Show Rundown

#1236: Bernoulli This!

Original Air Date: 09.08.2012
Show Open Topic

The Wagging Tail Driver Communication System.

Call 1

Heidi Sharpe (Lacey, Washington) - 1995 Toyota 4Runner

Heidi needs to sell this car, but it’s making two noises, from the rear end. When she starts to accelerate, it makes a “Clink Clank Clunk” sound, and when stops it’s a “Shugga-Shugga” sound. Ray’s convinced it’s a seized universal joint. Tom’s convinced that Ray is crazy, but eventually comes around.

Call 2

Frank (, New Hampshire) - 2003 Subaru Forester

Frank is having trouble with his driver’s door window. When he lowers it all the way, it clunks at the bottom, and then when he raises it, it sounds like the glass is going to break when it stops.. Can he fix this himself? He needs a new window regulator. He can do it himself, if he can get the diagram for behind driver’s door panel--try going to a garage with a box of doughnuts, and see if they’ll let him look at Alldata.

Call 3

Katie Bunge (Baltimore, Maryland) - Honda Civic

Katie’s roommate was driving her car. The passenger door got stuck on a curb, so he gunned the engine to dislodge it, and said he wasrelying on “The Bernoulli Effect." Katie thinks this is bogus, and simply moving the car foreward dislodged the door--and this could have been done more gently. Who’s right? Tom and Ray side with Katie. Bernoulli explanation is bogus--in fact, Bernoulli would have done the opposite. He was just being lazy. Give him a dope slap.

Call 4

Linda Marlet (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) - 1984 Chevrolet Caprice

Linda’s trying to settle an old mystery. A few years ago, her car overheated while driving from Boston to Wisconsin. A guy on the Mass Pike added coolant, but then it started overheating again, and another guy added coolant and said the first guy had put the radiator cap on backwards. She made the rest of the trip fine, but can’t understand how someone put the cap on backwards. Tom and Ray think the first guy actually left the cap a little loose--she had a plugged radiator, so the loose cap made it spill over. “Backwards” referred to the way the cap was pointing, not the way it was turned.

Call 5

Chris Snyder (Olympia, Washington) - 1992 Subaru Legacy

Chris wants to keep the car running, so he can hand it down to his son, who is now five. When he coasts into a turn, the car slows down--it feels like it’s downshifting--and he hears a whirring sound. After this happens, if he puts the car into Park, it rocks back and forth a bit. Are these related? Tom and Ray think not. De-acceleration is probably just the car downshifting, and rocking is just wear on the parking pawl. Neither one is serious...Tom calls him a wacko for planning to hold onto it, but Ray talks about handing the Colt Vista down to Drew.

Call 6

Troy Key (Columbia, Maryland) - 1999 Mercury Mystique

On occasion, Troy's car makes a grinding sound when he turns the key to start it. Doesn’t happen all the time. It’s a classic-- bad teeth on the starter flywheel, which needs to be replaced.

Call 7

Steven Russell (Charlottesville, Virginia) - 1966 Ford Van

Steve won this truck on eBay, and wanted to drive it back from CA to VA as a moving Bachelor Party before his wedding. Asked Tom and Ray what he should bring, and if this was a good idea. They said he would almost certainly break down, but should do it for the adventure. Steve went for it--the truck broke down, he had to get it towed back to VA and barely made it home for the wedding, but it was an adventure.

Call 8

Betsy Nasser (San Francisco, California) - 1999 Mazda Miata MX-5

Betsy went to her garage one morning and discovered someone had stolen the seats out of her car. She has no idea why someone would steal the seats, but is wondering if she should get a car alarm, or leave the roof up to prevent further seat thefts. Tom and Ray say an alarm would prevent it, but it’s unlikely to happen again, and it would take away the fun of owning a Miata--they recommend against an alarm.