Show Rundown

#1301: Schmutz on the Clutch

Original Air Date: 01.05.2013
Show Open Topic

New meanings for old words, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Call 1

Dana Sheridan (Charlottesville, Virginia) - 1986 Volkswagen Jetta

Dana’s Jetta jerks violently back and forth, in 1st Gear. It only happens in 1st Gear, when she’s letting the clutch out. If she stomps on the accelerator, it stops. Tom and Ray think her timing may be too advanced, so she can try retarding it... Or she may have schmutz on the clutch -- grease or something else, which would require a new clutch. Also, small chance it’s anti-chatter springs in the clutch.

Call 2

Seniz Jagedev (Saint Paul, Minnesota) - 1997 Honda Civic

Seniz is hearing a grinding, metallic noise, coming from underneath. Tom and Ray say it’s a loose heat shield!

Call 3

Mark Tomeo (Danville, Pennsylvania) - Chevrolet Lumina

When Mark is driving on the highway, he “straightens the curves”... hugs inside of curves, etc.. He thinks this is more efficient, saves wear and tear on the tires, and improves mileage. His wife thinks he’s nuts. Tom and Ray agree it is more efficient, but there’s no way he’s going to convince his wife he’s not crazy, so he may just want to do this when he’s alone in the car. He may also want to find a hobby.

Call 4

Andy Gross (Corvallis, Oregon) - Subaru

Andy’s automatic driver’s seat belt is stuck. When he tries to engage, he hears a clicking sound over his left shoulder, but the belt won’t move. Tom and Ray say the motor is in the B-pillar, which is over his shoulder--it operates a tape, and it’s likely the mechanism has worn out over time. He needs to replace the entire thing. He may be able to do the job himself, but he should get a new assembly from the dealer, rather than trying to find one in a junkyard.

Call 5

Katie Azavillo (Durham, California) - 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis

Katie’s left turn signal blinks much faster than the right turn signal. Tom and Ray say she has a bulb burned out, or a bad ground on the left side -- not enough resistance makes it go faster.

Call 6

Ed Campbell (Johnson City, Tennessee) - 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Ed called because his car had three problems: engine pinging, low oil pressure, and it was belching blue smoke. Ray said all three could be caused by excessively high operating temperature, and recommended a new thermostat. Ed replaced the thermostat, and all three problems went away. Right Answer!

Call 7

Winnie Rice (Cumberland, Maine) - 1993 Ford Escort

Two years ago, Winnie came upon an unexpected red light. She stopped, but didn’t shift out of 5th. When the light changed, she couldn’t move the shifter--after about five minutes, she could get it into Neutral. This has happened a few more times, and her mechanics are stumped. Tom and Ray think she has a broken or worn out motor mount--it’s allowing the engine to move so that the linkage is getting stuck.

Call 8

Dr. Paul Fielding (Dallas, Texas)

Paul’s life has turned into a country song. He totaled his car, and while he was in the hospital his wife left him and his dog died. He’s looking for a new car that will help him find a new wife, someone outdoorsy. Ray suggests a Jeep Grand Cherokee or VW Beetle. Tom suggests a Miata. He should try renting different cars for a week or so, and see what seems to attract the kind of woman he’s looking for.