Show Rundown

#1213: Ashes to Asphalt

Original Air Date: 03.31.2012
Show Open Topic

Ashes to Asphalt: Sanjay's farewell wish to have his ashes poured into his car's gas tank.

Call 1

Rebecca Young (Somerville, Massachusetts) - 1996 Toyota Tacoma

Rebecca’s clutch is making a creaking noise--she hears it when she pushes down on the clutch. She also has to push down really hard on the clutch to shift. It’s been getting progressively worse, but seemed less bad after she went away for a week and didn’t drive. Tom and Ray think her clutch is wearing out--happening gradually over time. Could be the fork or throw-out bearing going. Also possible is that the clutch fork just needs lubrication.

Call 2

Josh (Chicago, Illinois) - 1999 Toyota Corolla

Josh drove near a construction site and concrete splashed all over his car. It’s hardened and now he can’t get it off. Tom suggests using a mallet. Ray suggests experimenting with muriatic acid, or other stuff advertised on late-night TV.

Call 3

Will Talbot (Raleigh, North Carolina) - Porsche Boxster

Will bought this Porsche as part of his mid-life crisis, and didn’t tell his wife. It has an automatic transmission, which seems to shift late--the RPMs get high, and it sounds like an airplane. He’s in deep doo-doo--may need a transmission rebuild, which would cost thousands. He may be able to get away with driving in triptonic mode.

Call 4

Billy (Marston Mills, Massachusetts) - 1990 Toyota Pickup

Billy’s car makes a strange barking seal noise, only when the weather is cold. It can happen when he’s backing out of his driveway, or going over a bump. If he shakes the steering wheel he can get it to stop. It also goes away after he’s been driving a while. This is a four-wheel-drive, and Tom and Ray think one of his hubs is locking up in the cold weather--as the car gets warm, it gets freed. Billy may have to wait until next winter to track it down and fix it.

Call 5

Whitney (, New Hampshire) - Volvo

Whitney’s husband insists on driving the car until the low fuel light comes on before getting gas. She thinks this is bad for fuel-injected cars. Does it harm the car? Not really--Tom and Ray say it’s not great for the fuel pump, which is immersed in gas to keep cool. And, running out of gas is bad. But it’s not really ruining the car. He may be doing this because he’s bored in other aspects of his life.

Call 6

Joyce (Los Angeles, California) - 1998 Volvo S70

Joyce’s car makes two noises--kind of like a jet engine revving up, then down. It usually happens when she turns the engine on or off, or comes to an idle. It usually lasts a few seconds, and then goes away, and the car is fine. It doesn’t affect driving. Tom and Ray are pretty stumped--suggest it may be a fan, or part of evaporative emissions. It may turn on Check Engine Light, but it doesn’t sound like anything serious.

Call 7

Joe Nykodym (, California)

Joe’s dad is 78 years old and wants a new car. Dealer talked him out of a hybrid, saying he doesn’t drive enough. Joe’s looking for other suggestions. Tom and Ray suggest Joe take his dad out for a bunch of test drives and see what he likes. He may have been secretly longing to drive something for a long time.