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Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 3/15/06

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I purchased my first new car in 33 yrs. Now that the kids have moved out it seems I have a little extra at the end of the week. Turns out, my new car wasn’t that new. I had been in stock for almost a year. Sitting around caused a few complications, the brakes had rusted, the wipers had dried out and some of the bulbs had failed. Moral of the story, Try and find out how new your new car actually is , was there any damage that was repaired during shipping. By the way all my problems were easily resolved. Now……. even my wife is happy.

I have a 1990 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight Royal that starts great in the warmer months but during the winter months doesn't. If I don't plug in the block heater the vehicle seems to flood. Basically what I do to start the engine is hold the ignition on until the engine starts. This sometimes takes up to a minute. Any suggestions?

When the temperature dips a car's battery reserves are low. Sometimes less than 50% of it's available power. Under these conditions the ignition system must be in perfect condition. These vehicles had a reputation for weak ignition coils. Have the ignition system tested by a qualified tech. Never crank an engine for more than 10 seconds at a time. The starter may over heat and fail.

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 for max performance. (also less chance of getting pulled over). 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. 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.

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

March 8, 2006