Q: I have had several Hondas, and the same situation has existed with each. When the weather changes from warm to cold, the yellow tire warning light goes on. When the weather goes from cold to warm, the light turns off. This has happened with each vehicle for as long as we have owned them! Is this something I should worry about?
— D.B., Chicago
A: A simple rule of thumb is that tires lose one PSI of pressure for every 10-degree drop in ambient temperature. Make sure your tires are properly inflated in the winter. The warning light comes on when tire pressure gets unsafely low.
Q: I own a 2011 Honda Accord with 92,000 miles. I had an oil change done and the dealership said that my right axle seal would be “in need of attention soon.” I decided to hold off for now. What would happen if the seal would fail and (assuming there is a left seal) should both be replaced at the same time?
— D.K., Deerfield, Ill.
A: Axle seal leaks, where the axle enters the trans-axle, are common on Accords. These seals will not fail catastrophically but leak more and more over time. Keep an eye on your garage floor and if the leak grows, have the seal replaced. You need not replace the seal on the other side until it leaks.
Q: Your recent answer to the question of spare tires and flats, etc., reminded me that my Ford dealer told me not to use Fix-a-Flat tire sealant as it can destroy the sensor for the tire pressure monitoring system. I used to carry a can of it in my car, but now just rely on the spare. What is the true story?
— S.P., Elwood, Ill.
A: There are several brands of aerosol puncture sealants on the marker. Fix-a-Flat is one of them and it is perfectly safe for tire pressure monitoring sensors. Years ago, when TPMS was introduced, sealants did affect the sensors, but that is history. Read the label on the can to make sure the product you choose is safe.
Q: My big beef is at night you will see an oncoming car with one headlight that is blinding you. My theory is that that fender/light was replaced at a body shop and the mechanic never aimed that particular headlight correctly.
— D.H., West Dundee, Ill.
A: You may well be right about a collision repair, but better shops take care to aim the headlights before returning the vehicle to the owner. Headlight alignment problems may also come from daily driving. Hitting potholes is a common cause. Another issue is how much weight is in the trunk. That anvil collector may be totally unaware that his lights are blinding people.
Q: I have heard over and over how new cars don’t have to be warmed and actually shouldn’t be because it isn’t good for a car’s engine. So why are auto starts so popular? Isn’t this the same thing as letting your car run for several minutes to warm it up?
A: Back in the olden days, cars had carburetors. Allowing them to run at a fast idle could cause damage. Today’s engine management systems maintain the fuel mixture and idle speed. But idling gets you zero miles per gallon, so driving gently during warm-up is the best choice.
Q: I have a 2012 Mazda3 and don’t let it warm up and do not have an auto-start but am tempted to install one because I live in the frigid Midwest. What do you think?
— R.H., Chicago
A: See the previous answer.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Bob Weber is a writer and mechanic who became an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician in 1976. He maintains this status by seeking certification every five years. Weber’s work appears in professional trade magazines and other consumer publications. His writing also appears in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest.
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