Show Rundown

#1330: The Exercise Diaries

Original Air Date: 07.27.2013
Show Open Topic

The Exercise Diaries, Featuring Tanya the Trainer.

Call 1

Jon (Columbia, Missouri) - 1989 Chevrolet Blazer

Jon was driving to a wedding when he noticed a burning, acidic smell. He checked the battery, and it was boiling. So, he let it cool, then replaced the battery. Now the new battery seems to be running too high. Tom and Ray say the battery is over-charging, likely due to a bad voltage regulator in the alternator.

Call 2

Rita Dipastina (San Diego, California) - 1986 Toyota Celica

Rita has a recurring air conditioner problem. After driving a while. the AC will cut out and only hot air willl blow. She can remedy the problem by stopping and turning the car off and on three times. She’s been to the reapir shop several times, but they can’t replicate the problem, and they think she’s just looking for an excuse to visit them. Tom and Ray think the problem is in the AC compressor clutch--it’s not kicking in when it’s supposed to, possibly due to a bad relay.

Call 3

Christine Byer (Seattle, Washington) - 1988 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight

Christine begain parking on a hill, and has noticed that when she starts the car and turns the wheel, she hears a growling sound. Her mechanic flushed the power steering fluid and the gorowling stopped for a while, but it’s come back. Tom and Ray think she’s leaking power steering fluid, probably at the rack. She can try additives, but at some point she’ll need to replace the rack or dump the car.

Call 4

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

Stump the Chumps! John called in a while back because the horn in his wife’s car would blow at random times, but only when he drove it. His wife suggested the car had a “lard-butt indicator” and his weight was making the horn blow. Tom and Ray didn’t have a good explanation, but said his weight shouldn’t have been a cause. John says other Car Talk listeners said it might be the key he was using. He changed keys and the problem went away. Wrong Answer.

Call 5

Mom (Princeton, New Jersey) - 1989 Toyota Previa

Mom and her teeanged son bought 40 pounds of frozen beef for a party on a very hot day. When they got to the car, her son turned on the heat full blast, saying it was the quickes way to cool down the passenger compartment. Mom thinks this is nuts. Tom and Ray agree with Mom--turning on the heat can help if the car is overheating, but it doesn’t help the passenger compartment.

Call 6

July Seabecker (New Brunswick, New Jersey) - 1985 Nissan Sentra

July’s engine sputters. She will be driving, and at random times the car will lose power and hesitate. She has to stomp on the gas to keep it going 40 mph. She changed air and fuel filters, and the cap, but that didn’t help. Problem could be a weak fuel pump, causing a low float level in the carburetor. July should check her fuel pump pressure. If it’s okay, she needs to rebuild her carburetor.

Call 7

Jamie Hogan (Richmond, Virginia) - 1988 Hyundai Excel

Jamie wants to dump this car. His wife says he can do so, but only if it dies a somewhat natural death--he has to give it regular oil changes and such. Is there anything subtle he can to hasten its demise? Tom and Ray suggest he drive it only in 2nd Gear, including highways. High revs should kill the engine pretty quickly.