Show Rundown

#1227: A Civic Divorce

Original Air Date: 07.07.2012
Show Open Topic

Can Tom and Ray's advice be too good?

Call 1

Anne Marie Blaire (Columbus, Ohio) - 2002 Saab 9-3

Anne Marie’s car is making a humming type noise--it starts when she starts the car, and gets louder as she accelerates. The noise is coming from under the hood. It happens when the car is standing still, but only gets louder when accelerating. Problem is likely the belt tensioner--bearing is worn out. She should get it fixed, or stuff riven by the belt will start to fail.

Call 2

Steven Crawford (, Texas) - Volkswagen

Steve got a Karman Ghia from his father-in-law as a wedding gift that had been sitting in a barn for the last 20 years. The car starts, but has trouble stopping--Steve has to push the pedal all the way to the floor. He wanted to bleed the brakes, but discovered a nipple was broken off. Can he replace it? No, he’d have to replace the entire wheel cylinder. Tom and Ray suggest that he take all four brake drums off and determine where fluid is leaking.

Call 3

Glenn Garland (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) - 1991 Honda CRX

Glenn loves his CRX--it gets 50 MPG! But his friends have told him the car is turning off women and keeping him from getting dates. Does he really need to dump it. Tom and Ray say "No,"-- any woman who’s attracted only because of his car is probably too shallow for him. They suggest Glenn work on spiffing himself up instead.

Call 4

Glen Boland (Portland, Oregon) - 1990 Toyota Pickup

Glen was driving down Mount Adams--he hit a stretch of really rough road, and decided to go as fast as he could. After a mile or so, he smelled gas, and found a puddle under the car. He decided to keep driving, and the car hasn’t leaked since. Is he safe? No, he isn’t--there’s probably a leak in the fuel line, and he should have a mechanic put the car on the lift to see exactly where it is.

Call 5

Gina McKenzie (, Minnesota) - Chevrolet Lumina

Gina was driving to work on Friday the 13th. She flipped down the visor, and a large spider crawled out--it startled her, and she wound up losing control, and ditching the car in Lake Minnetonka. Insurance is offering $6,700. Does she have to accept it? Is the car really done for? Tom and Ray say, “Take the money and run!” Car is now a piece of junk, and she’s lucky to get that much for it.

Call 6

Alicia Watkins (, Ohio) - 1998 Mercury Mystique

This car belongs to Alicia’s boyfriend. The Check Engine light has been on for four years, and he’s done a good job of ignoring. But, over the last few months, the light has started flashing, and the car lurches when accelerating, especially at low RPM. Tom and Ray think the lurching is likely due to an engine miss--one cylinder not firing. Should be easy to discover if a mechanic hooks the car up to a scanner, and it would be good to get all those Check Engine codes cleared. Car may need a tuneup.

Call 7

Greg Stocco (, Illinois) - 1998 Volkswagen Jetta

Greg noticed a long piece of stringy fiber coming out of the muffler. Is the car shedding? It sounds like deadening material from inside the muffler--eventually more of it will come out and car will get louder, but he doesn’t need to worry about it right now.

Call 8

Ellen (Boston, Massachusetts) - 1991 Honda Civic

Ellen’s Civic has had a troubled life--three accidents, vandalized nine times, a tree fell on it, and it got stolen and returned. She’s decided to get rid of it because of bad karma, but wants to know how much she needs to disclose. Tom suggests disclosing nothing--problems may have just been between the car and her, and this stuff wouldn’t happen to another owner. Ray suggests Ellen make herself seem eccentric so even when she discloses, buyers won’t believe her. Guys ultimately tell her to come clean.