Steve's Honda Civic needs some work done to his AC. The Honda dealer said the compressor is shot, but Steve's local mechanic thought it might just be some faulty sensors. Find out who Tom and Ray think is right, plus how Steve can find out, right here.
Dear Car Talk
Susie got a new car and she's noticed that the factory-installed GPS has been sending her the long way or the wrong way to already-familiar destinations. Now she doesn't trust it to get her places. She's tried adjusting the settings, to no avail. What gives? Tom and Ray say there's a big difference in the types of GPS services. Find out what options they suggest, right here.
Mir's tire-pressure warning light has been coming on ever since he had his tires replaced. His mechanic says the tire pressure is fine, and he should just drive it and the problem will fix itself. Tom and Ray say a tin of brownies might motivate Mir's mechanic to work a little harder on this issue. Find out what they think is going on, right here.
Will thinks driving 55 mph is easier on his car's engine and uses less fuel, but his wife argues that going 75 mph means the engine is running for less time and is therefore doing less work. Who's correct? Will's male ego is riding on Tom and Ray's reply.
The owner's manual for Maurine's 2009 Hyundai Sonata says that seat covers will inactivate the air bag response. But Maurine drives long distances and loves her padded seat covers. Is there a way around this? Tom and Ray say she's in luck! A solution exists for her problem and she can find it on . . . The Internet! Find out more, right here.
Bob had a water pump failure on his 2001 Dakota and ever since, the truck won't start on damp days. Tom and Ray say he can solve his problem, easy! Just move to a drier climate. Death Valley perhaps? Read the rest of their advice, right here.
Today: Tom and Ray counsel Nathan who is just a bit concerned that his "carstache" might be blocking the external temperature sensor on his 2007 Dodge Calibur. Tom and Ray say the external sensor isn't a big deal, but he should be a little concerned about blocking the radiator. How he can check, plus a discussion of the ideal mustache for a car, this way.
Karen's oil change guys say the axle clamps are leaking on her Subaru Outback. The dealership says it's not a big deal. Who should Karen believe? Tom and Ray say her dealership sounds lazy...but that doesn't mean that they're wrong! Read their advice to Karen, right here.
Russell uses his 2009 GMC Sierra to tow a 6500 pound trailer. His friends all say he's crazy to use the cruise control with something in tow but he can't find any cautions against this in the owner's manual. Tom and Ray say he should be fine as long as the area isn't hilly. Read their full recommendation (and find out why this includes doubling up on the Depends) right here.
Andrew belongs to a car club and he leaves flyers on the windshields of cars that are the right make and model to benefit from the club's services. Fifteen years ago, new members would say they were happy to get the flyer; now the owners get upset if they catch Andrew in the act. What gives? Tom and Ray say the culture has changed. Find out why, and read their suggestions for having a bit of fun with these angry drivers, right here.
Claudine's daughter just got a used Honda CR-V, her first four-wheel drive, and Claudine wants to know how to get the best use out of it. Tom and Ray say her daughter picked the best kind of four-wheel drive--the automatic kind. Find out why this is safer in difficult conditions and more effective in everyday road driving, as well.
Doc wants Tom and Ray to settle a bet. He claims that a person can tell the difference between a Chevy and a Ford based on the sound the door makes when closing. His friends say he's nuts and a a large bar tab hangs in the balance. What will Tom and Ray decide?
Rachel wants to know how much it costs per mile to run a car. Her friends calculate the cost of by the cost of the gas used, but Rachel thinks they should also factor in wear and tear on the engine, maintenance, etc. Luckily, the IRS calculates this number every year. The answer, plus Tom and Ray's advice on whether Rachel should start billing her friends at the IRS rate for rides around town, right here.
Heat from the engine compartment in Daniel's 1979 Fiat Spider is giving him hot foot. On this car, there are so many possible culprits Tom and Ray don't know where to start. The catalytic converter could be running hot or it could be a bad fuel injector or a missing heat shield. Find out what Tom and Ray advise, right here.
JamieLee loaned out her car and when she got it back it was leaking fluids and all the warning lights were flashing. The person she loaned it to denied doing anything wrong, but Tom and Ray say for this to happen on a relatively new car, the operator would have to have hit something. Say, a brontosaurus. Find out how she can get this fixed and what how she should deal with the person who borrowed the car, right here.