Show Rundown

#1145: The Day The Isuzu Stood Still

Original Air Date: 11.05.2011
Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share a few compelling cases of why nouns should have genders.

Call 1

Brian Block (Ames, Iowa) - 1988 Land Rover Range Rover

An engine question. Car revs fine in Park, but in Drive it sputters, and won't go over 40 mph. Had test done, low compression in one cylinder. Can he fix it himself, or does it need a new engine? Tom and Ray think compression wouldn't cause this problem--more likely the transmission slipping. If he's lucky, it's just low on fluid--unlucky, he needs a new tranny. May be time to give this vehicle, "two in the hat."

Call 2

Kathleen Braden (Seattle, Washington) - 1996 Subaru Legacy

A safety question. Kathleen and her husband had a rollover accident while driving in the Yukon. Insurance says the car is totaled, but Kathleen's husband, a Russian, insists that it can be fixed and driven. Husband is crazy--likely frame damage that can't be fixed.

Call 3

Greg (, New Jersey) - 1991 Ford F150

A clutch question. Greg just had his clutch replaced. Now, when he shifts to 1st and lets the the clutch out quickly, the shifter rolls to the right--less severe when going to 2nd, but it feels like the transmission is rolling around. Tom and Ray say that the guys who did clutch job either broke, or didn't properly bolt the transmission mounts, so take it back and have them fix it.

Call 4

Anita Shoup (, Washington)

An electrical and marital question. Anita likes to keep her car in the accessory position while filling up with gas, so she can listen to the radio. Her husband says this is dangerous, for same reason you shouldn't use cll phone at gas pump. True? No--cell phone is sending radio signals, not receiving. Gas stations tell you to turn off engine so you don't drive off with nozzle in car, but accessory position shouldn't cause any problems.

Call 5

Ryan Levinson (San Diego, California) - 1988 Honda Civic

Should he keep it or dump it? Ryan's Civic has several problems--got a tire replaced with the wrong size tire, muffler fell off, and when he fills gas tank more than half-way, he smells gas. All of these problems need to be fixed, but bigger concern is rust. Tom and Ray suggest he put the car on a lift and examine body closely. Almost certainly not safe for highway driving, maybe not even safe for driving in town.

Call 6

Jane Hurley (, Massachusetts) - 1998 Toyota Avalon

A steering question. When Jane is making a turn at slow speed, power steering goes out, and it's hard to turn at first--then it kicks in. Been doing this for several months, getting worse over time. Jane likely has a worn out belt--replace it.

Call 7

Mitchell Hammersley (, Indiana) - 1995 Ford Thunderbird

A question about brakes. When Mitchell is going 40-6o mph and steps on brake, he feels a violent shaking seems to be the whole car. At slower speeds, it's more of a pulsing. Mitchell has warped disc rotors...may need full set of new brakes, but get it fixed because it could be dangerous.

Call 8

Any Johnson (Keller, Texas) - 2000 Isuzu Rodeo

An electrical question. When Amy drives down a certain street, near an FAA weather balloon, her car dies. Also happened to a friend's Isuzu. Ray thinks it's RFI, or some electrical signal interfering with car's--suggests she gets a roll of aluminum foil and put it on fender that's on the side facing the balloon to shield the engine. Also, maybe the balloon is not what it seems...