Show Rundown

#1338: Roadside Tonsorial Privileges

Original Air Date: 09.21.2013
Show Open Topic

Fast food Haircut Ethics: Listeners Respond!

Call 1

Daniel Coleman (Warrensburg, Missouri) - 1994 Chevrolet Cavalier

When Daniel drives his car for more than an hour on the highway, the car shakes and stalls when he slows down. He tries to re-start, and hears a click but no crank. After about 30 minutes the car will re-start. This only happens on longer drives. Tom and Ray think Daniel has two problems--the stall is caused by a bad lock up torque converter. The re-starting problem could be any number of things.

Call 2

Carol (Fairbanks, Alaska) - 1993 Mazda Navajo

Carol’s car surges and gets bad gas mileage. Her mechanic says the problem is that three different people drive the car--Carol, her husband, and their teenager, so the car’s computer needs to adjust to the different driving styles. Is this bogus? Tom and Ray say there may be some truth to this theory, since the problem stops if Carol drives the car for a few days in a row. The shift pattern may change for each driver.

Call 3

Andy Reichert (Minneapolis, Minnesota) - Subaru

When Andy turns on the air conditioner or defroster, after 20-30 seconds, smoke comes out of the vent and he smells a burning belt. The AC in the car runs on its own belt. Can he just cut the offending belt and live without the AC? Yes he can, though Tom and Ray recommend that he just disconnect the AC which would remove the chance of him accidentally cutting the wrong belt.

Call 4

John Nelson (Gloversville, New York) - 1990 Volkswagen Golf

Stump the Chumps. John called because the car that he bought from his sister had handling problems. It pulled to the right driving uphill, and to the left going down. Tom and Ray said the car had been in an accident that John’s sister had failed to divulge. It turns out, the car was in an accident, and John was there when it happened--he’d forgotten about it when he first called. Right Answer!

Call 5

Nikki Noblini (Framingham, Massachusetts) - 1993 Jeep Cherokee

If Nikki’s car is fully loaded, she hears a a loud noise when she makes a right turn. It seems to come from the rear--one loud “bong”--regardless of how fast she’s going. She had the shocks and struts checked, they’re fine. Tom and Ray say they aren’t sure if this has leaf or coil springs--if it’s the latter, that’s likely the problem. Nikki should take it back to shop and ask them to check springs.

Call 6

Mike Brockman (Vancouver, Washington) - 1987 Jeep Cherokee

Mike’s car is losing coolant, about a quart a month. He asked his wife to check the level. Since she started checking, the radiator cap has blown off a few times. Mike’s mechanic says radiator is restricted, and back pressure may be blowing off the cap. Tom and Ray think this is bogus--there’s a pressure relief hole in the cap that should prevent this. It’s likely that Mike’s wife isn’t tightening the cap enough, and vibration from driving is loosening it enough to fall off. Mike should really find the source of the coolant leak and fix it.

Call 7

Ellen Johannsen (Amagansett, New York) - 1991 Dodge Caravan

Ellen’s mechanic told her he can tell her car’s engine is dying by the way the oil smells. She loves the car, and wants to drive it into the ground, but can he really tell the state of the engine by the oil smell? Tom and Ray think the engine could well be on the way out because of its age, but don’t think the oil smell would be a sign. The mechanic may just be trying to impress her, or else he's in cahoots with Ellen’s husband, who wants a new car.