Show Rundown

#1311: To Mud Flap or Not to Mud Flap?

Original Air Date: 03.16.2013
Show Open Topic

"The toilet paper roll: Do they grow on the holders?" and other classes for Men.

Call 1

Manny Joaquim (Trumbull, Connecticut) - 1988 Chevrolet S-10

Manny recently moved and his new house is at a higher elevation. Now his car won't start after it rains overnight. This never happened at his old house and doesn’t happen if it rains while he’s at work. Tom and Ray think he has bad spark plug wires. The overnight rain creates enough moisture to get them wet enough not to work the next morning.

Call 2

Marga Freeberg (Sonoma, California) - 1985 Nissan Stanza

Marga's been having trouble making right turns. It feels like the car is veering to the right, like she's driving a Mack truck instead of her little wagon. Tom and Ray think the bushings in her rack and pinion are worn out and she needs to have it fixed right away.

Call 3

John Mattson (Minneapolis, Minnesota) - 1991 Nissan Sentra

John is buying a new car and trying to decide whether or not to get mud flaps. He wonders whether they actually help protect the car, or if they just cause rust by trapping salt in the wheel wells. Tom and Ray say he should go for the mud flaps as a public service; they'll help reduce the spray his car kicks up on to other drivers. The only cure for salt is going to the carwash often.

Call 4

Piali Sangupta (Watertown, Massachusetts) - 1997 Honda Civic

Piali's steering wheel is making some weird noises when temperatures are below freezing. There's a loud squeaking sound when she turns, and clicks if the wheel jiggles. She wants to know if it's dangerous. Rom and Ray say it's only dangerous to her mental health. Silicone spray may work if Tom's suggestion (giving it a good whack!) does not.

Call 5

Andy Scoriselli (Sitka, Alaska) - Toyota

Andy's engine makes all kinds of odd surging noises while it's warming up, and the RMPs race. Sometimes at stop signs, the truck seems like it will stall. Tom and Ray suspect there might be two problems. The surging and stalling could be caused by a problem with the secondary throttle, and the other noises due to a bad timing chain.

Call 6

Lin Haraway (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) - 1997 Ford Explorer

The rear end on Lin's explorer makes a whining noise during acceleration. One mechanic's diagnosis: "Yer rear end is gonna fall out." Tom and Ray think the problem is in the differential. The gears are worn out and the best fix is to replace the entire assembly with a used one from a junkyard.

Call 7

Steve (Seattle, Washington) - Toyota Camry

Steve got divorced and had to downsize from a Ferrari to a Toyota Camry. He's remarried happily but still hasn't adjusted to driving a car with cloth seats. Tom and Ray recommend that he not tie his self image to his car. But if he really wants an upgrade, a Z3 is a good bet.

Call 8

Connie Golas (Bellingham, Washington)

Connie is planning a road trip to Rio de Janeiro and is getting conflicting advice about what kind of car to take. Tom and Ray suggest she leave her own car when she gets to the border and buy a junker when she gets to the other side. That way, if it breaks down, she won't feel bad about leaving it behind. She could also research what kind of cars are popular down there to figure out what they'll have a lot of spare parts for.