Show Rundown

#1327: The Four-Wheeled Dowry

Original Air Date: 07.06.2013
Show Open Topic

Cars that crash will always burst into flames, and other things we've learned from movies.

Call 1

Jay (Gulf Port, Mississippi) - 1985 BMW 528

Jay bought his car from a friend for $750. The speedometer doesn't work and Jay wants to know if he can track his speed with his tachometer. Tom and Ray think this is possible, but it appears that the tach isn't working either. Jay should probably get it fixed. If the speedometer cable is the problem, it would be a relatively cheap and easy to repair.

Call 2

Ann Bleatney (Dallas, Texas)

Ann's father told her to make sure all the accessories are turned off when she starts the car, otherwise it drains the battery. Her husband says this is nonsense as batteries today are strong enough to handle it. Who's right? Tom and Ray say her dad is wrong here, you can definitely leave all that stuff turned on. But, her husband's explanation isn't quite right either. When you turn the key to the crank position the battery cuts all power to the accessories for an instant, until the car actually starts.

Call 3

Jeff Steuber (Washington, District Of Columbia) - 1989 Honda Accord

The throttle sticks on occasion. Jeff took it to the dealer and they said he either needs to replace the throttle cable or a computer module, either of which would cost around $500. Tom and Ray rule out the computer, based on the symptoms Jeff describes. They think that price is for the entire throttle body, but he may just need only a cable and to have the throttle body cleaned.

Call 4

Chris Padgett (Boston, Massachusetts) - 1993 Dodge Dynasty

Chris's car has trouble starting after rapid weather changes like rain or temperature shifts. He turns the key, hears clicks, and the engine coughs and stutters. After 5 to 30 tries, the car starts just fine. Tom and Ray think the problem is with the battery, likely a bad connection.

Call 5

Katherine Gothin (St. Paul, Minnesota) - 1991 Plymouth Acclaim

Katherine just got a new job and was hoping to upgrade to a new car. But on her second day, she rear-ended the boss's shiny new car, and left some scratches. If she gets fired, she won't be able to afford car payments. Should she sneak into the company garage and try to buff out the scratches? Tom and Ray thinks she should hire a mobile detailer to fix the car and to tell the boss she's doing it.

Call 6

Doug Calo (Rye, New York) - 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser

Doug stripped a screw trying to remove the valve cover plate. How can he get it out? Tom and Ray suggest using penetrating oil and then an "impact screwdriver" which works more like a hammer. If that fails, he'll have to drill it out.

Call 7

Elisa Allen (Charlestown, South Carolina)

Elisa's parents have offered to buy her a new car if she marries her live-in boyfriend. She does need a new car, and she's been planning to marry the guy anyway. Should she take them up on the offer? Tom counsels against it--he says Elisa would be giving her parents too much control over her life. Elisa says the parents actually made the offer directly to her boyfriend, so Tom and Ray say they'll talk to him next week.