Heat makes Skip cranky, but his wife won't turn on the AC until the car has "warmed up". Can Tom and Ray set them straight?
Dear Car Talk
Elizabeth just moved to Tucson, AZ, and she wants to invest in a sunshade to protect her 1986 Buick Skylark from the hot desert sun. Her mother advises that they build a gazebo or a carport to protect it, while her husband votes for a "reflective cover thingy". Elizabeth wants Tom and Ray to cast the tie-breaking vote.
Steve was shocked to discover that his red Honda del Sol is a "chick car". Can Tom and Ray convince him to be secure enough in his masculinity to face the (adorable) facts about this car? Plus Tom shares one of the lesser-known benefits for men who drive "chick" cars. Find out why Tom and Ray think Steve should drive his del Sol with pride, right here.
Bryony was driving to her job on an Air Force base when the troops manning the gate accidentaly raised the security barrier and damaged her car. She's worried that this bent the frame. Tom and Ray answer her question and have some bonus advice for Bryony about how to make her future dealings with Air Force security go more smoothly.
Ed's wondering about brake jobs--how do you know whether to replace the rotors, pads or both? Tom and Ray cover all the bases in their reply, starting with the history of brake pad materials, what's used most often in modern cars, and even make a prediction about the future of used brake rotors.
Fred thinks his brother-in-law's constant headlight use is dangerous and annoying to other drivers, not to mention destroying his gas mileage. Not ones to pass up on a brotherly dispute, Tom and Ray jump into the fray. Should Fred back down, or will Tom and Ray give him the green light to keep hassling his poor brother-in-law?
Tom's wife ran over a tree limb (no, not that Tom!) after it fell off a truck right in front of her. The car was undamaged except for the black plastic part under the front bumper, which had to be removed. Tom's question: what the heck was that thing, and is it important? Find out what the brothers Magliozzi have to say on the subject of chin spoilers, right here.
Richard's son drives too fast. With speeding tickets, fast starts and sudden braking, Richard is worried that he may be doing permanent damage to the car. Tom and Ray agree, but will they help him out? After all, they need customers like Richard's son--how else could mechanics make their boat payments each month?
Annie's soon-to-be husband is perfect except for one unnerving habit: he refuses to fill up before the gas light comes on. Annie has heard that coasting into the station on fumes can be bad for the fuel pump. Can Tom and Ray help her make her case?
Richard is considering switching to synthetic oil but the sales clerk warned him that once he goes synthetic, he'll damage his engine if he tries to go back to regular or even blended oil. Tom and Ray think this is a bunch of baloney. Read their highly plausible explaination right here.
John has an idea to help fully electric cars go the distance on road trips: pack your own generator. Will this actualy work, or will Tom and Ray send him back to the drawing board?
Sam's mechanic spotted a mouse nest inside his engine during an oil change. Sam was surprised to find the nest still intact when he picked up his van after the service. Should the mechanic have removed the nest? Tom and Ray weigh in on rodent eviction and more, right here.
Craig's dealer offered him a lifetime of free oil changes for his new Nissan Juke. But when he showed up for the first oil change, it turned out not to be quite as "free" as advertised. How would Tom and Ray handle this slippery dealer?