Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 6/27/06
ASK THE NEIGHBOURHOOD MECHANIC
In praise of the large car. Alot of my duties are performed in big city, downtown traffic. I’m the first to admit in this environment the subcompact is king. Easy to handle, easy to park and easy on gas. But, get that sucker out on the open road and hold on. All the inner city virtues are “blowing in the wind”. Literally! The subcompact is lethal on big city expressways and the surrounding highways. Face it the thing is light and small. There’s nothing more exiting than being able to count the number of insect hits, on that 18 wheeler’s license plate, as he fills your mirror or performing an involuntary lane change as a bus goes by. It just adds to the excitement. My solution? Two cars, little one for the city, BIG ONE for the hwy.
I’m a new driver and my first Ontario winter is coming. Can you explain if I should buy snow tires. I have a Honda Civic and commute daily.
As we enter the digital age the word snow tire is no longer used. Tires are specialized and now referred to as winter-tires. Winter-tires are all about grip…(getting traction in adverse conditions) In the Canadian winter, driving conditions vary between deep snow to shear ice. Each condition is treated differently. Contact a competent tire installer and ask him the same question. One recommendation I can make, mount your tires on extra rims. This will avoid damage and simplify the installation. I would start shopping tires in the early fall when dealers will have more choices.
I have a 2000 Chrysler Neon which has 102,000 kms on it. I’m wondering when I must replace the timing belt. I read on the internet that 2000+ Neons don’t need new belts until they reach 100,000 miles. Could you please advise when I should be looking after this? Seems there are different opinions. However, I want to do what is best for the car.
Timing belt replacement is one of the good
things you can do for your car. The belt is used to rotate the camshaft on
overhead valve engines. Belts offered engineers a simple solution to what
was a complex problem, keeping the cam timed over a long period of service.
Timing belts have been in used in engines since the late 60’s. Belts
are robust, however; if the belt should break the damage that results will
destroy the engine. According to the service schedules I have, the belt
should be changed at 168,000 KMS. However; we advise owners not to let the
belts run past 6 years. The rubber has a tendency to degrade over time and
Dave Redinger a mechanic with over 40
yrs of experience. Dave operates his shop “DOCTOR H HONDA SPECIALISTS
in Toronto for the last 25 yrs.
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