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Old 3rd June 2017, 17:08   #1
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Default DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

Hello everyone!,

I've been fiddling with my pre worshipped Skoda Laura L&K for quite some time. I've been discovering hidden features & fixing itty bitty things on it for quite some time. One of the few things that bothered me about the car is the absence of a dedicated switch for turning off the AC & the blower fan. Till now, it can only be done by turning the blower fan knob in counter clock wise direction to reduce the speed & eventually, it will turn off the fan along with the AC. Since the fan speed control knob is a rotary encoder(unlike the ones in Hyundais & Toyotas, it continues to rotate), it was kind of annoying for me as I'm used to the controls on Santro & Innova. Ability to turn off the fan/ac quickly was something I missed.

Recently I was looking at random stuff on the inter webs, I read a post saying that there is indeed a dedicated button built into the hardware of the aircon control unit in the blower fan speed control knob, but Skoda(/VW) decided to blank them out using a plastic blanking piece. I immediately went to the car & took apart the plastic piece that is supposed to be the aircon off switch, lit up the void using a torch. I couldn't see any switches inside and I ruled out the chance and thought its not there on my car.

Some days back, I had to take out the aircon control unit to clean the blower speed control knob rotary encoder. The problem it had was that, while using it, the speed was jumping up and down - it was kind of hard to adjust to the desired speed. Being an electronics hobbyist, I'm familiar with rotary encoders doing this due to usage & age(Will create a new post for the DIY steps for it later). A bit of cleaning would fix it & I took it out. Upon dismantling, i found out that there is in fact a switch built into the module which is hard to see with just the blanking piece off!

You can see the buttons annotated in red:
DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack-whatsapp-image-20170603-4.44.12-pm.jpeg

These buttons are to be pressed from the blower speed control knob. But they're not made available on our Laura! The black piece on the centre is an IR receiver. To use the button, simply cut off a piece from the blanking switch!

Steps to glory!

Take out the top half blank switch located in the blower fan speed knob. To do this, use a compass or a thick needle to pry out the blank switch. Not much force is required. Do not use a screw driver or anything too sharp or large:

DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack-1.jpeg

The blank switch looks like this:

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Now, make a cut along the red line in the below image to remove the blanking effect created by the blank switch:
DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack-3.jpeg

After removing it, you'll have something like this:
DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack-4.jpeg

Reinsert the blank switch. Its not blank anymore! Now you've a dedicated aircon on/off switch on your Laura!

This is what I've achieved:


Thank you for reading!

Mods, please move this thread to the relevant section, I misplaced this!

Last edited by vsaravind007 : 3rd June 2017 at 17:26.
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Old 3rd June 2017, 19:00   #2
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Default re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

Fantastic little DIY! Don't have a Skoda, but wondering if this would be the same on other VW cars too?
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Old 3rd June 2017, 21:09   #3
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Default re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

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Fantastic little DIY! Don't have a Skoda, but wondering if this would be the same on other VW cars too?
Thank you s4ch! Not quite sure about other VW cars. But I'm sure that there are a lot of these kind of strange quirks and hidden features built into them!
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Old 4th June 2017, 21:13   #4
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Default re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

Wonderful DIY. This button is present in the international Lauras if I am not wrong, but not exactly sure.

Here is a video illustrating another hidden menu in the Skoda Laura. The Laura and even the Mk5 Jetta had this climatronic console if I am not wrong. Can you try this trick and confirm? It's a hidden service menu, but not sure what it does exactly.

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Old 4th June 2017, 22:16   #5
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Default re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

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Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
Wonderful DIY. This button is present in the international Lauras if I am not wrong, but not exactly sure.

Here is a video illustrating another hidden menu in the Skoda Laura. The Laura and even the Mk5 Jetta had this climatronic console if I am not wrong. Can you try this trick and confirm? It's a hidden service menu, but not sure what it does exactly.
Hi vishy76, you're right, the dedicated button is there on cars sold in some countries, but its not there in our cars sold in India.

The hidden menu exist on the car, I've gone through it some days back. I stumbled on a post a few weeks back mentioning about the hidden menu on Briskoda & the available options in it. I've copied & saved the content in case i miss the details. This is what I saved:

To enter the climate settings, press ECON and the top right button in the middle cluster of 4 buttons.
To change the main channel (large number on passenger side LCD), use the passenger side temp dial. To change the sub channel (the small number to the top right of the main number), use the fan speed dial.
To exit press AUTO and ECO simultaneously.

Main channel: 0 - System data
0 Number program
1 Left ERL
2 Skillful ERL
3 Point of job accensione/avvio
4 I recirculate automatic rifle (motor)/I recirculate automatic rifle Bit
5 Heating from active detention
6 Air Quality (7 = fresh air)
7 Deriving
8 Acronym country
9 Sensor zone head
Main channel: 1 - UIF
0 Inner temperature (C)
1 Surface Temperature (C) (I think it means external)
2 Temperature piastrine in platinum (C)
3 Corrector piastrine in platinum (C)
4 Uif-Sonnenint
5 Corrector radiation (C)
6 dynamic corrector (C)
7 OrrettoreC I recirculate (C)
8 thermal corrector (C)
9 Compensation ignition (C)
Main channel: 2 - Sensor radiation SX
0 Radiation not delayed (W/m2)
1 Corrector radiation for regolator temperature (W/m2)
2 Corrector radiation for impeller (W/m2)
3 Value TO
Main Channel: 3 - Sensor radiation DX
0 Radiation not delayed (W/m2)
1 Corrector radiation for regolator temperature (W/m2)
2 Corrector radiation for impeller (W/m2)
3 Value TO
Main Channel: 4 - External Temperature
0 External temperature (C)
1 Temp. External line CAN (C)
2 Temperature inhaled air climate (C)
Main Channel: 5 - Theoretical temperature SX
0 Theoretical Temp. air in escape SX (C)
1 Theoretical difference between temp. and temp. effective (C)
2 Value regulation the sx. (% )
3 Pi-Stell-Max (%)
4 Defrost SX
Main channel: 6 - Found temperature SX
0 Temp. Found SX (C)
1 Temp. Feet SX (C)
2 Temp. Facade SX (C)
Main channel: 7 - Theoretical temperature DX
0 Theoretical Temp. air in escape DX (C)
1 Theoretical difference between temp. and temp. effective DX (C)
2 Values of regulation regolator (% )
3 Pi-Stell-Max (% )
4 Defrost
Main channel: 8 - Found temperature DX
0 Found Temp. air in escape DX (C)
1 Temp. Feet (C)
2 Temp. Facade (C)
Main channel:9 - Theoretical temperature evaporator
0 Theoretical temperature evaporator (C)
1 Theoretical difference between temp. and temp. effective evaporator (C)
2 Values of regulation evaporator (5mA/Dig)
3 Modality Regolator evaporator (you see under)
Main channel: 10 - Effective temperature evaporator
0 Effective temperature evaporator (C)
1 Pressure coolant climate (bar)
2 Medium temperature coolant climate (C)
Main channel:11 - Climate control compressor
0 Power theoretical electrical worker
1 Power effective electrical worker
2 Power electrical worker max
3 Kompressor PWM (0... 200) (Dig)
4 Power electrical worker offset compressor
5 Values power electrical worker
6 Code disinserito compressor (you see system)
Main channel:12 - Climate control impeller
0 Theoretical tension of the electric impeller (V)
1 Manual regulation
2 Code anomaly
3 Reduction impeller (V)
4 Impeller offset (0.1V)
Main channel: 13 - Temperature bocchette air SX
0 Formattato theoretical value (%)
1 Real theoretical value temp. Bocchette sx.(Dig)
2 Confirmation el. temp. Bocchette sx (Dig.)
3 The maximum limit temp. Bocchette sx. (Dig)
4 Limit min. temp. Bocchette sx. (Dig)
Main channel: 14 - Temperature bocchette air DX
0 Formattato theoretical value (%)
1 Real theoretical value temp. Bocchette dx (Dig)
2 Confirmation el. temp. Bocchette dx (Dig)
3 The maximum limit temp. Bocchette dx (Dig)
4 Limit min. temp. Bocchette dx. (Dig)
Main channel: 15 - Piedi/centrale temperature bocchetta
0 Formattato theoretical value (%)
1 Real theoretical value temp. Bocchetta centers them (Dig)
2 Confirmation el. temp. bocchetta centers them (Dig)
3 The maximum limit temp. bocchetta centers them (Dig)
4 Limit min. temp. bocchetta centers them (Dig)
Main channel:16 - Defrost Shovel
0 Formattato theoretical value (%)
1 Theoretical value real Defrost shovel (Dig)
2 Confirmation el. Defrost shovel (Dig)
3 Limit maximum Defrost shovel (Dig)
4 Limit min. Defrost shovel (Dig)
Main channel: 17 - Shovel I recirculate inner
0 Formattato theoretical value (%)
1 Theoretical value real shovel I recirculate (Dig)
2 Confirmation el. shovel I recirculate (Dig)
3 Limit maximum shovel I recirculate (Dig)
4 Limit min. shovel I recirculate (Dig)
Main channel: 18 - Shovel cold air
0 Formattato theoretical value (%)
1 Theoretical value real Shovel cold air (Dig)
2 Confirmation el. Shovel cold air (Dig)
3 Limit maximum Shovel cold air (Dig)
4 Limit min. Shovel cold air (Dig)
Main channel: 19 - Data Motor
0 Vehicle velocity (km/h)
1 Vehicle velocity (Mph)
2 Motor temperature (C)
3 Engine speed (RPM)
4 Air con compressor speed (RPM)
Main channel: 20 - Data sent by CAN
0 Additional heating (upon request) (1 = on)
1 Confirmation el. PTC (1 = on)
2 Power el. effective PTC
3 % air demanded from radiating climate (%)
4 Relationship % of radiating peak air (%)
5 No performance demanded to the disp. of heating (1=no performance heating)
Main channel: 21 - Ripartitore of air Climate
0 Defrost (%)
1 Facade (%)
2 Feet (%)
3 Bocchetta areazione (%)
4 I recirculate fresh air/cleaned up (+ bocchetta...) (%)
5 Appraisal sensor (%)
Main channel: 22 - Data timer
0 Period of pause (min)
1 Motor operating time (sec)
2 Operating time with inserted key (Sec)
Main channel: 23 - Special channel
0 Sensor inner lighting system (Dig)
1 Air quality sensor
Main channel:24 - Version software
0 Development state
1 Software version
2 Type SW
3 Keep Frozen (0/1 = Values of refrigeration come maintained ad.eccezione.della Diagnosis )
4 Version K Matrix
5 EEP- Testflags
6 It codifies Vag (2)
Main channel: 25 - Test channels
1 - 9
Main channel: 26 - Parameters for surveys on crystals
0 Delay (sec)
1 Passo/udm (digit)
2 The minimal limit (digit)
3 Limit max. (digit)
4 Passo/udm on HellaKit
Main channel: 27 - Bocchetta direct areazione
0 Formattato theoretical value (%)
1 Theoretical value real Bocchetta direct areazione (Dig.)
2 Confirmation el. Bocchetta direct areazione (Dig.)
3 Limit max. Bocchetta direct areazione (Dig.)
4 Limit min. Bocchetta direct areazione (Dig.)
Main channel: 28 - Umidita
0 Theoretical Umidita (%)
1 Relative Umidita on temperature UIF (%)
2 Temp. Crystals WSS (C)
3 Temperature condensation point (C)
4 Difference temperature of the melting point (C)
Main channel: 29 - Crude values umidita
0 Temp. Crystals, corrected (C)
1 Temp. Crystals, not corrected (C)
2 Sensor umidita (%)
3 Temperature sensor (C)
4 Temperature condensation point (test measure) (C)
5 Code anomaly
Main channel: 30 - Values indicated to you umidita
0 Value sensor termofilo (Dig.)
1 Temperature rif. termofilo (Dig.)
2 Periodic duration umidita (10 (to the power of -4) sec)
3 Temp. Reference umidita (Dig.)
4 Umidita Rel. on the sensor (%)
5 Temperature sensor umidita (C)
6 Temperature crystals (not corrected) (C)

Hope this helps! I haven't personally gone through all of it, but gone through a fair bit. Its amazing how much undocumented technology/features the Skoda/VW guys crammed into the package!
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Old 5th June 2017, 15:15   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

Didn't understand this - what are you able to achieve through this hidden menu?
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Old 5th June 2017, 23:22   #7
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

Quote:
Originally Posted by s4ch View Post
Didn't understand this - what are you able to achieve through this hidden menu?
A lot of diagnostic info can be obtained from the hidden menu. Also, some of the internal climatronic settings can be tweaked with it I guess. Basically the hidden menu is well organised into channels. A channel is nothing but a menu item with sub menu items. Each channel corresponds to an option/feature. For example, if you look at channel 19 in the above list, you can see that its marked as "Data Motor". If you select channel 19 and the select the sub channel 0, the right side LCD display on the climatronic control unit will show the vehicle speed in KM/hr. Not particularly useful if you ask me! But, if you select channel 19 and sub channel 4, you can see the AC compressor RPM on the LCD display. This is useful if you're having AC issues and you would like to check if the compressor is running. AC compressor RPM will read 0 if the compressor has seized & the shear plate has sheared off.

I think this menu is there for diagnostic purposes in case a diagnostic computer is not available. Various sensors on the climatronic unit can be read using this hidden menu without the VAS/VCDS tools.
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Old 6th June 2017, 12:29   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

I have a 2014 Jetta. Curiously tried pressing the AC+UP Vent button nothing happened. Then pressed AC+front Demister and the up vent and AC lights started to flash alternatively and I could sense the flaps are doing something internally. Got hot air for a bit and it returned to normal. The lights continued to flash and returned to normal operation after a minute. Turning the temp knobs did not do anything.

I guess the Climatronic went into some self diagnostic mode?
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Old 6th June 2017, 16:49   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

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Originally Posted by vinayrathore View Post
I have a 2014 Jetta. Curiously tried pressing the AC+UP Vent button nothing happened. Then pressed AC+front Demister and the up vent and AC lights started to flash alternatively and I could sense the flaps are doing something internally. Got hot air for a bit and it returned to normal. The lights continued to flash and returned to normal operation after a minute. Turning the temp knobs did not do anything.

I guess the Climatronic went into some self diagnostic mode?
Hello vinayrathore, thats the shortcut for climatronic system recalibration & self test. It can be helpful if you're having minor issues like air leaking to locations other than the ones selected in the system. It also calibrates the flap position sensors I believe. Check this out: http://mr-fix.info/skoda-vw-climatro...and-self-test/
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Old 7th June 2017, 13:16   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

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Originally Posted by vsaravind007 View Post
Hello vinayrathore, thats the shortcut for climatronic system recalibration & self test. It can be helpful if you're having minor issues like air leaking to locations other than the ones selected in the system. It also calibrates the flap position sensors I believe. Check this out: http://mr-fix.info/skoda-vw-climatro...and-self-test/
Thanks for the confirmation! Just curious, what does the infrared receiver do here?
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Old 8th June 2017, 16:44   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

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Thanks for the confirmation! Just curious, what does the infrared receiver do here?
Don't know what it it for! I've done a bit of searching but failed to get any info on it! I believe it is for a remote control accessory for the climatronic unit.
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Old 11th June 2017, 00:23   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsaravind007 View Post
Some days back, I had to take out the aircon control unit to clean the blower speed control knob rotary encoder. The problem it had was that, while using it, the speed was jumping up and down - it was kind of hard to adjust to the desired speed. Being an electronics hobbyist, I'm familiar with rotary encoders doing this due to usage & age(Will create a new post for the DIY steps for it later). A bit of cleaning would fix it & I took it out
Thanks for the write-up. You have documented it nicely. This reminds me a similar DIY, which I did in Chevy Beat instrument console to enable trip computer few years back.

BTW, I am also experiencing issues with the rotary encoder knob for fan speed. Request you to post a write-up on the same also.. Since it is a common issue, it will benefit lot of team-bhpians..
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Old 13th June 2017, 23:45   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

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Originally Posted by salbin View Post
Thanks for the write-up. You have documented it nicely. This reminds me a similar DIY, which I did in Chevy Beat instrument console to enable trip computer few years back.

BTW, I am also experiencing issues with the rotary encoder knob for fan speed. Request you to post a write-up on the same also.. Since it is a common issue, it will benefit lot of team-bhpians..
Hi salbin, Glad you liked this post. I've seen your Trip Computer hack a while back when it was posted & I must say that its an awesome mod! About the rotary encoder fix, I'll post the tutorial this weekend
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Old 18th June 2017, 19:16   #14
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Laura AC on/off button hack

Quote:
Originally Posted by salbin View Post
BTW, I am also experiencing issues with the rotary encoder knob for fan speed. Request you to post a write-up on the same also.. Since it is a common issue, it will benefit lot of team-bhpians..
Hello salbin! As promised, the tutorial to fix the AC blower speed control knob has been posted: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/diy-do...ment-knob.html

Hope it helps!
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