Barbara grew up knowing that manual transmissions got better gas milage than automatics. But dealers are telling her now automatics have the edge. Can Tom and Ray set the record straight?
Dear Car Talk
David goes through a lot of tires, so he mounts them himself using a lug wrench. He's ready to upgrade to the right tools, if the right tools are $50 or less. Tom and Ray say $50 isn't going to get him what he needs. Find out what's involved in mounting a tire, right here.
The fan in Lindsay's 2005 Hyundai Sonata blows full blast, even when it's set to Off. The heat and AC still work. Tom and Ray say she can either fix her fan the right way, or take the cheap and easy way out--using paperweights to keep her stuff from blowing away.
Tim's noticed that he has to run his windshield wipers at a faster rate when in motion than he does when waiting at a light, and wants to know why. Tom and Ray say his question can be solved with calculus. Are they qualified to perform these advanced mathematical calculations? Find out here.
The oil light came on in Scott's 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis, but when he checked the levels himself, they appeared to be fine. Find out which indicator Scott should believe, and why Tom and Ray say he should pony up the extra cash to get the sensor fixed, right here.
Donna's Toyota Sienna has been diagnosed with a $4800 repair. How can this be necessary at such low miles and given that Donna drives "like an old lady?" Tom and Ray think the estimate sounds high. Find out what Donna should do, right here.
Maria needs Tom and Ray's help to convince her husband that it's important to actually grip the steering wheel while driving. Her husband prefers a more hands-off approach, but he says he'll keep both hands on the wheel if Maria can find some statistics proving this is safer. Can Tom and Ray say anything to convince this guy of the error of his ways?
Arlon has driven Lincoln Navigators for years and he has noticed a trend: The wheels are getting bigger and the sidewalls are getting smaller. Since this makes the ride worse, he wants to know what gives. Tom and Ray explain why you can get away with this on a Navigator, but shouldn't risk it with a smaller car.
Joseph's 2013 Prius had an unusual problem. Then it had another. And another. Weeks and many problems later, his mechanci said the car's computer was "talking to itself." Just how complicated are these cars, anyway? Tom and Ray have good news and bad news for Jospeh. Read it here.
Steve is hoping to lease a car that will forgive him for not starting it very often. He's looking at the Mercedes-Benz S65, Bentley Flying Spur or Audi S8. Can Tom and Ray recommend something that will start up after weeks of inactivity, after three weeks of say, glamping in Botswana?