Show Rundown

#1303: Dumped, But Un-Towed

Original Air Date: 01.19.2013
Show Open Topic

A plea for civility from you jerks!

Call 1

Chuck Mabry (McKinney, Texas) - 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis

Chuck was driving with his AC on, when he heard a noise from the engine. He opened the hood and saw smoke, and the AC belt was hot. So, he cut the belt. The noise went away, but this belt also drives a pump to the exhaust manifold. Has he damaged anything by driving this way? Tom and Ray say no, he hasn’t, but it’s illegal for him to drive like this, because of the catalytic converter, so he needs to get it fixed. It needs a new AC compressor, which he can find at a junkyard most likely.

Call 2

Heidi Hamilton (Logan, Utah) - 1989 Mercury Tracer

Heidi’s Check Engine light comes on when she’s climbing a hill. She’s discovered that if she takes her foot off the gas, and then puts it back on, the light goes off. Also she’s a student, and money is tight. Is this something serious? Tom and Ray say it’s likely just a bad sensor -- an oxygen sensor or throttle position sensor. She can get the code checked easily.

Call 3

Ian Sifko (, Virginia) - 1995 Ford Escort

Ian’s a “Frugal Yankee”. To save wear and tear on the starter, he likes to park on a hill, so he can pop the clutch to get the car started. His friends tell him this is bad for the car. Is it? Tom and Ray say no, it’s fine, as long as he’s doing it in Reverse. The car has over 100,000 miles on it, so obviously he hasn’t been doing too much damage.

Call 4

Trina LeBrasseur (Portland, ) - Volvo

Trina just had her speedometer replaced, and now hears a warbling noise as she accelerates, and the speedometer seems to peg at 80. Tom and Ray say she likely got a bad speedometer head, and needs to get it replaced.

Call 5

Mark Lundquist (Saint Paul, Minnesota) - 1998 Chevrolet Malibu

Mark is a police officer. He got a call from a woman who said she went to her garage and found her car running. She was worried someone had tried to steal it, but there were no signs of entry. Can a car start itself? Tom and Ray think it’s most likely the car has a remote starter that the owner doesn’t know about, and somehow it got activated. Either that, or she was trying to find an excuse to meet a cute cop.

Call 6

Suzy Hohman (Carlsbad, California) - 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon

Suzy was planning to drive from Carlsbad to Mexico, and then across Mexico. She’s been cheking in with Tom and Ray. She wound up flying from Dallas to Mexico because of transmission issues (a noise Tom and Ray had told her to ignore). Now, she’s back home and the car is making a new noise, which she plays for Tom and Ray. They say it sounds like collapsed liifters, or another serious engine problem.

Call 7

Steve Beyer (Chicago, Illinois) - 1996 Acura Integra

Steve moved to Chicago for a job and a girlfriend. He lost both. Recently he went to a party, and when he left all the cars had been towed except for his. Is this because his car is a Front-Wheel Drive, which he had parked head-in, and left in 1st? Tom and Ray say yes, that’s what saved him. Tow guys would have needed to get in and shift the car into Neutral to tow it without wrecking the engine.