Q. I purchased a 2011 Honda CRV with 27,000, at 32,000 while driving when I slow down the air conditioner temperature raises a substantial amount—the car gets warm. Honda service said no leaks noticed and Honda will not cover a recharging unless the system has a broken part. The dealer tells me I need to pay $100.00 plus for the attempt to fix the car. Any idea as to why a new car would have this problem so early?
A. If the system passes all the typical performance tests this may be a normal characteristic of this car. Honda in many models will limit air conditioner operation at low speeds during acceleration. In earlier Honda models the cars computer could be reprogrammed to reduce this effect. Check with the Honda dealer, perhaps there is a computer modification that could help.
Q. I recently drove from Boston to Denver, where I have moved while attending school. I found that checking my tire pressure regularly along the trip revealed the inflating effects of the altitude. Is there anything else that I should check due to the pressure change? I was recently told my water pump was leaking, but the level seems consistent and I see no overheating. Could this be due to the altitude?
A. Altitude will have an effect on tire pressure and in some cases engine performance, but will do little else to the car. The leaking water pump is most likely due to wear and should be replaced. The leak won’t get any better by itself and will most likely only get worse. As good as cars are today, that don’t tolerate overheating.
Q. I have a 2007 Toyota Camry and from time to time to save gas I shift in to neutral and coast. Am I doing any harm to my car when I do this?
A. My feeling that you are doing very little to improve your car’s fuel mileage by shifting and coasting. In fact you are probably just causing wear to the shifter linkage. As a side note in some states it is actually illegal to coast.
Q. I purchased a 2010 Honda CR-V in September of 2010. It currently has just shy of 25,000 miles. I was informed at my last service appointment that the car would need new tires shortly. I questioned this because in the past my tires have always lasted 45-50,000 miles. The explanation of the short tire life was because it was an SUV. That seems wrong to me because I have previously owned and driven a Ford Explorer and Subaru Outback and did not have to replace tires after 25,000 miles. So I am wondering what is going on – are they trying to take advantage of me or does Honda just put low grade tires on new vehicles. Do you have any advice on how to address this issue and is it common with Honda vehicles to replace the tires so soon?
A. I have seen original equipment tires wear quickly or last what seems like forever. In general it has been my experience that with proper care the tires on your car should last at least 40,000 miles. I had the opportunity to look at two newer CRVs recently with 40,000 miles on them and the tires looked fine. Now certainly if the vehicle needed an alignment or was otherwise poorly maintained the tires could wear out prematurely.
Q. I have a new 2012 Honda Accord. My problem when driving this car there is a hesitation after releasing the brake and stepping on the gas. Many times there is no response and then a surge. The dealer acknowledges the problem but says unless there is a service bulletin they can do nothing. Is there any adjustment that can be made to reduce the timing between brake release and full use of the gas pedal?
A. As popular as the Honda Accord is I can’t imagine that all Accords have this problem and there is no fix. I believe your car has problem that can be fixed. Perhaps the dealer can call in one of Honda’s field technical engineers to look into the problem.