Show Rundown

#1139: Wake Up, Kevin!

Original Air Date: 09.24.2011
Show Open Topic


Call 1

Michelle Fisher (Seattle, Washington)

A question about seatbelts-- and animals. Michelle's dog chewed through the rear seatbelt, and estimates to replace it are quite high. Can she and her fiance do it themeselves? Maybe-it is simple nuts and bolts, but the ramifications of messing it up are dangerous. They can start, but if anything looks confusing they should stop and take it in. Also, try Bitter Apple to keep dog from chewing on the new seatbelt.

Call 2

Lisa Gereg (, Oregon)

A steering question. Lisa hears a high-pitched creaking sound when she turns the steering wheel--seems to be coming from the front left and right. Doesn't happen in rain, and only on sharp turns when the car is moving. Tom and Ray think it's brake-related--a build-up of rust, or a stuck caliper that gets loosened when it rains, so it doesn't make the noise.

Call 3

Tom Maddox (, Missouri)

A clutch question. When Tom's in 1st gear, and c.lutch pedal depressed, the car keeps moving. He has to let the clutch pedal out, allow the car to jerk forward, and then he can shift to neutral and stop it. Problem is in his clutch--if he's lucky, could be master cylinder leaking. If that's not it, he needs a new slave cylinder which pretty much means a new clutch.

Call 4

Marc Vernon (, Virginia)

A question about add-ons. Marc would like to improve his gas mileage. Do add-on products on late night TV wowork? No, they don't. Tom and Ray say any improvement they seem to give is likely a result of changed driving habits. Best way to improve mileage is to drive sane, avoid jackrabbit starts. etc. But, Marc is free to experiment and report back!

Call 5

Becka Leyon (, Pennsylvania)

A questions about engines and transmission. Engine/transmission. Becka's car coughs and jerks while shifting out of 1st. Tom and Ray thought it was fuel-related--a plugged filter or injectors. Wound up being a bad air mass meter. Wrong answer!

Call 6

Mike Nelson (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

An exhaust question. While on a family trip, Mike started the engine and his daughter's blouse got sucked in through the exhaust. The car still runs, but he has no idea how this happened. Ray tries to explain it as piston overlap--slight period at end of piston downstroke when exhaust is still open. But, is that big enough to suck in a blouse? Tom and Ray say they'll look for answers from experts on the site.

Call 7

Ed Essler (, New Jersey)

A starting question about his son's car. After being driven, and then turned off for a bit, the car won't restart. No noise, nothing. Ed discovered that if he removes the positive battery cable and then puts it back on, the car will start. Ray thinks the problem is a bad connection at the battery terminal--try cleaning it. Tom thinks the battery is dying and needs to be repalced.

Call 8

Tamara Nelson (, Washington)

Dump or keep? Tamara and her family love this car, but they go on lots of long trips, and she'd like something with more modern amenities. She has her eyes on a Forrester. Tom and Ray agree, the Vanagon is not terribly safe, and downright barbaric. She may have trouble fitting her kids., dog, and gear in a Forrester, but if she wants one, she should go for it.