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!)
Dear Car Talk
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.
Randy always wanted to get a camper for when he retires but now that the gas prices are high, he's thinking about sizing-down his vision to a small SUV. Find out why Tom and Ray say a mini-van is the ulitmate compromise vehicle, right here.
Cathy's son moved to Europe and left his 2001 Chrysler Sebring with his mother. Problem is, the engine imploded only a few weeks after his departure. They still owe a few payments on the car and now Cathy's not sure what to do with it once it's paid off. What will Tom and Ray reccomend?
Russ's taxi just blew its head gasket and he wants to know whether he missed any warning signals that could have prevented it. Tom and Ray say there were plenty of warning signals and want to know why Russ chose to ignore them all. Find out where Russ went wrong, right here.
Moon's Mitsubishi Lancer started squeaking when it rains, and now it squeals and whines all the time. Tom and Ray say she has two choices--either she can get it checked out, or she can just wait for the belt to break and fall off. Then she'll be able to enjoy the silence once again!
Rick, a self-identified geezer, has reached the age where he just wants to pay someone else to check his car's pressure and fluids for him. But he's had no luck finding a gas station that offers this service. Tom and Ray think these services are less important than they used to be. Find out why and whether they have any advice for Rick, all right here.
Travis's Subaru was running hot, but he was almost to his destination so he kept driving. Then he drove home again. Tom and Ray say there are a couple circumstances where the "wait until you get home to figure out what's wrong" approach can cost you several thousands of dollars, and this is one of them. Find out why you should always pull over if your car is running hot, right here.
Tesa has been driving stick for years but still harbors traumatic memories of learning to drive with her dad. She recently moved back to her home town and her dad thinks he's still obligated to remind her not to ride the clutch (which she wasn't doing anyway, thank you very much.) Is her dad right, or is he just being a pain in the tuchus? Find out what Tom and Ray think.