Show Rundown

#1312: When Martha Met Click & Clack

Original Air Date: 03.21.2013
Show Open Topic

How to de-butter a Land Rover.

Call 1

Patrick Freeberg (St. Paul, Minnesota) - 1988 Toyota Camry

Patrick’s car has wild gas mileage swings. He gets 30-35 MPG in the summer, but that drops to 10-15 MPG in the winter. He wants to know what's going on. Tom and Ray say some of it is just due to the colder weather, but it's likely that he has a faulty thermostat that’s not allowing the engine to get hot enough.

Call 2

Dana McLoughlin (Denver, Colorado) - 1988 Volkswagen Jetta

Dana loaned her car to a friend and ever since then she's been hearing a noise--a whirring and humming sound when turning left, between 40-60 mph. Also, she’s feeling a vibration through the floor and steering wheel. Tom and Ray says she has a bad wheel bearing. The timing is probably just a coincidence so she can let her friend off the hook.

Call 3

Tom Wineland (Indianapolis, Indiana) - 1991 Honda Accord

Tom's mechanic is a big believer in “symmetry”, constantly telling Tom that he needs to replace things in pairs. Last time it was calipers, now it’s springs. Tom is concerned that he’s getting ripped off, partly because last time he went in, the mechanic was working on his new boat. Tom and Ray say the mechanic is probably right about the springs. They usually only come in pairs, and just doing one at at time may make the car look cockeyed. But, the brakes may have been bogus.

Call 4

Patricia Collins (Asheville, North Carolina) - 1996 Lexus LS 400

Patricia’s husband moved the car 10 feet in neutral. Next time they went to drive it, it wouldn’t start, though it made sounds like a bad starter. The time after that, it started, but blew lots of blue smoke and made a loud noise. Tom and Ray think both problems were unrelated to the initial car move. The starter may have just been gonig bad and the smoke and noise were caused by excessive gas getting into the injectors, making the car run on only 6 or 7 cylinders.

Call 5

Doug Inkley (Winchester, Virginia)

When Doug gets a new car, he likes to run it out of gas, to see how far he can go when the needle hits E. His fiancee says this damages the fuel injectors but Doug thinks she’s just nervous about running out of gas. Tom and Ray side with the fiancee--it may not damage the injectors, but it could harm the catalytic covnerter or fuel pump, and most owner’s manuals recommend against letting the car run out of gas.

Call 6

Mark Kleiman (San Francisco, California) - 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe

Mark drives with 3 dogs in his car. As a result, the car stinks, and there’s crusty drool all over the windows. Mark’s wife won’t let their kids ride in the car. Tom and Ray defer to Martha Stuart on this one. She recommends using old bath towels on the seats for the dogs, and doing an immediate “wipe off” for the drool. Unfortunately, her only remedy for the smell is to bake a pie in the car.

Call 7

Naomi (Chicago, Illinois) - 1991 Ford Escort

Somebody wrote an obscenity on Naomi’s car in indelible ink. She wants to remove it without damaging the paint. Martha suggests going to a stationery store and asking for solvent to remove Sharpie ink. Afterwards she can apply a coat of wax and the car will look fine.

Call 8

Chuck Gobin (Wilmore, )

Chuck is a frequent wedding guest and is often called on to help decorate the wedding car. He’s looking for ideas that are distinctive, reusable and festive but not destructive. Martha has trouble covering all three requirements--she recommends puffed rice or puffed wheat that birds can eat. She also suggests alternative getaway methods, such as jetski or a train--go for a more exciting vehicle.

Call 9

Roland St. Germain (Las Vegas, Nevada) - 1988 Nissan Sentra

Roland wants to know how far he needs to drive from Las Vegas to fully cook a chicken wrapped in foil on his engine manifold. Martha recommends wrapping the chicken in parchment paper, rather than foil. She and Ray think the chicken should be cooked by the time he reaches Denver, but he’ll never get the chciken smell out of the car.