Ask John Paul: AAA’s Car Doctor

I drive a 1989 Jeep Grand Cherokee with almost 200.000 miles without any big issues. Recently I have noticed the air conditioner doesn’t drip water on my garage the way it once did. My garage (not a Jeep dealer) tells me in order to solve that problem the dashboard has to be removed and that sounds like a big job. Hopefully you have a better suggestion?

John Paul

John Paul

All air conditioner systems remove moisture from the air to reduce humidity. That condensation collects on the air conditioner evaporator and drips out the evaporator drain hose. Over time the evaporator drain can clogged with debris such as leaves and pine needles. Usually all it takes to get the evaporator to drain again is to clean the drain hose. But here is the problem; Jeep didn’t use a drain hose they designed the evaporator to drain through the body of the vehicle. There are several videos posted online that show a simple fix. You drill a quarter inch hole in the drain and clean the buildup of debris and then use compressed air to get the evaporator to drain again.

I am considering purchasing a BMW 2 series AWD convertible and was wondering how good it would be in the snow and how safe the soft top would be or would you recommend the Audi A3 convertible and why? Would I need to put 4 snows on either one of these cars if I plan to drive them year round?

The BMW and The Audi in this category are very close matches. The BMW is just a little bigger but slightly heavier, the performance is similar with the A3 having a slight edge in fuel economy. Both a great small luxury cars that are fun to drive all year round and with regards to safety both offer roll over protection to protect the occupants Regarding snow tires, to get the best winter performance snow tires are recommended. The bottom line buy: the car you like, with either car you can’t go wrong.

Lately when I bring my 1993 Ford truck in for an oil change, they ask if I want the high mileage oil change or a regular oil change. The regular oil change is about $30 while the change with the high mileage oil is about $50. I have 150k miles on my truck. Is it worth the extra cost for the high mileage oil change for a truck with 150k miles on it? I thought I read in a different newspaper you weren’t convinced that the high mileage oil was worth it.

The high mileage oil has some additives that help preserve engine seals, reduce smoking, slow oil leaks and remove sludge build up. Some time back I had Felix Rouse from Valvoline on my radio program to talk about high mileage oils as well as some other issues that relate to oil. Prior to talking with Felix I was convinced that high mileage oils were created in the marketing department not the engineering department. Your question is it worth the extra cost, maybe?

We purchased a new Honda CRV three weeks ago. After the second day I noticed a potentially dangerous issue. When slowing down to approximately 15-20 MPH and then giving it the gas, there is about a one second delay before the car moves. It doesn’t happen all the time. The first time I was making a left turn with oncoming traffic. As I was making the turn the car just wouldn’t move. I had plenty of time to make the turn but now found myself almost stuck in the middle of the intersection. This has now happened about 10 times. Not just making left turns but it can happen any time you slow down to about 15-20 MPH and then give it the gas. Went to the dealer and naturally they couldn’t find anything wrong. I suspect it has something to do with the transmission. Have you heard of this problem and are there any recalls for this issue?

I road tested the CR-V when it first came out for 2015 and didn’t notice any issues with the transmission or hesitation. The CVT transmission does have a different “feel” to it but again never a hesitation. The database that I use didn’t list any bulletins for this vehicle. At this point I would stay in touch with the dealer and see if Honda issues any computer updates that could smooth out the issue. A search online shows some consumer issues with this vehicle but to me the number seem minimal compared to the number of CR-Vs sold. Readers are you having problems with your 2015 Honda CR-V email me –


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