Show Rundown

#1407: The Diamond in the Corolla

Original Air Date: 02.15.2014
Show Open Topic

Are you a guy? Tom and Ray take Dave Barry's Real Guy Test.

Call 1

Judy Corey (Los Angeles, California) - Toyota

Judy’s van makes a noise, kind of a loud whirring followed by a crash. It only happens when she steps on the clutch from a stop. Every time she’s taken it to a mechanic the noise has mysteriously gone away, but she did get the clutch replaced. Ray thinks the noise is coming from the transmission--there’s a bad bearing, and stepping on the clutch puts enough heavy load on the transmission to make the noise. Judy should wait until the noise gets more constant so mechanic can find it.

Call 2

Brother Roger (Monastery of Christ, New Mexico)

Brother Roger is responsible for the maintenance of the monastery’s four-wheel-drive vehicles. The service adviser at the Dodge dealer told him that on four-wheel-drive vehicles the tires have to match perfectly--size, brand and tread pattern. Is this true? Tom and Ray say the tires do have to be the same size, but they don’t have to match tread patterns.

Call 3

Kate (Isleford, Maine) - Chevrolet Malibu

Kate lives on a small island. One of her neighbors, Corey, owns a Malibu with a very loud exhaust, which he spends about 80% of his time driving back and forth usually at high speed. Kate’s worried about safety and hates the noise, can she do anything to slow him down? Tom and Ray suggest trying to talk to Corey--if that doesn’t work, someone can sneak in and re-gap his spark plugs so they’re off by a bit. If that doesn’t work, there’s always the potato in the tailpipe trick.

Call 4

Eric Emerson (Charles, North Carolina) - 2004 Chevrolet Venture

Eric’s windshield wipers park in the up position when he turns the vehicle off. It's not presenting a visibility problem, but the aesthetics bother him. To fix it, he needs a new wiper motor or he may want to leave them up for the Winter, because it’ll make it easier to clear the windshield.

Call 5

Turi McKinley (Cambridge, Massachusetts) - 1990 Acura Integra

Turi left her car sitting for a while. When she started it, there was a loud whining sound, followed by a bang and white smoke began coming from under the hood. Is the car cooked? Tom and Ray think her timing belt jumped, which led to pistons and valves colliding, and collapsed valves.

Call 6

Jennifer (Victor, Idaho) - 2001 Subaru Outback

Jennifer’s car smells like a combination of “old gas” and “dirty mechanic.” She had her fuel filter changed but the smell is still there. Tom and Ray think the mechanic rested the old fuel filter on the cowl and gas spilled into the ventilation system. Or she could have a leak elsewhere. They can use a hydrocarbon tester and “sniff” for a leak and if that doesn't work, look for an oil leak.

Call 7

DanqBerger Ithaca (New York, New York) - 1994 Toyota Corolla

Dan bought this car used, one of the previous owners asked him to be on the lookout for her engagement ring, which fell behind the dashboard after she threw it at her fiancé. The mechanics at the dealership said the couldn’t find it. Is the ring still there? Tom and Ray think the mechanic may have pocketed it--it’s very unlikely the ring is still there. But Dan can wait until Spring and take the dashboard apart to look for it.