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Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 7/11/06





One of the biggest issues facing the motoring public today is paying to maintain the all high tech stuff which has become the norm in modern cars. I always say “don’t buy a car that will own you”. The following is a short list of what maintenance costs you can expect (listed by country) :

German = very very very expensive, Italian = very very expensive (with attitude),

Sweden = very expensive, Japanese = expensive, French = made of unobtainium,

Korean = who knows, Canadian/ American = kinda expensive. Just a thought.

I have 1994 Thunderbird. V8. The check engine light is on and says I need an EGR. How long will the car run before I have to replace that? Or could it be something else in connection with that?


The service engine light is a warning indicator. The engine management computer has detected a failure or a senor that has gone out of range. The car's injection system will no longer adjust to environment and the vehicle is running on back up. Long term driving in this condition will damage the car. Have the unit scanned a repair the problem. Do not pass go, you might not get there.

I read your column and I find your tips very helpful. I am a first time car owner and don't really know much about cars. I bought a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu about two years ago. After six months, the ABS light started to go on and off. I had it checked and was told everything is ok, BUT; it’s still there. Every time I see that light it keeps nagging me. Can you give me your insights on what's wrong with this car?


I HATE ABS! Every car I own I disconnect the system. ABS (Antilock Braking System) came to us out of the aircraft industry. It essentially allows the car to steer while under heavy braking. This is done by cycling the brakes when the tires are on the verge of skidding. In the real world they may have the effect of lengthening the distance it takes to stop. So if the ABS doesn't work I wouldn’t be too upset. ABS lights come when the system is not functioning, that’s true, may be a low fluid level, burned bulb, or a bad sensor. A scan should diagnose this issue easily.

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

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