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Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 1/25/06

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I HATE SHOVING SNOW!! I just returned from the trip to Quebec City. They get a lot of snow in Quebec. They must hate shoveling too, so...they put up tents in the driveway and use them as portable car ports. I assume it comes down in spring. Just like the Christmas lights.

What a novel way to make winter just that little bit easier.

I have a problem with my car a 92Toyota Camry V6. (yes, its 14 yrs old and still running!) My heater is broken. When I blast my heater, all I feel is warm air. By the time I get to work ( 35 min from home ), The cold in my car is still present. Is there a cooler or filter for my car heater that I can replace? Is there any way I can fix it or troubleshoot the problem so I don’t have to go far and beyond repairing it for $2000.


I don't think your problem is with the heater rather the cooling system. Have the temperature of the coolant tested when you are in the no heat condition. More than likely you will find that the thermostat is worn and
needs to be replaced. The thermostat controls the temperature of the coolant. Usually in cold weather we recommend a 95c. At the same time check the belts, hoses and replace the coolant The cost of replacing a thermostat and coolant, about $200.

I overfilled the expansion (coolant overflow) reservoir with a coolant, so that the level of the fluid is about an inch and a half above the line where it should be. Should I drain out the excess fluid or the cooling system have a safety vent for excess pressure or is there a danger that the tank will blow up?

Not to worry. The expansion tank will vent directly to the atmosphere....The radiator is sealed and pressurized. Usually the pressure is set at 16 psi. Venting is done by the cap which is set at 16 or what ever pressure is called for by the manufacturer. Why is the system pressurized? The higher the pressure the higher the boiling point. By increasing pressure of the fluid we are able to deal with more heat without boiling over...Kinda cheating mother- nature. Water boils at 212 degrees....a lot of cars run at 220 under load quite safely.

Dave Redinger a mechanic with over 40 yrs of experience operates his shop “DOCTOR H HONDA SPECIALISTS in Toronto for the last 25 yrs. Dave can be heard every Saturday morning at 9:00 on “THE NEIGHBOURHOOD MECHANIC” on AM740

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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

Febuary 14, 2006

January 3, 2006

January 11, 2006

January 18, 2006