Show Rundown

#1244: Grandma Is Peeling Rubber

Original Air Date: 11.03.2012
Show Open Topic

Karmageddon, Intaxication, and other new words, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Call 1

Tammie (Bakersfield, California) - 1992 Buick Roadmaster

Tammie’s car growls when it’s sitting in the driveway, not moving. Sometimes it happens if she just sits in the car. It sounds like it has territorial issues! Tom and Ray think it’s the load leveling system in the suspension--there’s a leak causing it to activate when it’s not supposed to.

Call 2

Christine Cates (Amherst, Massachusetts) - 1987 Mazda 626

When Christine turns her heat on, it smells like maple syrup is coming from the vents. It’s been doing this for two years. Tom and Ray say the smell is anti-freeze -- she’s been checking the level and adding as needed, which is why the engine hasn’t fried. She can try a Stop Leak product, but she likely needs a new heater core.

Call 3

Peter Gansky (, Minnesota) - 1998 Acura TL

Peter’s wife is a Science teacher. She was transporting a hamster, when it got loose, bit her and disappeared behind the dashboard. Peter wants to get the dashboard taken apart -- his wife just wants to leave it in there. Tom and Ray suggest trying to draw it out with food and a Hav-a-Hart trap.

Call 4

Travis Eaton (Salt Lake City, Utah) - 1986 Toyota Land Cruiser

Travis’ car has a bad overheating problem -- so bad, he can’t drive it in the summer. He’s tried replacing the thermostat and radiator, and had the manifold flushed. Tom and Ray give a few possibilities. It could just need a new radiator cap; there could be crud in the system which could be fixed by another flush; it could have a bad water pump, or a cracked block. Try the cheaper stuff first.

Call 5

Charlotte (Fair Acres, New Mexico)

Charlotte and her husband adopted 4 kids -- ages 10, 9, 8 and 6. They get bored easily, and she’s wondering if it might be fun to get an old car for them to take apart and play around with in the back yard. Tom and Ray think this is a very bad idea -- too easy for the kids to get hurt. They suggest a jungle gym instead, and also promise to develop the Click and Clack “Take Apart Car” from space-age materials.

Call 6

Rob Kunkel (Saint Thomas, Virginia)

When Rob leaves his truck parked on an incline and starts it, it exudes a thick plume of bluish-blackish smoke for 3-4 minutes. Tom and Ray say he’s burning oil -- he can replace the seals, but it may not be worth fixing if he’s not burning too rapidly.

Call 7

Brian (Watertown, Massachusetts) - 1989 Toyota Camry

Brian called because he was having transmission issues -- felt like the car wasn’t downshifting, and he was starting out in 3rd Gear. Tom and Ray suggested getting the tranny fluid flushed. Brian called a transmission shop, and they wound up having to replace solenoids in the tranny. Wrong Answer!

Call 8

Linda Scott (Millburn, New Jersey) - Toyota Sienna

Linda has no trouble driving her Forester, but when she visits her kids and drives her daughter’s Sienna, she peels rubber! The car screeches from stops, no matter how slow she tries to go. Her grand kids are threatening to tattle on her. She needs to figure out if it’s her or the car. Tom and Ray suggest going to a dealer and asking to drive another Sienna, to see if it does the same thing, or if dealer says she’s doing something wrong.