Show Rundown

#1229: The Lincoln Stretch Bike Carrier

Original Air Date: 07.21.2012
Show Open Topic

Gender bias at Car Talk Plaza? Tom and Ray consider the evidence from one listener.

Call 1

Michelle Campanas (Nashville, Tennessee) - 1995 Ford Escort

Michelle had new freon put in her air conditioning at the beginning of the summer. Now, when she comes to a stop, cold air stops blowing, and she get hot air--when the car stops moving, cold air returns. Tom thinks she has a small leak. Ray thinks she needs a new compressor. Either way, get it checked because she’s going to lose AC altogether, and there’s still a lot of summer to go.

Call 2

Brad Slonneker (State College, Pennsylvania) - 1989 Toyota Camry

Brad’s clutch fluid reservoir needs frequent refilling. Brad looked in his owner’s manual, and it says this can be a sign of a severe mechanical problem. Is it? He wants to get another year out of the car. Tom and Ray think it’s a minor problem--fluid is leaking, most likely out of the master cylinder reservoir, but could also be from slave cylinder. Get master and slave cylinders replaced.

Call 3

Melissa Hanson (Minneapolis, Minnesota) - 1994 Ford Mustang

Melissa’s son and husband tell her she has too many keys dangling from her ignition, and she will damage her car. Her husband is now threatning to have his Mother come live with them if she doesn’t lighten her key ring. Melissa says she she only has 5 or 6 keys, and a remote, but may not be fully truthful. Tom and Ray more or less side with the husband--too many keys can do damage--Ray puts the number around 10 keys. They suggest Melissa pare down.

Call 4

Pete Kennedy (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) - 2005 Honda Civic

Pete was driving his girlfriend’s car. It’s an automatic, and he’s used to driving stick. While going 50 mph, he realized he was in D3, and tried to shift to D4. The car came to an immediate stop. He was able to get off the road safely, turn it off and re-start it a minute later, and the car seems okay. His girlfriend told him to forget about it, but did he do any long-term damage? Tom and Ray think Pete accidentally shifted into R. If the car’s okay now, he can forget about it. But, if the transmission dies sometime soon, it’s probably his fault. And, you should never try to shift an automatic while moving.

Call 5

Sherry Brentwood (Cheyenne, Wyoming) - Lincoln Town Car

Sherry and her husband bought a Lincoln Town Car, but discovered they can’t mount their bike rack on the roof. She desperately wants to avoid a minivan, and she saw an ad for a used Town Car Stretch Limo. Her husband’s a military guy, and is against the idea--says it will make it look like they’re running an escort service out of their house. Tom and Ray say to go for the limo--maybe they can park it someplace else.

Call 6

Heather Ross (Arcata, California) - 1984 Volvo 940

Heather took her car to Helmut the mechanic because the glove compartment door was stuck. She got the car back three weeks and $3,000 later. Ever since, the car has stalled out at elevations of 4,500 feet, but restarted immediately once it was at lower altitude. Did Helmut cause this, and should she hold him responsible, for all her towing and related expenses? Tom and Ray think Helmut must have done something, but can’t identify what, specifically. Ray thinks there’s a break in the fuel line.

Call 7

Pradeep (, North Carolina) - 1995 BMW M3

Pradeep’s cell phone fell into one of his heater ducts. He could hear it ringing, but couldn’t reach it--it’s driving him crazy. How can he get it out, preferably without destroying his car? Tom and Ray suggest a number of quick start/stop moves to jostle it. They also suggest a Grabber. Ultimately, Ray suggests that Pradeep get the duct work from a dealer, figure out exactly where the phone is and try to sort of nudge it from there.