Show Rundown

#1333: The Great Conversation Stopper

Original Air Date: 08.17.2013
Show Open Topic

Begorrah! A few personal ads from Irish newspapers.

Call 1

Dee Robinson (Washington, District Of Columbia) - 1987 BMW 325

Dee’s car has problems re-starting after driving. The battery looks fine and she was able to get the car to re-start after jiggling some cables. Tom and Ray think the battery is the problem. Even though it looks fine, it could be in bad shape inside. There’s a small chance it just needs water, but more likely she needs a new battery.

Call 2

Patrick McCann (North Tonawanda, New York) - 1995 Chevrolet Lumina

Pat’s car has been running out of gas before the tank is empty. The car will stop and when he puts gas in, it only takes 15-16 gallons, even though it's a 20-gallon tank. Tom and Ray say he could have a clogged fuel filter or a weak fuel pump. There’s also a chance he hit something, which stove in part of gas tank so when the tank gets low the filler can’t get enough pressure.

Call 3

Kirsten (Bethesda, Maryland) - 1986 Honda CRX

Kirsten is following up on last week’s call--she’s relocating to Kosovo for two years and the government will be storing her car. Tom and Ray gave her a list of questions to ask about how they will store it. The facility will folloow all of Tom and Ray’s recommendations, so she should be in good shape. She also wants to know if her car is a sportscar--Tom and Ray say if she wants it to be a sportscar, it’s a sportscar.

Call 4

Larry Cohen (Los Gatos, California) - Acura

Larry took his car for an oil change and the mechanic said he had a broken CV boot that needed replacing. He also tried to get Larry to replace the axles. Larry got a second opinion-- if there’s no noise, the axles don’t need to be replaced. He went back to first shop, but they had already started work without his permission. He made them stop, but should he get the axle replaced, as a pre-emptve measure? Tom and Ray say no, if they’re not making noise and the car is on the lift regularly for oil change, he’ll get warning when the axles are close to breaking. What the first shop did was unethical and maybe illegal, and he was right to not let them do it.

Call 5

Melissa Peterson (Seattle, Washington)

Melissa Peterson calling! She still hates Car Talk, but this time she wants their help. She’s starting college and bought a motor scooter. Melissa’s Dad thinks it’s great, but her Mom thinks she’s gonna kill herself. Will Tom and Ray tell her parents it’s okay? Tom actually agrees with Mom--it is dangerous, she shouldn’t ride it. He suggests she sends it to him.

Call 6

Suzi Blavlock (Muscle Shoals, Alabama) - 1990 Porsche 911

Suzi is a doctor and she was hoping her Porsche 911 would be a conversation starter wih her male colleagues. But she can’t answer any of their questions about the car. How can she learn about its horespower, torque, etc.? Tom and Ray suggest she track down the Road and Track test drive report from when the car came out. She can also look for an owner’s manual, or join the Porsche Owner’s Club. If worse comes to worst she can probably fake it, because they're betting her colleagues know as little about cars as she does.

Call 7

Andy Bernard (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) - Infiniti

The car cas an active suspension. It begins lowering, and will eventually wind up back in the Park position after it's been driven for a while. It’s a hydraulic system. Tom and Ray say most likely it’s leaking fluid, but could also be a weak pump.

Call 8

Melissa Burns (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) - 1995 Hyundai Accent

Melissa has a diagreement with her Mom. Melissa uses overdrive on her Hyundai, but Mom doesn’t use it on her Subaru. Melissa thinks Mom’s damaging her transmission by not using it--is she right? Nope! Using overdrive helps improve fuel mileage, but not using it doesn’t hurt anything.