Q: My 2017 Honda Pilot has 56,000 miles. While on long trips, the A/C blows warm air sometimes. Changing temperatures or switching it off and on does not change the temp. The only thing that helps is to turn off the engine for about 90 minutes. The Honda dealer's repair shop assures us the A/C system is in good working order. They suggest bringing the vehicle in when the problem occurs. That isn't possible because it occurs on long trips. What can I do to solve this problem?
A: Living in a cold-weather climate, it gives me a warm feeling getting an air conditioning question in the winter. The A/C removes humidity as it cools. That water vapor then becomes liquid that drains out of the HVAC housing by way of a rubber tube. If the tube gets clogged, the water collects on the evaporator coils and turns to ice, which blocks airflow. Turning off the A/C for a while (you need not turn off the engine) allows the ice to melt. A longer-term solution: Have the tube cleaned.
Tire pressure tip
Q: My daughter drives a 2003 Toyota Camry. The car has no TPMS, so I've put pressure-monitoring valve caps on her tires. It seems like a great way for her to keep an eye on the pressure while she is away at school. Have you had any experience with these? Is there a risk of the caps loosening, which would slowly deflate the tire?
A: I have used them, but not for a while. They were kind of accurate then, but I expect that they have been improved since. Although not as accurate as the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), they will at least alert you to a drop in pressure. Don't worry about them getting loose.
Is sale legal?
Q: In 2013, I purchased a new Ford Taurus SHO. I had it super-tuned, which included replacing the exhaust system with less-restrictive catalytic converters. I have the original factory converters. With the laws that have been enacted to stop converter thefts, how do I go about legally selling them?
A: The first step is to figure out if converters that old are worth anything. Check with an auto recycling/salvage yard. As for the laws, they vary by city, so you'll need to research that question with the local police. For future reference, auto parts stores usually collect a core charge, which they refund when the old parts are returned. Unfortunately, the refund window for your cats probably has closed, but if you ever replace converters again, take advantage of it.
Keeping it simple
Q: My son-in-law firmly believes in keeping at least one car with no computerized components so that he can fix anything that goes wrong. I wonder about the utility of this idea. What's your take on this?
A: It is not a bad idea.
Bob Weber is a writer, mechanic and ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician. His writing has appeared in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest. Send automotive questions along with name and town to email@example.com.