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+1 for HVAC OFF means only outside air coming in. Occasional sour smell at initial air-only but it eventually dries out the mold and no more sour smell.
A little bit of a side track but something I do in all my cars; unless it's going to be a short stop (less than 1 hour) I turn OFF the A/C (but leave the fan running) at least a couple minutes before I reach my destination. This gives the air the time to dry out any condensed water from the A/C coils or airbox and prevents any mildew spores from growing in my A/C system and avoids you ever having to smell that sour smell.
 

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^ I've been doing the same since I had a bad experience (sour/vinegar smell from A/C coil) in my Plug-In-Prius back in 2012.
Just run with fan only and opened windows for a mile or so before getting home... keeps the system dry vs. shutting it down wet.
 

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I've been meaning to ask my dealer to enable the afterblow function (I think) where the FAN runs for a few minutes after you shutoff the car w/AC on so the HVAC system can dry-out. I forgot to research if it uses the 12V system for this or not since I assumed turning off the Bolt would disconnect the high voltage traction battery. For fan-only, I can see the 12V battery blowing for a few minutes at a low speed, but feared it'd wear on the 12V battery eventually.

Sometimes it's just too hot to turn off HVAC and have only FAN running just to dry the system out. Other times, I just plain forget.
 

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A little bit of a side track but something I do in all my cars; unless it's going to be a short stop (less than 1 hour) I turn OFF the A/C (but leave the fan running) at least a couple minutes before I reach my destination. This gives the air the time to dry out any condensed water from the A/C coils or airbox and prevents any mildew spores from growing in my A/C system and avoids you ever having to smell that sour smell.
looks like that's unnecessary - but you have to ask for it:

Owners in hot and humid areas might be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a secret “afterblow” mode that will continue to blow air through the vehicle ducts after it is turned off in order to dry out the air conditioning system. Otherwise, the moisture left in the ducts can allow the growth of bacteria and mold that can sometimes cause odors. This mode is not documented in the owner manual but it can be enabled by a dealer service technician.
https://electricrevs.com/2018/06/05/revealed-secrets-of-the-bolt-ev-service-manual/
 

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What a wealth of information … but why, oh why, didn't they just make a dumb manual mode, when every piece of know-it-all automatics is off, and the driver can just regulate the fan speed?

(rhetoric questions)
 

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Good thing the windows still roll down.
Well, they don't just roll down. When you roll down a window, the tires on the opposite side of the car get automatically deflated by 0.75 psi, and the rear bumper winglets are deployed half-way. Also OnStar sends a text to 48 random persons in your phone directory, saying "Hey, I just rolled the window down".
 

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The heat or A/C coming on when they were turned off was bugging me also. I believe it only happens with the Auto Defog set to ON, which mine had been. I'll leave it OFF unless I find fogging problems even more annoying. I also confirmed that the temp should be set to LOW for manual control of the fan speed. High temp settings will lower the fan speed even when not in Auto. I am glad there are separate Heat and A/C OFF buttons in my 2019. I hate when I only want one and the car auto switches to the other.
 

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The Bolt will automatically turn on the A/C if the humidity in the car is high - apparently only if the fan is on. The owner's manual is sketchy on the criteria.

The manual also mentions the A/C may be switched on to cool the HV battery. That could explain some times when the system is only in vent mode in dry weather, but seems to inexplicably start blowing conditioned air.

Thanks for mentioning the afterblow mode. That seems like a rather handy option to have the dealer enable.
 

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So, if I just want fresh air in the car, but no heat or AC, for example when I'm on the highway, then just turn off the "heat/AC" button and make sure that the air is coming through the vents and not the defroster?

When I've tried doing this, I see that I still get a big hit on my range meter. Should the range meter show a large decrease when you are supposedly just running the fan? I find the climate control in the Bolt to be very nice when you are willing to go along with the little brain inside the car that wants to heat and cool it, but when you want to do something totally manual, it stinks.
 

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So, if I just want fresh air in the car, but no heat or AC, for example when I'm on the highway, then just turn off the "heat/AC" button and make sure that the air is coming through the vents and not the defroster?

When I've tried doing this, I see that I still get a big hit on my range meter. Should the range meter show a large decrease when you are supposedly just running the fan? I find the climate control in the Bolt to be very nice when you are willing to go along with the little brain inside the car that wants to heat and cool it, but when you want to do something totally manual, it stinks.
I've got a 2019 and I see the same thing. Turn off heat/ac and just have the fan on. For part of the drive, it is clearly just outside air. At some point, the AC will be triggered and my range will drop. After some time, the AC will kick off and my range will return. I haven't figured out what triggers the AC. For a while I thought it was the battery cooling, but we've had some cold days and it still happens (AC comes on - I would have expected heat). I agree that it stinks.
 

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So, if I just want fresh air in the car, but no heat or AC, for example when I'm on the highway, then just turn off the "heat/AC" button and make sure that the air is coming through the vents and not the defroster?

When I've tried doing this, I see that I still get a big hit on my range meter. Should the range meter show a large decrease when you are supposedly just running the fan? I find the climate control in the Bolt to be very nice when you are willing to go along with the little brain inside the car that wants to heat and cool it, but when you want to do something totally manual, it stinks.
There's also a setting for turning off the auto defog. Only thing I can think of that would override your manual control.
p.186 2017 manual:
Auto Defog : The system will monitor high humidity inside the vehicle. When high humidity is detected, the climate control system may adjust to outside air supply and turn on the air conditioner or the heater. The fan speed may slightly increase to help prevent fogging. When high humidity is no longer detected, the system will return to its prior operation. To turn Auto Defog off or on, see “Climate and Air Quality” under Vehicle Personalization
 

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There's also a setting for turning off the auto defog.
Yup. Turned that off when we first got the Bolt. Running just outside air, nothing comes on. When the windshield fogs up I hit MAX defrost for under a minute, and it clears right up.
 

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Window vents?
I suspect that he's talking about the plastic rain deflectors that you can install at the top of the driver and passenger windows that allow you to open those windows a crack without letting any rain in.

I'm pretty sure that he's not talking about these, which is what first popped into my mind when I read "window vents":

 

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There's also a setting for turning off the auto defog. Only thing I can think of that would override your manual control.
p.186 2017 manual:
Auto Defog : The system will monitor high humidity inside the vehicle. When high humidity is detected, the climate control system may adjust to outside air supply and turn on the air conditioner or the heater. The fan speed may slightly increase to help prevent fogging. When high humidity is no longer detected, the system will return to its prior operation. To turn Auto Defog off or on, see “Climate and Air Quality” under Vehicle Personalization
Thanks. I think this was the culprit. I turned it off and now the ventilation seems to be working as I think it should: If you run the fan and have the heat/AC turned off, you just get outside air, and no change on the range meter.
 
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