Show Rundown

#1220: The Black Hole of Auto Metaphysics

Original Air Date: 05.19.2012
Show Open Topic

Do non-essential repairs on an old car create an evil (and expensive) parallel universe?

Call 1

Nolina (, New Mexico) - 1997 Jeep Cherokee

Nolina’s car began running poorly, and the check engine light came on. Her mechanic says coolant is leaking, and head gasket is disintegrating. It would cost $2,500 to rebuild the engine, but her mechanic said she could try Bar's Leaks instead, but she’s worried it will do more damage. Is it worth trying? Definitely, say Tom and Ray--it may slow the leak enough to save the engine, and at 10 bucks a can, it’s worth a shot.

Call 2

Ken Cooper (Emmett, Idaho) - Mazda Tribute

When Ken starts his car, he hears a “wooshing” sound coming from under his feet. It’s there almost all the time--lessens when he gets above 40 mph, and goes away for a moment if he gently steps on the brake. Tom and Ray say he’s heating air--he has a vacuum leak in his power brake booster.

Call 3

Fernando Saints (Miami, Florida) - 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Fernando's roof liner is coming down. What can he do? Can he fix it himself? Sure! Cut slits, and use adhesive, glue.

Call 4

Julie Stock (Columbus, Ohio) - 1994 Nissan Quest

Julie’s heat stopped working when the car was moving--had been doing this for about seven years. Ray originally suggested air in the heating system from not being bled properly, but Tom convinced him that was bogus, so Tom and Ray said it was a bad heater control valve.

Call 5

Michael Lesser (, New Jersey) - Chrysler

Michael’s daughter just got her license, and would rather be dead than seen driving their minivan. But, he weighs almost 400 pounds, and has trouble fitting into smaller cars--what can they buy for less than 10k? Tom and Ray suggest older Volvo--850 or 240a new Beetle, Crown Vic, or Lincoln Town Car.

Call 6

Susan Houghton (, Massachusetts) - Toyota 4Runner

There's a noise--like “peepers," little frogs. Susan thinks it’s coming from rear, left side. It happens when she starts the car, doesn’t change with car speed, and sometimes takes as long as 45 minutes to go away. Tom and Ray say it’s a belt that needs replacing.

Call 7

Brian Redin (San Luis Obispo, California)

Brian has a parking problem--a Little League field abuts his apartment building, and parents park their cars in his lot. He left a note, but got it returned saying, “Get a life." Police won’t tow because it’s private property. Ray suggests getting stickers for tenants, and hiring a private tow company to cruise during games. Tom suggest putting up a rope, and locking people in (or out).