Show Rundown

#1413: The Fall of the Dart

Original Air Date: 03.29.2014
Show Open Topic

Tommy's Dart meets a snow plow--and the results are fatal.

Call 1

Kenny Rudd (Tulsa, Oklahoma) - 1988 Honda Civic

Kenny’s brakes “apply spontaneously” as he’s driving. The car begins slowing down and he can feel some shaking from a warped rotor. Also, when this happens this brake pedal seems higher than it should be. Tom and Ray say Kenny has a stuck brake--likely caused by the master cylinder or power brake booster.

Call 2

Monica (Austin, Texas) - 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe

Monica’s husband behaves oddly at stop lights. He will shift an automatic transmission into neutral, on the grounds that it lets the transmission rest. In a stick shift, he puts the car into first, and keeps his foot on the clutch. Monica thinks these both are bad for the cars. She’s right, and in the stick shift, her husband is wearing out the clutch.

Call 3

Brent Jackson (Boise, Idaho) - 1985 Ford F250

Brent’s truck was having trouble starting, which eventually led to him getting new glow plugs. The service manager said some pieces from the old plugs had broken off, but they would hopefully burn up quickly. Now Brent’s hearing a rattling noise from the engine. Tom and Ray think a piece of glow plug got stuck between the valve and the seat, so there’s too much lash, and the noise Brent is hearing is coming from the lifter. It may go away or Brent may eventually need to pop the cylinder to get rid of it--but it shouldn’t be doing any harm.

Call 4

Tim Peterson (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Tim called because his car was making a rattling noise ”like the compressor in a small refrigerator.” Tom and Ray said it was a sympathetic vibration from a loose heat shield. Right Answer!

Call 5

Kelly Tingle (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Kelly is a museum educator. She’s preparing a presentation on piston rings and has been sent a few, but she doesn’t know how they work and hopes that Tom and Ray can guide her. They explain how the piston works, and suggest she get a piston and make a cylinder, so she can put the ring on, and demonstrate how it works.

Call 6

Carole (Travers City, Michigan) - Dodge

The electric door locks keep going up and down even when car is off, and it’s killing batteries. Is this a simple fix? Tom and Ray say if the locks are on their own fuse, Carole can just can just pull it. Otherwise, she can find the relay and disconnect it and just use locks manually.

Call 7

Fred (, Georgia) - Ford F150

Fred is a musician. Between sets at a bar one night, he noticed a truck with its door open. It was raining, so Fred shut the door. A half hour later, the truck caught fire, and Fred later learned it was electrical. Did Fred set this truck on fire? Tom and Ray say he may have but the driver was also kind of negligent for leaving it there with the door open; someone was likely to come along and shut it.