Q: I bought a 2013 Honda Odyssey Touring with all the gadgets I could think of. And while I love the van, there's one thing that mystifies me. When I'm stopped at a light, when I gradually take off there's no problem with applying more [gas pedal] pressure as the speed increases. On the other hand, when I proceed with light acceleration and then pause for an oncoming car and then resume a slow acceleration, the car does nothing. It's as if the accelerator has a dead spot. I'm used to it now and I simply apply much more accelerator, perhaps even feathering the accelerator up and down and then I have control of accelerator once more.
I've had this problem since Day 1. When I tell Honda about it, they say there's an onboard computer that would send a code if there was a problem. Thank you for your attention to this issue.
A: Ask the dealer to check for any DTC fault codes, then connect a data recorder to the vehicle for a test drive, hopefully with the technician. Demonstrate the hesitation for him and the recorder, then have him review the download at the shop to try to determine what happened. Make sure the FCW (forward collision warning) and LDW (lane departure warning) systems aren't a factor.
Your vehicle is equipped with a "fly by wire" throttle system, meaning there's no physical connection between the pedal and the throttle body. If the brake is applied while the throttle is open, the ECM cuts power. Do you brake with your left foot?
Q: Our 2001 Chevy 2500 HD truck with 8.1-liter gas Vortec engine and Allison transmission has about 62,000 miles on it. For the past five years we have noticed that if we go over 55 mph, the truck makes a sound resembling a distant foghorn with a cycling frequency of about 10-15 seconds. We notice this sound mostly on the passenger side of the truck and it is very annoying, especially on long trips. We would appreciate any help or advice as to what we might do to alleviate this problem.
A: There could be several sources for the noise. GM published a number of service bulletins dealing with strange noises that suggests the following possibilities: A/C compressor starved for oil under certain conditions, wind noise from the plastic trim at the base of the windshield (particularly if the vehicle is equipped with a bug deflector) and noise generated by the coolant restrictor in the coolant crossover fitting.
Several simple DIY tests may help you pinpoint the source. Try turning off the A/C while hearing the noise — does the noise stop? Remove the coolant restrictor and test drive the truck. And finally, if it's equipped with a bug/air deflector, remove it for a test drive.
If the noise can be heard with the hood open at idle, check the alignment of the power steering pump pulley. On some vehicles the pulley may be positioned too far inboard on the shaft.
Motoring note: One of the more enjoyable aspects of writing this column is reader participation in identifying problems. I received lots of excellent feedback on slow tire leaks, including these two. Thanks, guys!
From Lowell Carpenter: "Your answer regarding the typical causes of air leaking from tires was good but did you consider the possibility the leaks were from the valve stems? Typically when garages change tires they automatically replace the valve stems. Corrosion or contamination where the stems seal to the wheel could cause the slow leak."
From Art Abrams: "My winter-driver Mazda MPV was driving me crazy with leaking tires and I think alloy wheels with any significant age/corrosion are just leaks waiting to happen. Radial tire inner tubes have cured the problem."
Paul says: I'm not a big fan of inner tubes, but if it stops the leak and saves money on new wheels, who am I to argue?