Show Rundown

#1340: Arachnid and Pinion Steering

Original Air Date: 10.05.2013
Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share BMW's Ethics 101 class for dealers.

Call 1

Lacy Attuso (Austin, Texas) - 1991 Honda Accord

Lacy thinks her engine’s trying to escape. Occasionally, the car won’t start and when she opens the hood, she sees that one of the spark plug boots has popped out. This has been happening for the past year or so. Ray thinks it’s a loose spark plug. Tom thinks she needs new spark plug wires.

Call 2

Barry Marcus (St. Louis, Missouri) - 1994 Mazda 626

Barry’s parking brake is stuck on, and the car won’t move. This is a big problem as the car is in Barry’s garage, which is inaccessible to a tow truck. The handle moves, but the brake won’t dislodge. Ray suggests that Barry get underneath the car and have someone work the handle--he should see the lever which is stuck, and hit it with a hammer--that should loosen it enough so he can move the car. Tom suggests jacking the car up and putting the rear wheels on creepers.

Call 3

Amy (Cincinnatti, Ohio) - 1986 Toyota Camry

When Amy drives on the highway and takes her foot off the accelerator, she hears a low grumbling sound and feels the car gearing down. She doesn’t hear it above 45 mph. Tom and Ray think it’s a loose baffle in the muffler--at higher speeds it’s drowned out by other noises the car is making.

Call 4

Marcie (Silver Spring, Maryland) - 1996 Ford Taurus

Marcie hears a “whooping” noise that only happens if she’s driving around 55 mph with the air conditioner on. The noise goes away when she slows down. Tom and Ray think it’s a bad air conditioner compressor clutch and should be easy for mechanic to figure out.

Call 5

Lisa Munson (, Washington) - 1987 Honda Civic

Lisa’s car was making a horrible screeching sound, after getting a new belt. Her mechanic said it was a glazed pulley. Tom and Ray said it was a loose or faulty belt, or mechanic had put the wrong belt on. Lisa took the car back in, mechanic tightened belt and the noise went away. Right answer! But . . . Lisa still hasn’t talked to the cute guy next door.

Call 6

Mike Roney (, New Jersey) - 1987 Nissan Stanza

When Mike starts his car first thing in the morning, it’s hard to steer-for the first minute it’s as if there’s no power steering. After a minute, it’s okay. This happened more last winter but went away over the summer. Tom and Ray think it will be worse again this Winter--Mike likely needs a new rack and pinion, though there’s a small chance it could just be the power steering pump.

Call 7

Jeryldine (St. Louis, Missouri) - Toyota Tercel

Jeryldine’s car is infested with arachnids--she has no idea how they’re getting in, or how to get rid of them. Tom and Ray think the eggs must have been in the car already when she bought it a few months ago. Ray suggests using a bug bomb, but Tom thinks she should hire a professional exterminator.

Call 8

Glen Goldstein (Brooklyn, New York)

Glen’s girlfriend Fluffy just left him for a guy named Thor. She took her VW Cabrio with her, so Glen needs to find a car, and wants another VW Cabrio. A friend told Glen to find one sitting in someone’s backyard that needs a a new engine. Is this a good idea? Sure, it could be, if an engine is all the car needs. Tom and Ray say Glen should make sure the rest of the car is fine before buying.