Show Rundown

#1323: The Lard Butt Indicator

Original Air Date: 06.08.2013
Show Open Topic

"At a tire shop: Invite us to your next blowout." And other signs found at businesses.

Call 1

Teddi (Stratford, Connecticut) - 1989 Toyota Camry

Teddi’s Camry sometimes makes a loud metallic screeching sound when she starts it. Her daughter also has a Camry and discovered that if she jiggles the shifter, it doesn’t make the noise. Tom and Ray say the shifter is a coincidence. The noise is coming from a worn out flywheel on the starter which will cost a couple hundred bucks to replace. The noise will happen more frequently until the car won't start at all, so Teddi can wait until then to replace it.

Call 2

Steve Christiano (Hagerstown, Maryland) - 1991 Dodge Caravan

Steve’s car is blowing smoke, white with a bluish tinge. He knows it’s oil, but he's confused about why it only happens under certain situations. It’s worse when then the car has been sitting for a while, facing downhill. Tom and Ray suspect bad valve guide seals, and say Steve should get the valves checked and replaced. If that doesn’t stop the smoke, he probably needs a ring job.

Call 3

Gwen Rogers (Washington, District Of Columbia) - 1988 Ford E150

Gwen has a van for her mobile dog grooming business. It runs great but needs a paint job which will cost about $4000, because of the van’s size and the logos on it. Is it worth having her mechanic give the van a once-over to see if it’s worth doing the paint job? Tom and Ray say yes, Gwen should get everything checked. Even if she needs to spend a couple thousand dollars to fix stuff, it’ll be cheaper than a new van, assuming there’s no rust.

Call 4

Wendy Miller (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) - 1995 Toyota 4Runner

Wendy used to drive a VW Super Beetle which she could work on in the municipal lot, and meet guys. Her new car is too complicated for her to work on, so she can’t get a date. Tom and Ray say there are a couple of things she can fix on this car. She can change the plugs or do oil changes, but that requires getting under the car, so she may need a cardboard cut-out of herself to stand near the car. She can also open the hood and pretend to be checking belts and hoses.

Call 5

John Mentzell (Centre Hall, Pennsylvania) - 1987 Volkswagen Golf

When John drives his wife's car, the horn starts blowing at random times--sometimes a quick beep, sometimes for five minutes. It doesn’t happen when his wife drives it. John’s wife says there’s a “lard butt indicator” under the seat setting it off. Tom and Ray say the horn button is grounding out--maybe his weight in the driver’s seat is changing the geometry to cause a wire to chafe.They suggest he experiment by having his wife drive with an extra 100 pound weight.

Call 6

Sara Bornstein (Bozeman, Montana) - 1988 Nissan Stanza

Sara’s car stopped running and wouldn’t re-start. She got it towed and a friend who’s a graduate student in physics put in on a lift (with her in it). He said it was the fuel pump and welded stuff for about 10 hours. Now, the car runs but when she tries to put gas in, the pump clicks off every few seconds, and it take a long time to fill the tank. Tom and Ray think Sara’s friend crimped something and created a restriction in the filler neck. He needs to take the tank out and try again.

Call 7

Jeff Woods (Peru, New York) - 1993 Honda Civic

Jeff does a lot of camping and carries a can of Coleman fuel for cooking. He has a hypothetical question: if his car runs out of gas, can he put the Coleman fuel in, or will it do damage? The guys don’t really know what’s in Coleman fuel, but Ray thinks it should be okay.