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Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 5/23/06

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the Neighbourhood Mechanic” is available on the radio “1050 CHUM” & “” Saturdays@ 9 am EST, join us on air, 866 444 8326 toll free

Every time I open my car’s window (after a rain storm), water drips on my knee. It may sound crazy, but water should never enter a car. Why does this happen? The answer…. the drip rail is missing. The drip rail acts much the same as an eves-through does on your house. It ducts the water away from the open window. So what happened to it? Well; in an effort to streamline the body, designers have removed the rails. I assume this also was done to relieve wind noise on the highway. The drip rail was a convenient way to hide the welds that held the roof down during assembly. As manufacturing techniques advanced this practice became inefficient. Some vans still sport them, but for the most part the drip rail has gone the way of the dodo bird and the “no-draft vent window”. Just a thought.

I have a `97 Safari. The problem is a no start condition when the vehicle is exposed to damp weather. Replaced to date - plugs, cap, rotor, plug wires, air filter, fuel filter, temp sending unit for the ECU, crank sensor. The fuel injectors have been flushed as well. The engine will almost start on one cyl. or two but if it does not catch then its all over until... you plug in the block heater. This problem has been ongoing for about a year and no one seems to be able to diagnose.

A classic high tension ignition issue. I notice you have not mentioned the coil in the parts list. Find a trigger bottle and fill it with water. Mist the engine while it is idling. This will recreate a damp weather condition and will help in the diagnostic. If your mechanic has a Vantage Scan tool he can isolate which cylinders are acting up. If you are attempting this repair by yourself, I think you've exhausted most of your options without using serious diagnostic equipment.

The Car: 1987 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Fwd 1600cc 4ac (carb.) I have problems starting the car on cool mornings. The engine starts runs rough for 10 seconds and stalls. An attempt to restart it turns over but, does not fire. I can get the car going after repeated attempts and once it is warmed up it seems to restart, idle smoothly and accelerate normally. If you have a wild guess I would appreciate the expertise!!

Sounds as if the mixture is incorrect to facilitate starting. This is old technology. The carburetor will still have a choke assembly. Have the choke adjustment inspected. However; I must warn you that you may find it necessary to overhaul the carburetor unit. Just reminds me how far we have come with computerized cars in such a short time.

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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