Show Rundown

#1116: The Incurable Backseat Driver

Original Air Date: 04.16.2011
Show Open Topic

The story of the lawyer, the rancher and the mule.

Call 1

Liz Rukenbrod (, North Carolina)

A question about smells. When sun roof is open she gets a horrible smell like b.o. or something dead. Smell goes away when she lowers windows. Smell is likely mold spores in the carpeting, caused by a leak. When sunroof is open, Bernoulli effect pulls smell up past her nose. May try bleach, but it'll be very hard to get smell out.

Call 2

Father Patrick O'Connor (, Ohio) - 1995 Chrysler LeBaron

Stump the Chumps! A heating and cooling question. The temperature gauge is broken, heat not as good as it used to be. Tom and Ray said he was leaking coolant, wound up being faulty thermostat. It turned out to be a wrong answer-- but Patrick hadn't divulged he'd had fluids checked and re-filled before calling, so Tom and Ray didn't have all the information.

Call 3

Lee Anderson (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

An engine and transmission question. Decided to change her own oil. During test drive, car started smoking, so she took it to mechanic, who said she put the oil in the transmission fluid reservoir. Mechanic flushed it, but now car shifts rough. Tom and Ray say she may have cooked her tranny--she can try flushing a few more times, but if that doesn't work, she's done for.

Call 4

Jack Downs (Jackson, Wyoming)

A windshield question. When he turns on defrost, windows get foggier, with oily substance he can't wipe off. Smells like antifreeze. It is antifreeze--he's got a leaky heater core. He can replace heater core, which is not difficult in this car, or shunt hoses, so car won't have heat.

Call 5

Lani Schwalbe (Anchorage, Alaska)

Driving/marital question. She is a horrible backseat driver, constantly yelling at her husband--she doesn't know how to stop. Tom and Ray say she sounds a bit hyper overall, and needs to relax--try meditation tapes, or move someplace even more remote.

Call 6

Mark Carlton (, Utah)

A drivetrain question. He went to the dump, and ran over a plastic bag, which wrapped itself around the joint at his rear axle. Some got sucked into the joint. Is it doing any harm? Probably not, but he can try getting it out with something like carburetor cleaner. But, he can also forget about it.

Call 7

Derek (New Orleans, Louisiana)

An engine question. When he comes to a stop, RPM's shoot up, to around 2500. He's worried engine will blow, so he shifts to 2nd and plays with the clutch to get RPM's to go down. Problem could be a sticky idle air control. He can try tapping, or unplugging it to see if problem goes away. Could also be his computer. But, he needs to fix it, because he's killing the clutch.

Call 8

Robin (Indianapolis, Indiana)

A washing and marital question. Robin's husband likes to take the high pressure hose at the car wash, and stick it up exhaust the exhaust pipe while engine is running. He thinks it's cleaning gunk out, but Robin thinks he's damaging the exhaust. Whos' right? Tom and ray side with Robin--he's not really helping, and could rot muffle prematurely.

Call 9

Marg Marsden (, North Carolina)

A question about brakes and transmissions. It's about her husband's car, he's returning from a year-long sail around the world. She parked the car on Friday, and by Monday, it had rolled down their driveway into the backyard, and into a tree. How did it happen, and how does she tell him? It likely happened because she didn't really have the car in gear, and parking brake couldn't hold it. She should tell him right when he gets off the boat, and is still euphoric over making it home.