Show Rundown

#1342: Road Trip of Destruction

Original Air Date: 10.19.2013
Show Open Topic

A salute to Larry Walters: A man, some balloons, and a lawn chair.

Call 1

Mark Lawnicki (Ft. Worth, Texas) - 1986 BMW 325

Mark’s car is losing power steering fluid, but he can’t see where it’s going--he leaves something under the car overnight but sees no signs of fluid. Tom and Ray say that’s because it’s losing fluid while the car is moving, most likely on hard turns. If Mark is lucky, it’s just a bad power steering hose, if he’s unlucky, he likely needs a new rack.

Call 2

Heather (Ravensdale, Washington) - Subaru

Heather drove her car to Montana last fall, and one morning it wouldn’t start. It didn’t crank--no sound. They tried charging the battery, didn’t help, so her husband sprayed starter fluid into the air intake, and then the car started. This has happened several times, she’s replaced the battery and other parts, but still the only thing that gets it to start when this happens is the fluid. Tom and Ray think the fluid is a red herring, because the car isn’t cranking--opening and closing the hood may be what’s making the car start. Tom thinks there's a bad connection. Ray thinks it’s the starter or a bad interlock switch on the clutch.

Call 3

Danush (Prestone, Colorado) - Subaru

Danush got his car from a friend’s ex-girlfriend. He thinks the clutch is slipping when the car is warm after driving for a while. After letting the car sit overnight, it’s usually okay. Ray thinks the release bearing is binding on the collar, as the car heats up, it’s as if the clutch isn’t releasing.

Call 4

Michaela Ledesma (, Oregon) - 1991 Toyota Camry

Michaela and her siblings plan to take this car on a road trip of destruction. They're going to drive south from Portland until it dies. They’re hoping to make it to Mexico. What tools should they take? Since they’re expecting the car to die, Tom and Ray suggest very basic tools--vice grip, duct tape, flippy screwdriver, and also take protective stuff, like space blankets.

Call 5

Andras Bartha (Sewanee, Tennessee) - 1990 Ford F150

Andras's engine lost oil pressure, so he had valves fixed, camshaft bearings and oil pump replaced, costing him $1200. Now, when the engine heats up, it quits and oil pressure drops. Guys who did the job should have also replaced main and connecting rod bearings--now, engine’s been wrecked by being starved for oil several times. Needs engine rebuild or a new engine.

Call 6

Dale (Muskogee, Oklahoma) - 1991 Nissan Sentra

Stump the Chumps. Dale called because his spark plug wires were popping out, usually when he was passing someone uphill. Ray said Dale’s plugs were loose, and the extra force from “goosing” was loosening wires. Tom thought Ray’s answer was bogus, but Dale says the plugs were indeed loose. Right Answer!

Call 7

Mary Ann (, Colorado) - 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser

Mary Ann’s car smells of gas--and so does she when she drives it. Her mechanic tied off the air breather hose, so smell went away, but gas started gushing out of the tank when she’d take the cap off. So, her mechanic did something to pull the gas through the carbon filter. This stopped the gushing, but now she smells of gas again. What her mechanic did was illegal--the problem is a plugged canister, which should be easy to fix legally.