The big issue: Heater control in the car

So this afternoon, Mrs. R and I had a discussion about control of the heater when traveling together in a car. I told her that it was perfectly obvious that when you’re in a yellow car, the passenger has the right to adjust the heater controls; and that when traveling in a red car, the driver has sole authority over the heater.

I also told her that when in a red car, requests for heater adjustment by the passenger should be prefixed with “Oh mighty one, your humble supplicant requests that…”

(Coincidentally, her car happens to be yellow. And mine, strangely, is painted red.)

She told me that I was, to use a colloquialism, “full of it”. Although we hammered out a solution after that, I told her that I’d be taking the issue to the arbiters of proper behavior here at the Dope.

So here’s my poll; please respond as your upbringing dictates:

  1. Rocketeer is correct in every aspect (and an awesome dude, to boot).

  2. The driver, regardless of car color, should have sole authority over the heater. The passenger should not adjust the heater controls without first asking permission.

  3. The driver, regardless of car color, should have sole authority over the heater. The passenger should not adjust the heater controls without first asking permission, AND that request should be prefaced with a statement recognizing the driver’s total awesomeness and humbly begging his/her indulgence.

  4. Rocketeer is some kind of dinosaur and a fascist, and it’s perfectly okay for the passenger to tweak the heater controls without asking permission.

Permission seems a bit strong. Maybe just saying, “Would you mind if I …”

Doesn’t matter who is driving or whose car we are in…the wife always has final control:dubious:

Thats what I find too.

Heck folks, he is asking about proper behavior as to adjusting the heater in the car. I am going to add the air conditioning control in my answer.

It really depends on who actually owns the car. Ownership will include the individual who pays the major portion of the car payment.

Any rider in a car should ask the owner, (if present), before adjusting the heater +/or air conditioner, in a car, truck, airplane, boat, or any other rig. If the owner is not present, then the driver/pilot should be asked. Unless the passenger is paying for the majority of the costs of the trip. Then the one with the $$ decides.

In my case, I adapt well to various climes. IOW, I do not notice if the rig is cold or hot. If I notice, the others are either cooking or freezing. Thus, on any trip, I ask that the passenger(s) control the climate. This makes the most sense to me, plus it lessens the things that can distract me from my driving by one thing. Less work for me & passenger comfort equals happy folks. All is good.

I voted #2 as it is the one that is most often correct.

I also defer to SWMBO.:slight_smile:

If there is only one control for the heater/air con of whole car, then anyone who wants to adjust the temperature setting should confer with the other occupants of the car.
If there the car has distinct “zones” for driver and passenger, then one can adjust their own zone without asking anyone else.
The driver can override the setting, if necessary for safety reasons (e.g. fogged up windows, ice).

If the car has multiple zones, it is not OK for the occupants to set one full-cold and the other full-hot see if it will make a cloud. It won’t work (we tried).

Other than that, the wife has full control. Who on earth hasn’t learned this yet?

Wife also gets the best drink holder.

My rule has always been that the driver controls music and climate control. Period.

Rocketeer is absolutely correct and his wife owes him an apology. A really good apology.

That’s always been the rule in my family; including the extended family. The Old Wench caught on to the practice and liked how it worked so she basically fell in step with little problem. The “little problem” being when I really need to jack the volume to Nose-Bleed for certain tunes.

Yes you are TOTALLY correct!

I will stand behind you 100% on this important matter.*

*Note that will be for my personal safety when the Mrs throws something at us…:smiley:

Driver has control in the sense that if it’s too hot/too cold, too loud/too annoying (climate and radio), then driver needs that to be adjusted so that driver can continue driving in a safe manner. The actual working of the controls may, at the driver’s discretion, be delegated to the passenger to allow the driver to continue concentrating on the task of driving.

This is both a safety issue and a privilege issue. When my husband’s driving, I want him to not be nodding off because the car is too hot. So I bring a blanket for me.

The passenger should ask permission. But not if it’s your wife.

The driver gets overruling say in temperature and music. I’ve never had a problem - any passenger has always just said, “I’m feeling a little warm/cold” and I immediately adjust the temperature a bit because I don’t mind. If I end up feeling a little warm/cold in a while, I change it back. Then again, I’ve never had a car with separate temperature zones. I understand that now some cars have zones for every seat in the car, which is pretty cool. In that case I guess they can just do what they want to do as long as it isn’t blasting the AC when everyone else has the heater on, or something.

As WhyNot says, driver control over temperature and music is both a safety and privilege issue.

+1. Right up until SWMBO says “No.” Also, get a car with dual climate controls and this is less an issue.

Passenger and driver are both entitled to be comfortable, and should hash out some compromise.

Driver gets preferential treatment only if the temperature settings are interfering with driving safely (so cold that driver’s hands are going numb, or hot enough that driver is getting sleepy).

Nobody but the driver should touch the car’s controls. But the passenger has the right to request a change in the climate, music, etc.

In general, it’s more important that the driver be comfortable- he’s the one who has to be alert and at his best. But a male driver should be courteous and sensitive to his wife’s temperature needs. The music should not be offensive to the driver but the passenger should also be considered.

Synopsis - OP argued with wife. OP lost argument. Wonders if this should have been so.

Answer: So it was, is and ever shall be. Amen.