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Today: Gear Shifter Location


Bob writes in with an auto-philosophical question: Why are some gear shifters floor-mounted in the center while others are on the steering column? Tom and Ray explain why designers can pretty much put the shifter anywhere they want. But Tom claims there's one good reason to keep it on the steering column...snuggling. 


Ed Begley, Jr., America's Favorite Environmentalist, is Moving


Reluctantly, the star of Life With Ed is moving with wife Rachelle to a bigger house only a mile from the old one. But with solar panels and a huge rainwater collection system, it will be even greener.


Is Fuel Saving Method Wearing Out Starter?


Terry's boyfriend turns off the car at every single red light. He claims this saves fuel (and money). Terry worries that all this does is annoy other drivers and will wear out her starter in the long run. Who's right? Find out what Tom and Ray say, right here. 


Big Brother Video Camera Can Improve Your Driving


This video monitoring system makes teens and fleet drivers behave better. It certainly caught me when I drove like an idiot.


Jury's Still Out on Aftermarket Batteries


Anne's Prius needs a new battery and she's tempted to replace it with a much-cheaper, aftermarket version. Tom and Ray aren't quite ready to endorse this move yet because they don't know enough about these batteries. Want to help Tom and Ray? If you've replaced your hybrid battery with an aftermarket part, write in and tell us what happened. 


LeMons Dispatch: Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, But Mostly Cheap


Spending a maximum of $500 to see if you can coax your lemon over the finish line ahead of all the other junk heaps without getting Nixon-ed? Sounds like Tom & Ray's kind of lousy race.


Today: What to Do About Missing Piece?


Stephanie lost the tip of a sparkplug and she's worried it fell into her engine. She's wondering how much damage this will do. Tom and Ray say she should find a mechanic with a boroscope. Find out what the heck that is, and why it will help Stephanie, right here. 


Why Are We Still Subsidizing Fossil Fuels?


Every year, governments around the world pay out more than $500 billion to support oil, gas and coal production. Do they really need those subsidies, and aren't we trying to fight global warming by phasing out those fuels?


The Big Auto Loan Debt is in Tea Party States


I thought the whole Red State goal was to not get into debt. But the biggest car-related debts are in the redder-than-red southern tier.


Motor Mounts: To Replace or Not to Replace?


Robert's mechanic thinks his engine mounts are showing some wear and due for a replacement. But Robert wonders how this can be true for a gently driven truck with less than 100,000 miles on it. Tom and Ray say there's a considerable distance between "showing wear" and "need to be replaced".  Robert should get a second opinion. Find out why, right here.



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