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Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 4/4/06

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Now, the Neighborhood Mechanic” is available on your computer!

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Cars are hi-tech and complex. Yet, they have become increasingly reliable. Industry warranty rates are at an all time low. However; complicated repairs are time consuming and expensive. Take care of your valuable new car warranty. Read the terms and conditions that apply make sure you fully understand what your responsibilities are. The back of a tow truck is not the best place to find out you’re not covered…..

Just a thought.

I live in a rural area of the country. Living on a farm I have grown up using and maintaining expensive farm equipment. The dealer where I purchased my truck is over an hours drive away. Will I void my warranty if I service the vehicle myself?


Manufactures can not force their customers to return to the purchasing dealer for service. However; the manufactures warranty will be voided if the vehicle is improperly service. In your case I would contact a local shop to do the maintenance work as required in the owner’s manual. Keep good records. Assure yourself that the shop is licensed. Your warranty is valuable. Contact your manufacture and advise them of your situation. In that way you are assured that help is available if required.

I am regularly reading your tips in 24Hours. I have 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, 120,000 km. Recently I had the transmission serviced. (Transmission Oil, Filter Change and Flush) After doing the service the van has started giving me problems. Now on Highway it can't gain speed over 100 kph and it revs at 5000rpm. Can you give any ideas?

The transmission is running in “limp mode”. The computer will engage “limp mode” when one of the sensors or switches in the unit are malfunctioning. I doubt very much that the service has caused your transmission to fail. These units are computer operated and extremely complicated. 120,000 kms relates to a lot of wear and the unit may actually be worn out. However it may not be terminal. The problem many actually be in the module that controls shifting. This is commonly referred to as a “solenoid pack”. Have your mechanic scan the transmission for codes and then follow standard repair procedure.


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