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Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 3/8/06

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Does your emergency brake work? When was the last time you actually applied the system to check it’s function. On some vehicle’s regular application of the E Brake actually adjust the regular braking system and keeps it functioning properly. Putting safety aside for a moment “does the emerg system work?” usually the second question the cop asks just before he calls the towing service. Vehicles with a non functioning emergency system are considered unfit for road use. Just a thought.

I have a 2002 Kia Sportage EX 4x4, just purchased. I still have the Kia warranty till July, 2007 or 100,000 km; I also have a 30-day dealer's warranty. My questions: 1) what would cause a high-pitched rattle both when the car is idling and moving 2) what would cause a strong gas odor in the car? The vehicle has 90,300 km on it. Thank you in advance.


When you are experiencing a rattle something is loose. You stated it happens when your idling so I would assume it's not in the driveline. Check the exhaust system. Muffler baffles and damaged catalytic converters rattle. Gas smells are an indication of a gas leak. Have the fuel system inspected, pay attention to the venting system. Bear in mind that the body of this car is square. Smells that originate in the rear will be sucked into the cabin as the vehicles passes through the air.

He's my question: about a thousand years ago, before fuel injection, computerized this, that and the other thing, even before the automatic transmission, the golden rule for the best rate of speed for the best fuel consumption was to drive at a steady fifty-five miles per hour. Is it still the same, or does it now depend on things like super chargers, air conditioning, or whatever?


Speed Costs! The faster you go the more it costs. I would suggest cruising just under 110 kms for max performance. (also there’s less chance of getting pulled over). Rule Two... Cheaper to use A/C on the hwy with the windows closed then A/C off and the windows open. The extra drag caused by the lowered widows makes the vehicle less efficient and wastes fuel. Rule Three....Drive like there is an egg between your foot and the accelerator. Easy on and easy off. Keep a steady pace on the HWY. and avoid jack rabbit starts.

Follow these basic rules and not only will you save gas you will reduce wear on you car. However; your social life my suffer due to on set of acute boredom.

Dave Redinger a mechanic with over 40 yrs of experience operates his shop “DOCTOR H HONDA SPECIALISTS in Toronto for the last 25 yrs. You can hear Dave on the Neighbourhood Mechanic Saturday mornings 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

February 14, 2006

January 3, 2006

January 11, 2006

January 18, 2006

January 25, 2006

February 1, 2006

February 8, 2006

March 1, 2006