Show Rundown

#1302: Male Braking Syndrome

Original Air Date: 01.12.2013
Show Open Topic

Revenge of the Luddites!

Call 1

Red Barker (Trenton, New Jersey) - Pontiac

Red saw this car on a lawn with a For Sale sign reading, “Are You Ready for the Summer!” Bought it, and first time driving, the floor caught on fire. Mechanic said catalytic converter was bent too close to the floor and burned the carpeting. Mechanic put in a piece of metal, but it’s still so warm, his girlfriend won’t ride in the front. Tom and Ray say his converter is likely plugged and the timing is retarded.

Call 2

Denice Neiman (Chicago, Illinois) - 1989 Honda Civic

Denice’s Civic is making a creaking sound when she turns. It sounds like an old door, and seems to be coming from the front left tire. It’s most noticeable on right turns. Tom and Ray thinks it’s a bad ball joint, and she should get it replaced soon, as it could be dangerous.

Call 3

Tracy Sawyer (Litchfield, Connecticut) - 1995 Chevrolet Blazer

Tracy and her husband have a disagreement over braking. Her husband thinks you should keep accelerating and slam on the brakes at the last second--he says this will reduce wear on the brakes. Tom and Ray say her husband is nuts, and the fact that he has to replace the brakes every month proves this is a wacko theory.

Call 4

Linnea Linton (Asheville, North Carolina) - 2004 Volkswagen Jetta

When it’s damp outside and the car’s in Reverse, the brakes squeal like it's run over a pig. It doesn’t do it going forward. Is it rust? Tom and Ray say probably not. Take it to the shop and ask them to reglaze the brakes with high temperature grease. If that doesn’t work, change the brake hardware.

Call 5

Paul Huff (Somerville, Massachusetts) - 1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager

Paul bought this van recently (without test driving). When the car is idling for more than a couple of minutes, the RM’s go crazy--jump and dive. The car still has good power while he’s driving. Tom and Ray say it could be a bad map or throttle position sensor -- he needs to get codes from the engine.

Call 6

Julie Rimber (Caldwell, Idaho) - Mercury Tracer

Julie’s ignition broke off in the driver’s door. Half the key is stuck in there, and they can’t open the door. She’s looking for a low-cost (non-locksmith) solution. Ray suggests putting Super Glue on a paper clip, and using it to grab the part that’s in the door. This method was recommended by Howie at the garage.

Call 7

Peter Kaukonen (, California) - 1986 Honda Accord

When Peter shuts his car off, the cooling fan comes on as it’s supposed to. But it stays on for 10 to 15 minutes, and the only way he can get it to stop is by waiting a minute, then turning the key on and off. Tom and Ray say the problem is likely a bad cooling fan timer. He can try to find a replacement at a junkyard, or keep using his current fix, and enjoy the Mandatory Meditative Minute.

Call 8

Wendy Gronbeck (Iowa City, Iowa) - 1988 Honda Prelude

Wendy’s husband fogs up her car -- when he gets in, the windows and windshield all get fogged “like mushroom soup." This doesn’t happen to him in any other car, or with any other passengers in Wendy’s car. Tom and Ray think he must be emitting some moisture, and it’s more noticeable because Wendy’s car is so small. They suggest she experiment by having him breathe out the window, through a snorkel.