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Dave Redinger's The Neighborhood Mechanic - Harry Leland, Struts and O2 Sensors


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First Dave's Ditties:
Henry Leland is a name many of you may not be familiar with. In the early 1900’s in the Detroit Auditorium Henry pull three of his new Cadillacs onto the stage. His crew proceeded to completely dismantle all three cars. Members of the audience were asked to mix up the parts. At the end of the day the three Cadillacs drove off the stage.

Up till that moment this feat was unheard. Cars were basically hand made and parts were unique and not interchangeable. Leland developed the “interchange concept” from his experience in the arms industry. Interchange lead to the development of the modern production line. Each piece was an exact copy of the next.

Leland sold his concept to friend and sometime benefactor Henry Ford. This eventually lead to the development of Ford’s famous Model T’s production line.

So what happened to Henry Leland? Well; Cadillac eventually was purchased from him by Durant and became part of New General Motors Company. Leland with support of the Ford Corporation started to build the ultimate luxury car, the one that he had always wanted to build. He named it after his favorite president. Lincoln....now on to this week's questions...

I have a 1997 Toyota Corolla. The garage tells me a strut on the rear passenger side is gone and the driver side is going. They tell me I have to replace all 4 front and back. Is this true?

Lois

Yes and no, how's that for an answer. Struts are the industry moniker for the combination shock absorber and spring assembly. This system is used as the suspension component in many modern chassis designs. Struts should be changed in pairs. This allows the vehicle to remain in balance. As the vehicle is over 10 years on the road I would replace all four. The vehicle will handle better. The real decision here is that you are keeping your car for the foreseeable future as this type of repair is a sizable investment. Toyota is a good brand and should be well worth the repair.

I have a 1992 Dodge Spirit in reasonably good condition with 186,000 kms. I have had several instances requiring the changing of the Oxygen Sensor. The gentlemen who have been responsible for servicing the vehicle are at a loss to account for the repeated necessity to change the sensor. Can you help?

I personally don't think the oxygen sensor is defective...Oxygen senor codes can be generated for several reasons. Lean operation conditions are the primary cause of a low O 2 reading. Look for a plugged fuel filter, plugged or defective egr system, defective throttle body, or a simple vacuum leak. Anti-freeze leaking into the combustion process can also damage the sensor...In short have the techs spend more quality time with your car before swapping out parts

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