Shannon suspects that her uncle's car was struck by lightning because after a recent thunderstorm, the headlights refused to turn off. Tom and Ray explain what she can look for to confirm her diagnosis, and what kind of repairs her uncle can expect.
Dear Car Talk
Phil's Honda Fit was sandwiched between a big Jeep and an even bigger mini-van during a recent rear-end collision. The insurance repaired the car but Phil wonders if they should be worried.
Find out how Tom and Ray would check for structural damage, right here.
Grace's Dodge Neon won't turn off, even after the key is removed from the engine. Her mechanic replaced the ignition cylinder but now he's stumped. Will Tom and Ray have good suggestions for Grace? (Or will they just tell her to focus on how lucky she is to have a car that won't stop instead of a car that won't start?)
Jared just got his brakes replaced and his mechanic convinced him to buy ceramic brake pads. Now he wonders if these pads are as good as his mechanic says they are. Tom and Ray explain the history of brake pads and what's the best kind on the road today.
Dottie's dad did a lot of his own car repair. Problem is, he didn't have a way to dispose of the used oil and other fluids. So, he left them in a 55 gallon drum in the garage, and it's all still there, 30 years later. Tom and Ray advise Dottie on how to safely and legally dispose of the mess.
Jamie's wife's car runs great, but it is a complete mess on the inside and he wants to replace the interior on the cheap. Tom and Ray offer advice about sourcing quality parts from the junkyard, plus a word of caution about cats and cuban cigars. (It's relevant, we promise!)
Steve's headlight is acting up, but he discovered that if he smacks the top of the hood the light will reliably turn on and stay on. Can Tom and Ray explain what's causing this, and whether or not Steve can trust this as a long term solution?
Martha's car battery died this week and her neighbor suggested that she pour a can of Coke on it to clean off the corrosion. Martha is skeptical. Tom and Ray talk about this and other home remedies for batteries. Find out what works and what doesn't, right here.
Betty's husband tore off the black plastic thingamajig that was hanging under the front end of their car, a Mercury Grand Marquis. Now she wonders if this was a great idea, given her husband's limited expertise on cars. What was this mystery part, and will they be sorry that it's gone? Read Tom and Ray's answer here.
Sara loves her cruise control, but her fiance thinks she uses it way too often. He worriest that overuse will wear out the car. Tom and Ray say that's nuts. Read here for their explanation of how cruise control works, and find out whether they think Sara should call off the engagement.