Show Rundown

#1308: Geographically Undesirable

Original Air Date: 02.23.2013
Show Open Topic

"Soul for Sale" and other great ads from Craigslist.

Call 1

Erin Ellia (Boston, Massachusetts) - 1980 Chevrolet Impala

Erin inherited this car from her grandfather. If she turns on the high beams, the directional signals don’t work--they turn on, but don’t flash. This isn’t a problem when the low-beams are on. Tom and Ray say the problem is likely the alternator--it puts out just enough electricity to run the car, but the high beams put too much of a demand on it.

Call 2

Tony Brown (College Park, Maryland) - Subaru

Tony’s wife drives this car to work--occasionally, after sitting a while, the car won’t re-start. It’s also died a couple of times at stop signs. Tony has replaced the igniter and coil, but those haven’t fixed the problem, and he may have to sleep on the sofa if he spends any more money. Tom and Ray say the problem is likely a bad crank angle sensor--Tom and Ray suggest Tony replace it while his wife is away, and then say the earlier parts did the job, “They just needed to break in."

Call 3

Steve Blake (East Glacier, Montana) - 1993 Ford Ranger

Steve has a philosophical question--why do bad things happen to cars all at once, in the worst weather. After 10 years without any problems, his truck’s alternator, battery, and clutch all went at the same time, when it was 8 degrees. Tom and Ray say it’s just the law of averages, a regression to the mean. Tom bets $100 Steve will soon need ball joints, bearings, etc...

Call 4

Miriam (Saint Paul, Minnesota) - 1991 Nissan Maxima

Miriam has a dent in her front-wheel well--she tried to fix it with a toilet plunger, but was unsuccessful. Tom suggests buying a dent puller--Ray says she can fix it from inside.

Call 5

Sam Fromartz (Washington, District Of Columbia) - 1995 Honda Accord

Stump the Chumps. Sam was trying to sell his wife’s car, but it was making a noise that scared off potential buyers. Tom and Ray said it was the clutch or transmission, and would cost many hundreds to fix. It wound up being two exhaust gaskets, which Sam had replaced for $150, and he has since sold the car. Wrong Answer!

Call 6

Andrea Caber (Durham, North Carolina) - Toyota Sienna

Andrea and her husband just had a baby and are moving to Texas. They want to buy a minivan, but disagree over whether to buy it in NC. She thinks you shouldn’t drive at highway speeds for the first 1,000 miles, he says it’s fine to do that. Tom and Ray agree with Andrea--you don’t want to drive at 55, or any sustained speed right away. Check the Owner’s Manual to see how long a break-in they recommend. They’re also probably better off buying it in Texas, so they have a relationship with a dealer there.

Call 7

Kate (and Aaron) (Watertown, Massachusetts) - Suzuki Swift

High school sweethearts, now she’s going to school in Providence, he’s at Tufts. He’s scared to drive, so she always has to come here to visit, and take him to the dentist, etc... She wants to buy a new car, that he’ll also drive. Can she get a stick shift? Guys say forget about buying a standard, it’s too much for boyfriend to deal with. Call boyfriend to find out why he won’t drive. Tommy uses the phrase “geographically undesirable." Get boyfriend to agree to try to learn to drive, and to take the bus to Providence sometimes so she’s not the one always traveling.