Show Rundown

#1418: The Ungrateful Passenger

Original Air Date: 05.03.2014
Show Open Topic

You Know You're Trailer Trash When...

Call 1

Hendie Fink (, North Carolina) - 1994 Ford Escort

Hendie hears a noise when he uses the brakes as the car slows down, kind of a thunking sound, and also feels vibration in the brake pedal. He took the wheels off to check the brakes and hammered the caliper, and the noise went away for a while but then came back. He likely has a warped disc rotor--hammering didn’t make the noise go away, but taking lug nuts off the whee might have, if they were on too tight.

Call 2

Jere Rider (Adrienne, Michigan) - 1997 Jeep Cherokee

Jere started giving her sister’s co-worker’s husband a ride to work, and he’s telling people she’s a lousy driver because of the way she downshifts. She goes right into neutral from fourth, and coasts to a stop. He says she should downshift through all the gears. He also talks constantly while she drives. Tom and Ray say he’s wrong about downshifting, but her method is only okay if she’s going slowly. If she’s going 40 mph, she should step on the brakes in fourth, slow down to 20-30, then shift. As for the constant talking? A loud, heavy metal CD should solve that.

Call 3

Rob Landolfie (Washington, District Of Columbia)

Rob’s MGB is leaking oil from the PCV valve. This is a rebuilt engine, with about 100k miles on it. Tom and Ray say it’s time for another rebuild! Rob has terminal blow-by, and would need to do a ring job on this engine--he’s probably better off finding another engine, and putting it in.

Call 4

Charlotte Patterson (Port Angelas, Washington) - 1990 Toyota Corolla

Charlotte’s car makes a gurgling noise from behind the dashboard. It happens right after she starts the car. Tom and Ray say it’s likely air trapped in the heater core. She should check her coolant level to make sure it’s not low.

Call 5

Nick (Columbia, South Carolina) - 1980 Pontiac Sunbird

Nick’s car makes a noise “like Godzilla banging with a sledgehammer”. It seems to be coming from the right front, underneath, and happens on any kind of road. Nick has tried checking suspension and bouncing on the car. It’s likely a cracked frame, and could be dangerous. Tom and Ray say the best way to find out may be to put the car on a lift, and look underneath.

Call 6

Curtis (Stratford, New York) - 1988 GMC Van

Curtis’s van makes a noise when he starts it after it’s been sitting overnight or for several hours. It’s a kind of whirring, whistling sound. His mechanics say it could be the water pump or the power steering pump--but they can’t isolate the noise so they want to replace one at a time. Curtis thinks this is too expensive. Tom and Ray agree it is likely an accessory, and suggest the mechanic try isolating it with a stethoscope. That or Curtis can ignore the noise until it gets worse.

Call 7

Dorothy Cheney (Devon, Pennsylvania) - Land Rover

Dorothy is calling from Pennsylvania, but the truck is in Botswana, where she and her husband study baboons. It's flooded four months of the year and they often have to drive through water. If it’s deeper than 18” the fan gets pushed into the radiator and shreds it. In Botswana, the all purpose solution to any problem is to wire it--in this case, tie the fan to the chassis, immobilizing it. But will this overheat the car? Tom and Ray say it’ll be fine as long as they’re in water, but they wonder if Dorothy could try something simpler, like just using a stick to stop the fan? Would that be culturally incorrect?