Show Rundown

#1309: The Pit of Despair

Original Air Date: 03.02.2013
Show Open Topic

"I'm Stupid!" The sign that says it all-- and why stupid people should be required to wear one.

Call 1

Ben Brackett (Northwood, New Hampshire) - 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit

Ben’s girlfriend says he needs to account for the windchill factor when warming his car up in the Winter--so he warms the car up longer when the windchill is lower. Is this true? Tom and Ray say she’s nuts--the temperature is what matters, not how cold it feels outside. But, Ben should be careful how he tells her.

Call 2

Sonja (Seattle, Washington) - 1984 Saab 900

Sonja axle’s broke while she was driving--the CV joint fell on the ground. She had the car towed, and ever since it’s had problems. It’s become easier to shift, but more difficult to turn the key, and her headlights stay on even after the car is off. Can these be related? Tom and Ray say it’s possible that the guys who towed the car did something--could be a broken motor mount, or dislodged shift linkage.

Call 3

Vincent Anderson (Prospect, Tennessee) - 1993 Jeep Wrangler

Vincent “inherited” this car from his daughter. It had sat for about a year. During the first 2-5 miles, he has to keep the RPM’s below 2,000 or the car shakes. After 5 miles, the shaking gets worse, the car loses power and dies. Ray thinks this is a classic case of a restricted exhaust--most likely in the catalytic converter, but could also be in the muffler.

Call 4

Joff Case (Newark, Delaware) - 1990 Toyota Pickup

Joff noticed that his clutch seems to be slipping in 4th gear--not a problem in other gears. Tom and Ray think his clutch is likely going--he can do the clutch slipping test, but he’s likely going to need a new clutch soon.

Call 5

Kerry Jones (Boston, Massachusetts) - 1986 Honda CRX

Kerry lives in a condo with a large parking alley--shared by about 20 buildings. There is a large crater, in which huge puddles form--water comes up to the top of her tires. Is this doing damage to her car? Tom and Ray say it could prematurely rust brakes, or get into the engine. She needs to figure out a way to fix the crater--either get neighbors to chip in, or pour concrete in the dead of night.

Call 6

Mike Keeler (Flushing, Michigan) - 1994 Dodge Shadow

Mike drives this car 55 miles to work each day. One day, his son noticed smoke coming from under the hood, and the water temperature gauge was pegged. Coolant was steaming out of the recovery tank. He’s been okay driving in cold weather, but on a recent warm day, he had to turn the heat way up to keep the engine temperature down. Tom and Ray say the problem in somewhere in the coolant temp sensor--either the sensor itself, a relay, the wiring, or the computer.

Call 7

Kathy Lambeth (Tualatin, Oregon)

Kathty called asking how best to place the weight in her son’s Pinewood Derby car. Tom and Ray figured weight much factor, but couldn’t figure out how. Kathy’s son finished 4th in his age level, inconclusive on weight. Wrong Answer!