Show Rundown

#1320: A Sticky Situation

Original Air Date: 05.18.2013
Show Open Topic

For once, Tommy lands a car that's worth more than $50.

Call 1

David McCauley (Honolulu, Hawaii) - 1987 Toyota MR2

David’s engine RPM surges when the car is in neutral. This happens most in cool weather, while the engine is still cold and it stops surging once the car warms up. Tom and Ray think the problem is most likely a vacuum leak in the bellows between the air mass meter and throttle body. Or, it could just be a loose clamp. In either case, it’s not a big deal.

Call 2

Faith (Kenmore, Washington) - 1992 Toyota Camry

Faith is having trouble with her driver’s door lock. Occasionally she will get locked inside the car and can only get out by climbing over the gear shift and using the passenger door. Tom and Ray think Toyota had trouble with this before, and there may be a Technical Service Bulletin about it. Side note: Faith babysat for our esteemed producer Doug when he was a kid (and evidently also a nudist.)

Call 3

Corey Schauss (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) - 1986 Volkswagen Golf

Corey’s hearing a bear-like growling coming from his front passenger side wheel when he goes over 25 MPH. Tom and Ray say it's probably a wheel bearing. Corey wants to fix it himself, but they think he's better off taking it to a mechanic and soon, as it could be dangerous.

Call 4

Jason Roop (Oakdale, Minnesota) - 1976 Dodge Pickup

Jason has trouble starting his truck when it’s cold. The engine cranks but won’t fire. Sometimes he can get the engine going if he pours gas in the carburetor, but sometimes he just gets a plume of black smoke from he carburetor. Tom and Ray have him check the choke and make sure fuel is getting to the carburetor. If that's not it, then the problem is probably electrical and he could try to replace the cap, wires, rotor, and coil.

Call 5

Sandy Christopher (Orlando, Florida) - 1988 Honda Accord

Sandy's car makes a loud screeching noise first thing in the morning. She thinks it’s a belt, but hasn’t had time to take it to a mechanic yet because she's in school full time and working two jobs. Tom and Ray say she can fix it herself, but first she should check to see if the belt is worn out or just loose. If fixing the belt doesn’t make the noise go away, it could be the alternator.

Call 6

John (Lower Long Swam, Pennsylvania) - 1992 Ford Taurus

John took his car to the dealer and the mechanic pressed the clutch pedal and said he needs a new one. John wonders how the mechanic could tell this just by pushing down on the pedal. Tom and Ray explain that as the clutch wears out, the fingers get farther from the flywheel, making it harder to push the pedal down.

Call 7

Paula (Tulsa, Oklahoma) - 1988 Ford Bronco

Stump the Chumps! Paula called in a while back because her engine made a whistling down that rose in octaves, along with the engine RPM. Ray said it was a vaccum leak but Tom speculated low coolant. Were they right?

Call 8

John (Saxton's River, Vermont) - Toyota

John went maple sugaring and spilled a five-gallon can of syrup in the car. He tried to clean it up but some got into the seat belt buckles and now they’re stuck. How can he wash them out? Tom and Ray say he should keep using water and he’ll eventually get all of it. Or he can always check OCM (Organized Crime Monthly) for tips on disposing of the car.