#1216: Buona Fortuna

(Flickr image by roevin)

Original Air Date: 04.21.2012

   Best Moment 1:29

This week on Car Talk, Heather is about to embark on a two-year relocation to Italy, and is considering taking her '91 Alfa with her. Will it be happier if it dies on its home soil? Elsewhere, Brooke's Lumina is giving a good strong Tarzan yell in Reverse; Kristie's engine sounds like a Gatling gun, and she just noticed oil is pouring out of it as well; and Drew tried to clean his fiancee's car, but left a huge scratch in the hood, and is looking for a way to make it up to her. Also, is there any way for Jessica to fully de-maggot her Camry? All this, and lots more, this week, on Car Talk.

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Camry De-maggotification

by fzwater

Park the car in Barstow for a hot afternoon or two. The heat will kill the bugs!

Bugs in Car

by azimuth361

I was once in the Army Reserve. At the same time I was employed with a company that designed HVAC systems for commercial applications. Once, when I had shipped off to do my annual two-week training, I had left an orange in the back of my car. Ants found it and had built a next in my 1988 Beretta. I had complained to one of my co-workers and he suggested I ask the local Leprino Foods Warehouse in Tracy, California that we had had a part in designing. It's a warehouse full of frozen foods big enough to drive 18-wheelers. It was important to 'cold soak' the car, so I parked it there over a long holiday weekend. Presto! No ants. Perhaps you could find a similar frozen food warehouse and freeze out the flies and maggots. I hope so. I get heebie jeebies thinking about it.

Alfa in Italy

by Alfa-Fan

I have had 6 Alfa Romeos and the best Alfa mechanics are hands-down in Italy. If the car is running, and just needs some additional work done, it is definitely worth taking it over there, from Sicily to the main land is only a 2 hours ferry ride and after that its the autostrada del sole. The best Alfa Romeo shop I know is in Riva del Garda, it's a bit farther up North but just the drive is worth it.

Favorite Moment: talking about that small island off the boot of Italy .. LOL

Alfa in Italia Part 2

by satisficer

Here's another comment which might illustrate the value to talking with your military sponsor, or at least someone who has been to Sig: I was once stationed at Lajes Field on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic, called Terceira (part of the Azores). One of our hospital assignees brought over a ... Porsche. Great choice for Germany, but in the Azores, the roads were incredibly bad (potholes, washouts, and -- it's true -- the road crews actually poured asphalt over a road that had just been freshly washed out, complete with corrugations). Usual Mean Time Before Failure for a muffler was about a year. The Porsche was placed in someone's garage, and after a year, the leather interior had turned white -- not from age but from mildew. Not something you'd want to happen to the Alfa, so check before you ship! With wishes for a wonderful assignment -- it's too nice an opportunity to worry about a car.

Favorite Moment: When I thought about how wonderful it must be to have an assignment to Italy

Camry De-maggotification

by geniusacw

She might do well to get her car painted or at least take the car to a paint booth / oven and have them bake the car for her at a temperature that will kill the bugs, larva and eggs, around 160 deg. F.

Car Debugging Idea

by Buzz-at-Thrasher

Find someone who is having their home fumigated for termites and ask to park your car in their garage. Open all the windows in the car, the trunk, and the hood to allow the fumigant to penetrate. The termite fumigant ought to kill any live bugs; however, it may not effect eggs. Still better than getting rid of an otherwise perfectly good car. -- Buzz at Thrasher Termite and Pest Control

Camry De-maggotification


Have you tried the fogger spray cans? We have used them successfully many times in the past in houses, though never in a car but I don't see why that wouldn't work well. Put a can in the trunk and a can or two in the main interior with the windows up and hvac switched to 'off', nothing in a vented position. Leave it overnight, should do the trick.

Camry De-maggotification

by ballbangr

Not sure if these are the same bugs, but we had some show up in our flour in our old apartment. We tried all sorts of bug killers and pest control. We finally put a box of matchbooks in the pantry with the flour and never saw them again. We discovered that those particular bugs do not like sulfur so we purchased matchbooks to test out the theory. We still aren't certain if that is what solved the issue, but they never came back after putting those matchbooks in there (in fact they started dying off, we found little carcasses all over the pantry). Now we keep a matchbook in our flour container in tinfoil boat to keep those bugs away and haven't seen any since.

Alfa in Italia

by satisficer

Heather, Buona fortuna! Your comments brought back fond memories, but first, you won't make a bad decision either way. In '76, my wife and I were reassigned to Germany and decided to take our '71 BMW (we bought it in Hawaii, so it literally went halfway around the world). We had a wonderful time but ... repairs and parts were even more expensive in Germany than in the US (because of the tax situation there). Here are some other suggestions: TMALSS, we found the German mechanics could do most (but not all) of the work on our US-spec car. We also had a friend who was rebuilding a classic Mercedes in the US ask us for parts, and we found they were actually more available in teh US than in Germany (not many Germans drove "classic" cars). But the most important one: ASK YOUR MILITARY SPONSOR! Ask them about the condition of the roads over there (they may be too horrible for your ALfa), the availability of mechanics, whether your car will likely be stolen or dented up by local drivers, the types of cars everyone else drives, etc. Most of all ... learn some of the language before you go, read up on the area, and start traveling from Day One -- time will fly by and before you know it you will be ready to head back. Italy is the assignment of a lifetime and make the most of it, whether or not you take the car!

Missed the boat on the question about bringing the Alfa to Italy

by needlema

That "small island" off the boot of Italy your caller's going to is Sicily. Her irony slipped by the guys. There should be no problem getting parts. You might want to reconsider your advice based on her being on a small island and follow up with her.

Favorite Moment: Girlfriend leaping into the discussion.

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