Show Rundown

#1414: Ode to the Dart

Original Air Date: 04.05.2014
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An Ode to Tommy's Dearly Departed Dart

Call 1

Brian Ricker (Bend, Oregon) - 1985 Toyota Land Cruiser

Brian and his wife take two different routes to work. Her's is about 10 miles on city streets with traffic and takes about 20 minutes. His drive is 7 miles over back roads--part of it dirt, washboard. It’s more scenic, and quicker. Is he damaging his car by using this route? Tom and Rat say he’s likely wearing out the suspension pieces more quickly, but still worth doing if if it’s a more pleasant drive. “It’s only a car.”

Call 2

Eric Fliegler (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) - 1992 Chrysler LeBaron

Eric left his car with his brother for a year and when he came back, he discovered it had problems accelerating and was making a noise from the engine. One mechanic said his engine is about to die and needs to be replaced. The oil change guys wouldn’t work on it because of the noise. His engine is probably about to die. He can try using heavier weight oil, or Rislone, If he only drives around town, he may be able to get a little more life out of it.

Call 3

Carl Goldman (Beaufort, North Carolina) - 1996 Chevrolet Suburban

Carl is about to get his master's in Coastal Environmental Management and feels guilty about driving two gas guzzlers--a '97 4-Runner and a ‘96 Suburban. But he needs a big car, because he has a boat, kids and a big dog. Can he convert these cars to meet California emissions and get better mileage so he’ll feel less guilty? The 4-Runner may already conform to CA standards, but there’s not much he can do to improve mileage. Tom and Ray say if Carl really feels guilty, he’ll have to adjust his lifestyle so he can drive smaller cars.

Call 4

Doug DeYoung (Lawrenceville, Georgia) - 1990 Honda CRX

Doug's CV joints are worn, does he really need to replace them? His car makes a “baseball card in spokes” noise on left turns. Eventually, the tire will stop moving. For safety sake, he should replace, but Ray encourages him to experiment and see how long they can last. ”You could be the Chuck Yeager of CV Joints”.

Call 5

Jessica Preston (Nashville, Tennessee) - 1995 Chevrolet Beretta

Jessica’s car makes a metal-on-metal noise, like a knife on a pie plate. It happens every time she starts the car and lasts 5 to 10 minutes. She thinks it’s coming from the engine. It’s likely the belt tensioner and should be easy to fix for cheap.

Call 6

Karen Harper (Birmingham, Alabama) - Saturn

Karen managed to get a $20 bill stuck in her driver’s door window. Her dealership said it would cost $50 in labor to remove it. Can she do it herself? Tom and Ray say she may be able to pop the door panel off, and then she'll probably need a tool like a Grabber to get to the bill.

Call 7

Mandy Sehr (St. Louis, Missouri) - 2006 Pontiac Grand Am

Mandy hung a spoon in her sister’s AC vent in the dashboard and it fell in and is now stuck in the vent. She can’t get it out, is it a problem? Tom and Ray suggest she fake finding it, by bringing a spoon into the car the next time they’re riding together. It's unlikely it’ll cause any damage unless it gets into the blower motor. Mandy could also just tell her the truth and let her know it's unlikely anything bad will happen.

Call 8

Simon Frost (Scottsdale, Arizona) - 2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

When Simon brakes at 55 mph or higher, the car shimmies. He recently had oil changed and brakes checked. Tom and Ray say it's a classic case of warped disc rotors. There's a slight possibility that guys who checked brakes over-tightened something, but it's probably unrelated.