isuzu Axiom

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/mbOjEwX.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be hatin', like Silky be hatin'.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/Ci540HF.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete

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