Show Rundown

#1306: The Little Morris Minor That Couldn't

Original Air Date: 02.09.2013
Show Open Topic

The two-word secret to a happy marriage? "Yes, dear."

Call 1

Heidi Horschler (Scottsdale, Arizona) - 1991 Lexus LS 400

Heidi’s car is losing power steering fluid. She needs to add fluid every three days. Reservoir level looks okay, but if it’s not filled to the very top, it makes noise. Tom and Ray say the level looks okay because there’s too much air, instead of fluid. She has a leak...if she’s very lucky, it’s just a hose. But, it could be the rack which would mean a new rack and pinion.

Call 2

Paul (Bel Air, Maryland) - 1985 Nissan Sentra

Paul’s Nissan is making a few noises. First is a creaking sound he usually hears when coming to a stop. This became more noticeable after he got new front tires. The second noise is a clunk, which he hears when making a turn from a dead stop--seems to be coming from the rear, and worse when there are passengers. Tom and Ray say the front noise is likely a warped disc, which may have been cause by tire guys. Rear noise is a bad shock or strut.

Call 3

Kathy & Jackie Lindsmeyer (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) - Volkswagen

Kathy’s sister just drove this VW from LA. Her boss had suggested she put mothballs in the gas tank, to increase octane and improve mileage. Kathy thinks this is dangerous. Tom and Ray agree it’s a bad idea--mothballs may improve mileage by a little bit, but they’re likely to do damage by gumming up the carburetor or burning out valves.

Call 4

Paul Fielding (, Texas)

Paul called because his car got totaled and his wife left him while he was in the hospital. He was looking for a enw car that would help him meet a woman. Ray suggested a Grand Cherokee, Tom said a Miata. Several female Car Talk listeners talked him out of both, so he got a CRV, and he has met a woman. Wrong Answer!

Call 5

Cynthia (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Cynthia’s not getting heat from the vents by her feet. This problem began last Summer, when she had a mechanic in Boston try to blow out her evaporator because water was puddling--then she wasn't getting AC. Tom and Ray say the problem is a stuck blend door not letting air get to those vents--could be vacuum, or something broken, but it should be easy for a mechanic to track down.

Call 6

Maureen (Rocky Hill, Connecticut) - Saab 9000

Maureen had to drive her boss’ car, which is a stick. She had trouble with 1st and 2nd gear. The next day, the boss had the car taken in for service. Did she burn out his clutch? It seems the repair was only a couple hundred dollars, in which case it was likely just the master or slave cylinder, and not the entire clutch--and not Maureen’s fault.

Call 7

Jim Cohen (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Jim has a 1957 Morris Minor 1000. It's a 36 horsepower, seats 4 people but can’t make it up a hill with them. Can he increase the horsepower? Tom and Ray say no. Tommy suggest cutting it in half. Ray thinks he’s not getting full power, and should check compression. 36 hp should be enough to get him up hills, even with the kids. Might be time for an engine rebuild.