Show Rundown

#1412: The Truth Detector

Original Air Date: 03.22.2014
Show Open Topic

How Car Talk is enabling one husband's bad habits!

Call 1

Corinne Henke (Radford, Virginia) - 2000 Nissan Sentra

After Corinne gets an oil change, smoke pours out of the dashboard for 20 to 30 minutes, and there’s a funny smell that last a few weeks. The oil change guys also keep breaking her dipstick. She likely has oil coming up through the broken dipstick tube and she needs to get it replaced.

Call 2

Ted (Ithaca, New York) - Dodge

Ted is graduating from Ithaca College (Outdoor Studies major), getting married and moving to Alaska. Need to do anything to make it over the mountains? First Tom and Ray tell him he’s crazy for moving to Alaska, then they make fun of his major. But finally they give him a decent answer--he doesn’t need to do anything to the van, other than get a safety check. He should probably get a block heater once he gets to Alaska.

Call 3

Christine Redfield (, Massachusetts) - 1996 Chevrolet Blazer

Christine’s key is stuck in the ignition. This is less of a concern now because now the car won’t start. She turns the key and nothing happens. For a while, the gear illuminator light would stay on after she shut the car off, but that’s out now too. Tom and Ray think the key wasn’t getting all the way to the off position, and hence drained the battery. Christine probably needs a new ignition lock.

Call 4

Shaleah Nelson (Richmond, California) - Volvo

In cold conditions, Shaleah’s overdrive button pops out when she engages it so she can’t get the car into 5th gear. When the car has warmed enough so that she’s getting heat, overdrive works. Ray thinks the problem is a bad overdrive relay, or there’s not enough oil in the overdrive unit. Tom says not to worry about it.

Call 5

Glen (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Glen’s got a scientific question. When he was living in the southwest, everyone put reflector sunshades on the outside of the car when they parked, rather than on the inside because they said it worked better. True? But of course, say Tom and Ray. Why not keep the heat from even entering the car to keep it cooler inside.

Call 6

Judith Markowitz (Chicago, Illinois)

Judith is testing a voice-biometric-based lie detector, and thought mechanics would be good test subjects. So, she wants to ask Tom and Ray a few questions . . .

Call 7

Daniel Ratcliffe (Eliot, Maine) - Ford

Daniel's car rattles and leaks exhaust. Is there a home remedy? In an ideal world, he should unbolt the flanged section, discard it, and then bolt in with a new part. Or have it welded. But, since he’s a struggling musicians, he can try frozen orange juice cans, guitar strings (or mechanics wire) and muffler cement.