Show Rundown

#1408: Old Moses Blew Beets

Original Air Date: 02.22.2014
Show Open Topic

Our new Olympic event, and Tommy's first car destruction.

Call 1

Eric (Monmouth, Maine) - 1986 Dodge Pickup

In extremely cold weather, Eric’s horn starts blowing at random times when the car is off. Pressing on the horn button gets it to stop and he’s had to run outside in sub-zero temps in the middle of the night to shut it off. Tom and Ray say it’s either a faulty horn switch or a bad relay but there's no good explanation for why this happens, except things behave strangely in cold weather.

Call 2

Kris Rice (Savannah, Georgia) - Toyota Previa

Kris’s husband is dedicated to recycling but he insists on crushing cans by driving over them and the noise is driving Kris crazy. Can she convince him it’s bad for the car? Tom and Ray suggest trickery--record a cat screeching and play it so he thinks he’s run over the neighbor's cat. But the only real risk would be a sharp edge puncturing a tire.

Call 3

Matt Hill (Louisville, Kentucky) - 1993 Acura Legend

Matt’s front end vibrates when he’s driving 70-75 mph, often under load. He can also feel the vibration in the gas pedal. Tom and Ray say this is dangerous; it's likely a bad ball joint that’s about to break. Matt is calling from the road and Tom and Ray say he should stop driving immediately and get the car towed. There is a very small chance it’s a bad tire.

Call 4

Will Winfrey (Joplin, Missouri) - 1988 Ford Ranger

Will’s dog Moses got carsick. Moses says he "blew beets” all over the dashboard and into the defroster vents. The mechanic says dashboard needs to come off and it'll be a couple hundred dollars to clean it out. Tom and Ray say Will can do it himself. He just needs to remove the glove box and the duct work will be visible. He can loosen the clamps and run water through until all the chunks are gone.

Call 5

Jenniver (Colorado Springs, Colorado) - 1991 Toyota Pickup

Jennifer’s idle races up and down. It happens when she’s stopped with her foot on the brake, and the car in neutral. The idle goes back to normal when she takes her foot off the brake. Tom and Ray say thins is a classic vacuum leak in the power brake booster.

Call 6

Sarah Fleming (Detroit, Michigan) - 1988 Honda Accord

Sarah's clutch was replaced by “backyard mechanics." Now the car pops out of 5th gear and grinds when she tries to get back in. It will stay in 5th longer when engine is cold. Did they screw up the clutch job? Tom and Ray say it's more likely that her 5th gear synchro is gone, which means she needs a new or rebuilt transmission. So it's not the clutch guys’ fault. Go back and try to make amends, or use bungee cord to keep it in 5th.

Call 7

Tyler Buckner (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) - 1989 Toyota Corolla

The brakes make a knocking sound which speeds up as the car speeds up. It goes away when he steps on the brake and comes back when he takes his foot off the brake. Tom and Ray say it's likely a warped disc or bad caliper. It could also be something more serious, like a missing bolt on the caliper, so he should get it looked at soon.

Call 8

June Mays (Birmingham, Alabama) - 1996 Jeep Cherokee

June bought this car in order to four-wheel in the woods. They just put speed bumps in the office parking lot; does she have to slow down for them? Taking them at high speed pushes steering and suspension to the limits, but Tom and Ray say the real issue is that she's likely to drive herself crazy and rattle her teeth. She should slow down, if only to relax a little.