Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 8/29/06

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How come we never see this headline? Yet it happens every day. Bad cheques, credit card abuse, abandoning cars after authorizing repairs, accusations of damage, stealing repaired cars at night. Believe me, after 40 plus years in the biz, I have seen most of it. Although I’m sure there are some scams I haven’t come across yet. There are plenty of consumer laws on the books to protect customer. Who’s looking out for the shop?

Oh…. by the way, I didn’t bring any money, can I get back to you? Ya, right.

I was reading your column on the ABS (antilock brake systems). My friend has a 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager. Her ABS light is on. Of more concern is that there are instances when the whole dashboard will lose functionality. She can still drive, we just don't know how fast, how much gas is left, as well, all the dashboard lights and power door locks don't work either. When the power returns, the check engine service light is lit.

Electrical issues are extremely hard to advise on without access to the vehicle. However; the fact that the vehicle is still running leads me to believe that you may be suffering an ignition switch failure. The switch controls several functions. Starting, running and operating the accessories. Possibly one of these functions (accessories) has failed. The switch will require replacement if it has failed.

I have a 2000 Odyssey with the lift gate locked shut. Nothing I have tried has opened it. The dealer says he needs about an hour and will probably damage the interior panel. Do you have any suggestions?

This type of vehicle suffers from the rear lock actually seizing due to lack of lubrication. Dust works it's way into the mechanism and causes corrosion. This will jam the lock mechanism. For starters I would lubricate the handle by spraying it liberally with penetratant and working it. Failing that, you to have to remove the inside panel and release the lock. The charges the dealer quoted are quite normal for this type of work.

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.

Email : davidredinger@rogers.com (

we respond to every email)


Dave's Past Columns

July 14, 2005

July 22, 2005

July 29, 2005

August 12, 2005

August 19, 2005

August 24, 2005

August 31, 2005

October 12, 2005

October 19, 2005

October 25, 2005

November 5, 2005

November 16, 2005

November 23, 2005

December 4, 2005

December 11, 2005

February 14, 2006

January 3, 2006

January 11, 2006

January 18, 2006

January 25, 2006

February 1, 2006

February 8, 2006

March 1, 2006

March 8, 2006

March 15, 2006

March 22, 2006

March 28, 2006

April 4, 2006

April 17, 2006

April 26, 2006

May 2, 2006

May 23, 2006

May 28, 2006

June 27, 2006

July 11, 2006

July 24, 2006

August 8, 2006

August 15, 2006

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