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Dave Redinger -The Neighbourhood Mechanic

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Dave is a licensed auto mechanic with over 40 years in the trade. For the past 24 years h has operated Dr. H. Honda Specialists in Etobcoke(Toronto). Dave the neighborhood mechanic can be heard answering his neighbors car questions on AM740 radio each Saturday at 9 AM. Some of these conversations will also be published weekly here on The Auto Channel

July 29, 2005

First Dave’s Ditty:
Ever come out of the mall on one of those dark and cold winter nights and wander around the lot looking where you parked your car? Happens to me all the time because I can’t remember what car I was driving.

Now don’t get your back up about me using a customers car. I have always said that it’s a poor mechanic that doesn’t road test a vehicle before and after the repair. Even if you came in to just have a bulb changed insist that a technician road test your car.

Why? It’s simple, things that wear-out wear-out if your brake peddle is too low or the steering has gotten loose, you as the cars everyday driver may not notice, but a trained professional will immediately recognize that there is a problem, and can remedy it before it becomes an expensive problem or even worse….

Ok, now where did I put those key’s……

Hi Dave
I drive a 1990 Cadillac sedan. The air conditioner is starting to get weak. I understand that because this car uses Freon I can not have the system serviced. Is that true?
Stan , Niagara Falls

Freon was discontinued with environmental concerns. It was apparently damaging the ozone. However; old Freon systems are serviceable. The systems can be converted to the new gas (134a). There are conversion kits available at reasonable cost. Second option is to recharge the system with an organic based gas. These are available under various trade names and are a direct replacement for Freon (R12). On modification is required. In both cases the system must be in good operating condition to accept a charge.

Hello Dave:
I started looking at new cars. I notice that there is a little or no price difference between standard and automatic transmission. What’s your opinion between the two choices….. Sean, Cambridge

Personally after 40 years behind the wheel I have grown to hate a manual transmission. I should add that I do most of my driving in the big smoke and the stop and go traffic is a bear. Before the development of the modern computerized transmissions the manual gear box offered more speeds, better fuel economy and better performance. None of that is true anymore. So what’s the bottom line? If you’re into performance and enjoy rowing your way down the highway go for the stick, in time you too will grow to hate it.

Dave Redinger will answer questions from viewers each week, to ask you can e-mail dave at stikky@ca, og go to

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

August 29,2006

September 13, 2006

September 20, 2006