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Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 4/17/06

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On April 1stthe Neighbourhood Mechanic” is available on “1050 CHUM” Listen to: “” Saturdays@10 am EST, join us on air, 866 444 8326 toll free

Potholes are a fact of life. At this time of the year they the major cause of suspension, wheel and tire damage. As a mechanic, I think they’re a great source of business, however; here’s some helpful hints in avoiding damage. Try to avoid hitting a pot hole with the steering turned. If possible drive through with the wheels straight. Again if possible don’t apply the brakes. Hitting the brakes will load the front suspension and reduce the amount of travel available to absorb the impact. One more piece of advice…..make sure your tires are inflated to the proper pressure. Low pressure reduces the tire’s ability to absorb shock.

Recently I purchased tires from a local big box store. They offered to install them and charge them with nitrogen. Can you enlighten me on the use of nitrogen?


Nitrogen has been used to inflate tires in the racecars, aircraft and the trucking industry for years. Advantages include better control of air pressure with less loss due to seepage and less increase in pressure due to heat. Nitrogen is dry, this will eliminate corrosion problems inside the tire assembly and the lack of oxygen will also eliminate oxidation of the rubber and rim assembly. So why doesn’t everybody use the stuff? Well actually cost is the major stumbling block. Nitrogen generators currently list in the thousands and customers balk at paying for “air”.

I have a 1994 ford f-150 pickup truck with just under 100,000 km's... the automatic transmission sounds like a washboard when it shifts into the gear sequence... this transmission is equipped with overdrive and also has a button on the end of the shifter that when pushed enables the transmission to enter regular drive for hauling trailers etc. any suggestions ???

Transmissions are designed to operate quietly. The noise that you are describing sounds as if the gears are not meshing or a clutch is not engaging fast enough. This usually is a sign of low internal pressure. Worn parts can cause low pressure, as can a dirty transmission filter....Contact a competent transmission shop and have the unit diagnosed. They will have to drop the oil pan to inspect the transmission properly....

Dave Redinger a mechanic with over 40 yrs of experience. Dave operates his shop “DOCTOR H HONDA SPECIALISTS in Toronto for the last 25 yrs.

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Dave's Past Columns

July 14, 2005

July 22, 2005

July 29, 2005

August 12, 2005

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August 31, 2005

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February 14, 2006

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