2019 CX-5: Always chilly, "draft" around legs when trying to use heater. Why!?

So we bought a new CX-5, 2019, a year ago June. We're 85 miles from dealer, so don't go by there much. As we got into winter, Fall of 2019, we noticed we always had a slight cold draft around our legs, below our knees. We spent most of last winter working with heater controls, figuring we hadn't learned the car yet. Never solved it. This past summer, we took it in for our second dealer oil change and I asked them to check it for heater proper function. They said they couldn't find anything, but bring it back in the Fall when weather was colder and it might be noticed easier. Service Dept. DID say that this car was designed to allow a little fresh air flow all the time regardless of how we set controls. Huh? So now it's cooler, back to the cold draft and I'll be making that long trip back to the dealer to see what's going on........if they even find anything.
So I'm asking here.........has anyone experienced this? We're retired and don't drive the Mazda much, plus I have a couple older rigs I run around in. But I really don't look forward to paying what we did for a brand new car and again this winter be uncomfortable in it.
???? Thanks for any comments anyone can offer. Dennis in E WA state
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature

The people who have seen your post likely have no experience with the issue you describe, otherwise they would have commented on it.

You just posted this topic yesterday evening. Give it a few days and you'll have more eyes on your topic, and hopefully others will chime in.
 
Does the cold draft happen when the recirculating fonction is on ?

Does the heater work normally outside of the cold draft ? (i.e. do you get heat in your footwell when the heater is turned on with the vents set to your feet? )

Do you have a model with automatic climate control or manual climate control ?
 

Natey

Moderator
Contributor
Patron
1st time I've ever seen someone mention that. Either you have really sensitive legs or there's something going on with the car...or you never turned on the HVAC's recirculate function, but I'm 99.9% sure you would have tried that first.
Is there another dealer semi-nearby? if not maybe a mechanic with a good reputation that can give it a look?
 
Thank you all for the help. First, we've tried every combination of heater/AC controls we can think of. Multiple times. Outside air and recirculating air. What I've noticed the most is when I try to direct all the heat I can toward my legs I never seem to feel much.....if any. Most button combinations will give us overall heat in the cabin, but NO noticeable heat flow on legs. Other cars we've had we could always warm our legs......even to the point of having our upper torso cool. Not this car. Maybe that means something. Oh, youri, this is the model that has auto and manual climate control both. We got just about every option except turbo and the Signature trim. The first thing we ever did was to choose the little icon that shows, "leg area," only. It's like that fails to work - and perhaps that is exactly the problem. I would think the dealer next time could find this.
 
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Pueblo county CO
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CX-5 Sport 16.5 6M
It is a puzzle. I'm not sure if I understand exactly what the problem is. I can feel air out of my lower ducts.
My first Mazda could have heat from the floor ducts and fresh air from the dash vents at the same time.
 
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I would run this test in manual mode: run the car with vent set to the front central vent until it is warm enough to have hot air come out of the front central vents. The car engine as to be warm enough to be able to have hot air at max fan speed. Then switch the ac control to direct the heat at the feet only. It may be cooler at first for the brief period of time for the feet ducks to warm up, but you should definitely start getting hot air coming at the foot well. You can park the car with the engine idling to feel around with your hand to find where the warm air is coming from. If there is absolutely no warm air in the footwell then there is an issue with the car hvac system. If warm -hot air is coming out of the ducts and there is still a cold draft then the issue may be from something else. Like you may be missing a grommet or something similar which may let in cold air from the outside.

Do you have a remote starter installed or other aftermarket accessories?
 
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Southwest Ohio
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'19 CX-5 diesel
I know the dealer isn't close but another suggestion would be to get in another cx-5 similarly equipped and see if it feels the same to you.
 
Do you feel the draft only when driving, or when stationary as well?

Personally, I would pick up an cheap infrared thermometer ($25 to $30) and start pointing it at the different areas to see if I could detect where it's coming from. Then, take that data to the dealer.

Alternatively, pick up an infrared camera for your smartphone and see if there's anything obvious.($125 to $200, but you can use it to help find drafts in your home as well)
 
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Florida
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2021 CX5 Signature
This will sound crazy, but have you turned your A/C off when attempting to get heat? I noticed one cool morning that my car wasn’t heating quickly even though I raised the set temperature. When I realized the A/C condenser was still on, I turned it off and the car seemed to warm up quickly from there.
 

AVC

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'17 CX-5 Select
I noticed the same thing. What I determined is that once the cabin is up to the set temp, the system blends heater core and outside air to maintain the interior temp, which in North Texas, for ambient temps in the 40's, means the duct temp hovers around 75F, which feels like a cool draft. My guess is that when the ambient temps are much colder (below 20F) the duct temp stays warmer to maintain the set point.

One way around this is to set the temp control to say 80F and manually control the fan speed; it'll force the blend door to raise the duct temp, but still keep the car interior in the low 70's.
 

TBarney

'17 CX-5 AWD GT Prem. Original owner of 91 Miata.
:
Atlanta metro
Nah, once the engine is up to temp, the AC button will dry the air, but it's not going to cool it (assuming thermostat set for a higher temp, that is.)

I would prefer the heater ducts to point more at my feet and not my knees and shins. I think I get where DennisT is coming from. AVC has the right of it, I believe.

I hate "automatic" HVAC controls, and this is a prime example of why. Rather than guess at what temp setting will get me what I want, just let me tweak the settings on an infinite scale until I hit what I want. I found the other day that 72 degrees was just a bit too cool for the air coming from the dash vents, but changing it to 73 resulted in much too hot air blowing in my face. Getting the heat balanced at my feet is difficult, too. The wife's BMW is just as bad.

My 91 Miata's three slider levers do a much better job of keeping me comfortable, ironically with much less involvement on my part.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GS
We’ve been driving for weeks in below zero temps and have plenty of heat in the footwell. It seems like there must be something wrong. Whether you feel it all the time or only when moving was a good question.
 

AVC

:
'17 CX-5 Select
My wife's Pilot runs the footwell ducts quie a bit warmer than the dash ducts in the Winter, which is far more comfortable.
 
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Mazda 6 Tourer
We in the UK had exactly this problem with our new (climate control) 2015 CX5. On a long journey it would blast cold air in to the passenger's side and we could do nothing about it. My wife found it unbearable in the front and the back seat. It went back to the dealer twice but they could find no problem. Nothing wrong with its 2017 replacement. I did post on the UK forum at the time.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
My wife's Pilot runs the footwell ducts quie a bit warmer than the dash ducts in the Winter, which is far more comfortable.
Actually warmer air to the footwell ducts should be a standard heating design in the vehicle. Warmer air is rising while the colder air is sinking, hence the warmer air should be more concentrated to the footwell outlets. And this’s always true on the vehicles I’ve owned even on my 1974 Chevy Impala. But our CX-5 seems to be different on this than everybody else. Another example that Mazda is trying too hard to be different from everybody else.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GS
Actually warmer air to the footwell ducts should be a standard heating design in the vehicle. Warmer air is rising while the colder air is sinking, hence the warmer air should be more concentrated to the footwell outlets. And this’s always true on the vehicles I’ve owned even on my 1974 Chevy Impala. But our CX-5 seems to be different on this than everybody else. Another example that Mazda is trying too hard to be different from everybody else.
That's interesting. This is my first Mazda, and first winter with it. Our experience has been that on auto, it very quickly blasts warm air to defrost. Then when the temp. gets to about 120 splits between defrost and footwell. Soon after, as the engine temp rises, it goes to all footwell. Usually the timing of these changes seems perfect, but occasionally, on a particularly humid and frosty morning, I have to push it back to to a split between the windshield and the footwell. In other words, it sometimes give too much of the flow to the footwell.

Most of the time, I find that setting the temp at 68 is plenty of heat. We might drop it below that on a longer drive. On mornings like this one, it’s -18F today, I will have it set at 72. It takes about 10 minutes to get enough heat in the car that I begin to lower the fan speed manually. Within 15 minutes the car is good and warm, and I generally start to dial the temperature down. Of course, I’m not trying to wear shorts and flip flops in the car in these temperatures either.

Out Tacoma heats up better, but it’s a much smaller space. The CX 5's heater is better than out Outback was, and as good or better than the BMW X5 was, so we are happy with it.

Some here are referencing “cold” temperatures in the 40’s and 20’s above zero. If your car isn't warming at those temps, something is seriously wrong.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
That's interesting. This is my first Mazda, and first winter with it. Our experience has been that on auto, it very quickly blasts warm air to defrost. Then when the temp. gets to about 120 splits between defrost and footwell. Soon after, as the engine temp rises, it goes to all footwell. Usually the timing of these changes seems perfect, but occasionally, on a particularly humid and frosty morning, I have to push it back to to a split between the windshield and the footwell. In other words, it sometimes give too much of the flow to the footwell.

Most of the time, I find that setting the temp at 68 is plenty of heat. We might drop it below that on a longer drive. On mornings like this one, it’s -18F today, I will have it set at 72. It takes about 10 minutes to get enough heat in the car that I begin to lower the fan speed manually. Within 15 minutes the car is good and warm, and I generally start to dial the temperature down. Of course, I’m not trying to wear shorts and flip flops in the car in these temperatures either.

Out Tacoma heats up better, but it’s a much smaller space. The CX 5's heater is better than out Outback was, and as good or better than the BMW X5 was, so we are happy with it.

Some here are referencing “cold” temperatures in the 40’s and 20’s above zero. If your car isn't warming at those temps, something is seriously wrong.
I forgot to mention that the situation I described, or AVC too, is to use “Bi-level” mode where the heated air coming out from both dash vents and footwell vents. Although I have Automatic Climate Control, I have never used it in Auto mode as I prefer to use the HVAC in Manual mode.
 
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