Show Rundown

#1222: Burnt Clutches, Blown Relationships

Original Air Date: 06.02.2012
Show Open Topic

More signs you need a new car.

Call 1

Melody Geraci (Chicago, Illinois) - 2003 Chevrolet Venture

As she drives, Melody hears a grinding noise. It only happens when the car is moving, gets louder as she goes faster, and seems to go away when she’s under 20 mph. Tom and Ray say it could be a stuck brake or a wheel bearing. Find a quiet street, try to determine which side it’s on, or take it in--could be dangerous.

Call 2

Adam Stover (Baltimore, Maryland) - 1997 Nissan Maxima

Adam’s front windows are mysteriously going down, overnight. The first time it happened was after he lent the car to his girlfriend. Adam blamed her, but it’s happened twice since then, and they seem to go down a little farther each time. It could be a bad switch--try disabling the switch, and see if it happens again. If it does, check the relays, and also check for a short circuit.

Call 3

Forest Hulls (Sacramento, California) - 1994 Mitsubishi Galant

Forest inherited this car, and found the windshield had an oily residue. He tried cleaning it, but couldn’t get it all off. Eventually, he had to replace the windshield, but after three months, the new one has gotten bad. Tom and Ray think his heater core is leaking antifreeze through the vents. He can take the heater core out of the circuit by shunting the hoses together--he won’t have heat, but may not need it in Sacramento.

Call 4

Caroline (Washington, District Of Columbia) - 2000 Subaru Impreza

Caroline just got her first standard transmission. In the past, she’s driven boyfriends’ cars and they told her she rode the clutch. She’s noticed that the car jerks in first gear, but is fine once she gets to 2nd and 3rd. Is she riding the clutch, or is there a problem with it? It’s likely she is riding the clutch, and she should practice more. But, it may indeed be chattering, and worth having looked at.

Call 5

Jennifer Statz (, Oregon) - 1995 Geo Prizm

On cold damp mornings, Jennifer’s car will turn over, but it won’t start. Later in the afternoon when the sun is out and the air has dried up, it starts fine. She’s taken it to her mechanic, but he hasn’t been able to replicate it. It could be a bad coil or spark plug wires. She should ask her mechanic to spray the wires with a mister to see if the problem happens.

Call 6

Josh (Chicago, Illinois) - 1999 Toyota Corolla

Josh was driving next to a construction zone and some wet cement flew onto the car. It set and dried, and Josh wanted to know how to remove it. Ray suggested Muriatic acid--Josh tried it, and it worked! Right Answer!

Call 7

Sarah (Buffalo, New York) - Ford Aspire

Sarah just broke up with her mechanic, after he messed up two repairs involving wheel bearings that nearly got her into accidents. He’s asking for a second chance--should she go back to him. Tom and Ray say to give him another chance--she has an unusual car, so he may not be used to working on them, but he admitted his mistakes, so he’s honest, and maybe he’ll learn from his errors.

Call 8

Mac Thompson (Berkeley, California) - Nissan Pickup

Mac’s brother borrowed his truck, and the hood flew up while he was driving. Mac thinks his brother pulled the hood release instead of the parking brake by mistake, but his brother admitted nothing, and didn’t offer to help pay for the repair. Mac doesn’t want to make a huge deal about it, but it’s been bothering him--should his brother have taken some responsibility? Tom and Ray say yes, his brother should have taken some responsibility--offer to call his brother on-air, but Mac declines.