Show Rundown

#1238: My Engine Is on Fire

Original Air Date: 09.22.2012
Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share the sad, sad truth about duct tape.

Call 1

Joann Turner (Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania) - 1992 Dodge Grand Caravan

When Joann has her AC on for 20 to 30 minutes, and makes a turn, water sloshes out on her feet. Tom and Ray say her evaporator drains are plugged, and just need to be blown out. It's an easy fix!

Call 2

Herb Kuhl (Prospect, Connecticut) - 1998 Buick Regal

Herb is hearing a noise, from his front left tire--kind of a “whup whup whup” sound--it is exacerbated on turns. A tire dealer said he has a warped rotor, but Herb doesn’t want to pay for that job unless he knows it will fix the problem. Tom and Ray think he has a bad tire. He should try changing that tire out and see if the noise goes away.

Call 3

Vera Mackleburg (New Orleans, Louisiana) - Saturn

Vera wants to know if it’s illegal to drive barefoot. Tom and Ray think it is legal, but maybe not such a great idea--tell her to check the state driving regulations.

Call 4

Ed Frankel (Jersey City, New Jersey) - 1997 Volkswagen Jetta

When Ed shifts into Reverse, it takes a few seconds for the car to engage--feels like it’s in Neutral, then starts moving after about three seconds. This started happening a few months ago. The problem is in his transmission--if he’s lucky, he’s just low on transmission fluid. If he’s unlucky, he needs a tranny rebuild.

Call 5

Nicole Streuli (Olympia, Washington) - 1995 Geo Metro

Nicole’s Geo is leaking transmission fluid--she’s not sure where it’s leaking, and since she’s a poor college student, she’d like to try to diagnose and maybe fix this herself. Most likely source of leak is the oil pan or cooler lines, but she may need to take it to someone who can figure it out.

Call 6

Les McEwan (San Francisco, California) - 1991 Jeep Cherokee

Les is re-locating to Boston. He and his dog love this car, but he’s wondering if it will survive the Boston winter, and if it’s worth paying $1300 to have it flat-bedded across country. Tom and Ray say it should be fine for the winter. They suggest he find a couple of college kids to do the drive, which will be cheaper than a flat-bed.

Call 7

Sue Mandelbaum (Olathe, Kansas) - Lincoln

Sue’s fan belt was making a loud screeching sound in hot weather, so she sprayed some PAM on it. The noise went away for a while but now it’s come back. Tom and Ray aren’t sure why the PAM helped, but are convinced the problem is a worn out belt.

Call 8

Glen Carlossky (White Bear Lake, Minnesota) - 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix

Glen was driving a rental car--the oil light came on, so he added about a quart, and spilled a little on the manifold. After a few minutes, the engine caught on fire! He was able to get it doused, and the car was fine after that--but he has spilled oil before, without a fire. What happened this particular time? Tom and Ray say he have had the right mix of ingredients-- a hot engine, and the type of manifold were critical.