Show Rundown

#1231: The Clairvoyant Mechanic

Original Air Date: 08.04.2012
Show Open Topic

A listener sends Tom and Ray a not-so-subtle hint about the odor emanating from their cars.

Call 1

Amy Parker (East Canton, Ohio) - 1992 Honda Civic

An ignition question.When starting the car, Amy has to hold the entire ignition plate and the key. She's been doing it since she got the car nine years ago. Someone told her it's a "Honda security feature." Tom and Ray say that's bogus -- either the ignition switch needs to be replaced, or the cylinder and lock. She can also just live with it for now, but at some point, she may not be able to turn the key at all.

Call 2

Thomas Kelahan (Hookset, New Hampshire) - 1994 Nissan Altima

Thirteen-year-old Thomas and got an Altima for working at a dealership. He's working on fixing up the car, but his Mom tells him she won't let him drive it when he turns 16 because she thinks it's not safe. Can Tom and Ray change her mind? Tom and Ray think it should be safe enough if he's a careful driver. They think he should keep working on the car for a few years and try to convince Mom. If that doesn't work, try asking her to buy him a different car.

Call 3

Beth Fox (Holliston, Massachusetts) - 1993 Ford Taurus

A parking question. She can't parallel park her car. This is a big problem, because she works in Boston, and either has to pay a lot to park in a garage or hunt to find two spots next to each other. The sloped trunk of her car makes it difficult to judge the distance behind her while parking. Tom and Ray give her a primer on how to park using the side mirrors, instead of looking out the back.

Call 4

Alita (Quechee, Vermont) - 1989 Nissan Pathfinder

Alita and her boyfriend have been trying to kill this truck. They put a brick on the accelerator, but it would not die. Now, they want to keep it running, but gas is getting into the oil and the truck is running rough. One mechanic said the fuel injectors are bad and need to be replaced. Ray thinks the problem is the fuel pressure regulator.

Call 5

Rick Norton (Fort Worth, Texas) - 1994 Toyota Camry

A brakes question. Rick's brakes are squealing, even after having everything replaced. A friend suggested he put some grease in. Will this help? Guys say grease may help, but he should also get a shim kit from the Toyota dealer.

Call 6

Jean Williams (Radium Springs, New Mexico) - 1983 Porsche 944

Jean's car rolled backwards and almost went over a cliff. Tom and Ray said the starter had somehow engaged. Jean took the car in, and learned that packrats had chewed through the starter and battery wires, causing them to come in contact, making the starter engage. They were right!

Call 7

Anne King (Florence, Alabama) - Oldsmobile

A black gummy substance is blowing out of the ventilation system of her '87 Oldsmobile Firenza. It looks like fibers, but feels like gummy wax. The first mechanic said he didn't know what it was, but it would cost $1,000 to fix. Another mechanic said it was her evaporator core. Ray thinks it may be the blower motor disintegrating; Tom thinks it's foam gaskets from the ventilation doors disintegrating. Guys tell Ann to go back to first mechanic.

Call 8

Andy (Middletown, Connecticut)

A safety question. He learned that it's safer to keep his doors locked while driving on the highway. His kids think he's nuts and his wife thinks it's unsafe because it could be easier to get out of the car in case of an accident, and for the emergency crew to get in. Guys think it probably isn't necessary to keep the doors locked, but it's ultimately the driver's decision.