Show Rundown

#1212: Catzilla's Great Adventure

Original Air Date: 03.24.2012
Show Open Topic

How does the new Dodge Dart rank against Tommy's old '63? Tom and Ray offer up a few comparisons.

Call 1

Sharon Magnacca (Milford, Massachusetts) - 2002 Ford Explorer

Sharon’s car is making a growling sound-- it seems to be coming from underneath, a little behind the driver. She’s spent a ton of money fixing this car, and would love an excuse to dump it, but they need something that can tow a boat. Tom and Ray think the problem sounds like a classic bad wheel bearing--not too expensive, but she can still dump the Explorer, maybe get something smaller and just rent or borrow when they need to tow the boat.

Call 2

Gunther Van Horsen (Ann Arbor, Michigan) - 2000 Chevrolet Astro

When Gunther accelerates, he hears water gurgling--sounds like a toilet flushing under the dashboard on the passenger's side. Tom and Ray think he either has air trapped in the heater core, or water trapped in the evaporator. A trip to the mechanic to bleed the heating system should clear up the gurgling, but if there's air in the heater, it means there's a leak so he'll have to take care of that too.

Call 3

Jane (St. Louis, Missouri) - 2003 Volkswagen Passat

Jane's cat ran away from home and then they found her two months later-- seven miles away, across two major highways. The cat was found very near to her son's school where Jane drives every day. Jane's theory is that the cat hitched a ride in the engine compartment but wants to know if that idea is nuts. Ray once had a cat hide in his engine compartment for two days, so it can happen.

Call 4

Lori (Tuscon, Arizona) - 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Lori’s rear-window regulator has stopped working. This happened two years ago, the dealer quoted $600 to fix it, so she slammed the door with her butt, and it started working again. Now the window won’t move again. She probably does need a new regulator--it may be one unit with the motor. Dealer price may be high, so she can try an independent shop.

Call 5

Josh (Franklin, West Virginia) - 1999 Nissan Frontier

Josh’s car stalls when idling--doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, the oil pressure light comes on, the car sometimes lurches, and he can smell gas. This happened four to five years ago, mechanic found a squirrel's nest in the car. It’s possible he has another squirrel’s nest, but Tom and Ray think it’s more likely a stuck or gunked-up EGR valve.

Call 6

Leigh Ann Dolan (Phoenix, Arizona) - Lexus

She's having a disagreement with her husband. He insists on turning off the air conditioning before he shuts off the car. He also drives for a few minutes before turning on the air conditioning. He says it somehow saves the air compressor and the engine. Is her husband right or is she? Ray says there's no advantage to shutting the air off a few minutes before turning off the engine. And there's no harm in turning on the air right when you start the engine.

Call 7

Abby Craft (, Colorado) - 2002 Saturn LW

Every so often, Abby's steering column puffs out a bit of smoke. A few years ago, she had the same problem but the dealership said that she had spilled pop on her steering wheel. Ray thinks the pop explanation was bogus, and she needs a new multi-direction switch. And she should plan to carry a fire extinguisher until she gets it repaired.

Call 8

Anthony (Istanbul, Turkey, ) - Nissan

Anthony drove his car too fast over a speed bump. It became airborne, for maybe a couple of seconds, and landed with a hard thump. It seems to be okay, but could he have done damage? Yes, it’s possible he damaged, or “plasticized” the frame, and he should get it looked at. And slow down!

Call 9

Paul Amstutz (Yosemite, California) - 2003 Volkswagen Eurovan

They live up in the mountains and the car makes a strange grinding noise whenever they accelerate up hill while turning right. As soon as they straighten out or let off the gas, the sound goes away. It could be the left front tire hitting the fender liner. Look for evidence of the tire scuffing the plastic liner. Also could be a wheel bearing, which would be dangerous, so go get it looked at.