Show Rundown

#1250: Tires Under the Tree

Original Air Date: 12.15.2012
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The clutch wrecker tries to repent.

Call 1

Peter Midler (Somerville, Massachusetts) - 1988 Honda Accord

Peter’s trunk wouldn’t close from the outside, so a friend (MIT grad stuent) climbed in, and was able to close it from the inside -- they then had trouble getting the friend out, but finally did. Now, the trunk still won’t close. Tom and Ray say the problem is a worn-out latch, should be easy to replace with one from a junkyard.

Call 2

Grace Taylor (Pleasanton, California) - 1987 Toyota Tercel

Grace’s car is “spilling oil all over the place.” She knows she has to take it in, but she’s wondering what to expect. Tom and Ray think it could be any number of things ranging from a bad oil pressure switch (cheap), to the rear main seal, oil pan, or head gasket -- all of which would be very expensive to fix.

Call 3

Ed Nicholson (Minneapolis, Minnesota) - 1993 Dodge Caravan

Ed ran out of windshield washer fluid, so he bought a bottle, which he proceeded to pour into his radiator reservoir. The engine was warm, and he disconnected the hose as soon as he got home. Did he do any damage? Tom and Ray say probably not -- washer fluid is mostly water. But, he may get soap bubbles... it wouldn’t hurt for him to remove the radiator reservoir and give it a good flushing.

Call 4

Laura Wack (Santa Barbara, California) - 2002 Ford Escort

Laura’s car has begun shifting roughly -- it seems to hesitate, especially going into Reverse. Also feels like it jumps from 1st to 3rd when she takes off from a stop. She got the car from her ex-husband, who was also her mechanic, so can’t get it fixed for free. Tom and Ray say if she’s lucky, she’s just low on transmission fluid... otherwise, the transmission is going, and would need to be rebuilt or replaced.

Call 5

Norm Bujeot (Incline Village, Nevada) - Subaru

Norm drives over snowy mountain passes to get to work -- he has four different cars, depending on how much snow. The windshields are always freezing, and he has to reach out to slap the wipers. The wipers on the Subaru have begun getting stuck midway, which makes Norm happy, so he’s wondering if he can break the wipers on the other cars to make them do this too. Tom and Ray say he can try disconnecting the switch, but he may do better to check J.C. Whitney for a device to help with the windshield.

Call 6

Evie Voyles (, Louisiana) - 1989 Isuzu Pickup

Evie’s car is making a loud screeching sound when she first cranks it -- the noise goes away as the car warms up. She thinks it’s a belt, and wants to know if belt spray will help. Tom and Ray agree it’s a belt, but think it’s probably loose, which spray won’t help. She should test the belt to see if it’s loose or cracked.

Call 7

Patrick Houlihan (, Alaska) - Toyota Corolla

Patrick sold his car, but was left with the gas tank, which has about 10 gallons of eight-year old gas inside. Can he put it in his snow blower or lawnmower, or will it do damage? Tom and Ray suggest putting it in his other car -- the old gas will get more diluted in the bigger tank. He can also wait for his next toxic waste disposal day, and get rid of the gas then.

Call 8

Patty Cleckly (College Park, Maryland) - 1992 Toyota Celica

Patty’s boyfriend wants to buy her four new tires as a Christmas present. She thinks this is horribly unromantic and unimaginative. Tom and Ray agree--it’s kind of a cop out. They tell Patty to suggest putting the tire money towards a nice vacation instead.