Never too late. Tire down. Surface Pro 4.

HVAC controls for our Equinox

Never too late … to learn. I guess. Last winter I noticed that when we turned to heat in our 2012 Chev Equinox the air came out on the floor. I usually run the system on Auto (yellow pointer) and simply turn the A/C on or off (blue pointer) for cooling or heating. But we wanted the heated air to come out the console vents, to warm our upper bodies. So I used the upper airflow control (red pointer) to make the air come out the console. Instead it came out the floor vents. When I pressed the lower airflow control it came out the console. So I thought something had gotten messed up with the controls.

Today I took the Equinox to the neighborhood Firestone Complete Auto Care service center (it used to be Fletcher’s, but Firestone bought out that chain). I described the problem to Daryl, the manager, and later he had me come out to show him the problem. He then showed me that those two airflow control buttons merely rotated through the options, of which there are four (I think). Had I continued to press the upper airflow control it would have come to the desired airflow pattern. So even though we have owned that car since 2012, I learned something new today thanks to Daryl. What I don’t understand, though, is why the airflow switched under Auto to the floor vents when running heat. Guess I have to ask some more questions.

Another problem for which I took the car to Firestone was a leaking tire. A couple of weeks ago we started getting a low air pressure alert on the dash and it showed the left front tire as being low. Pete and I checked the pressure in that tire and it was good. After several days of that I took the car to Firestone so they could check it. They found that the tire pressure management system had gotten confused about where each tire was located, and it was the left rear that was losing air instead of the left front. The tech reset all the tires so the monitors indicated the proper tire and he aired up the low tire.

But after a couple of days I was getting the low air pressure warning again, this time for the left rear. I had Firestone check this today and Daryl had me come to the bay and showed me that not only did I have a nail in the left rear, I also had a screw in the right front! Plus, those five-year-old tires are showing not only wear but also weathering cracks in sidewalls and tread. His recommendation: replace all the tires. I agreed. I selected the tires that you can drive on up to 50 miles with a puncture, and will have them installed on the 17th. I waited because there is a $100 rebate offer that weekend, which Daryl alerted me to. I had them repair the leaking tire in any case.

My Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet has been having battery problems for several months now. The battery charge does not last as long as it should, and often the batteries overheat. I looked into changing the battery and found that I can buy a replacement but the process to replace it is very complicated and requires using a heat gun to remove the front screen panel as well as to remove the battery. I asked Geek Squad about having it done today and think it would probably cost $150-200 (they don’t do that work). I have been debating on this issue for several weeks and had looked into what tablet I would buy if I decided to replace the Surface. My conclusion was to go to a Surface Pro 4, the latest model, so while at Best Buy I went ahead and did that. I had to order it, and it will arrive on Wednesday. Later Pete Petersen offered to try to replace the battery if I wanted to. I may do that and then find someone who wants that used tablet.

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