Show Rundown

#1115: Caller Intimidation

Original Air Date: 04.09.2011
Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share a few amusing headlines.

Call 1

Amy Turner (Whittier, California)

An engine question. He got the car from his mom. It has 116,000 miles, and people are telling her she needs to replace the timing belt before it breaks. But, this car has a timing chain, not a belt. Does she need to replace it? No, she doesn't. The timing chain may break, but it won't wreck the engine--it'll just make the car stop.

Call 2

Stash (Brooklyn, New York)

An electrical question. After signaling for a turn, when the handle returns to middle position, the signal clicks double time for about a minute, then stops, and it happens again next time he turns. Light on dashboard isn't flashing, and blinkers aren't flashing. Tom and Ray think it's likely to be a bad switch, or could just be a bad flasher. Easy to replace.

Call 3

Sean Mitchelle (Maine, New York)

A question about fog and windows. This is her husband's car, Sean rides in the back seat. Since they moved from Kansas, the windows fog up. Sean's husband says it's her heavy breathing. Brother in law says it's a crack in the ventilation system. Tom and Ray think nothing is wrong--husband just needs to turn on the defroster w/AC to remove moisture from the cabin.

Call 4

Laraine Brant (St Louis, Missouri)

A question about a noise. Car makes a noise like baseball card in spokes of a bicycle. Intermittent, usually goes away when she steps on the brake. Seemed to be worse in cold weather. She thinks it's coming from engine, about 3 feet in front of her. Tom and Ray weren't sure, eventually convince her it's more likely to happen when defroster is on, and could be bad Ac compressor. Next time it happens, turn off AC and see if noise goes away.

Call 5

David Sessions (, Colorado)

A fuel and driving question. Around 4,000 RPM, car feels like it's running out of gas. Slows down, feels like somthing is tugging him back, feels like it's running on two cylinders. Usually happens on longer drives, when he does, He turns the car off, lets it sit for five minutes. Tom thinks car is low on carburetor fluid, causing pistons not to be damped, and a very lean mixture. Top off carburetors.

Call 6

Shelagh Smith (Ithaca, New York)

A question about wheels. She gets a lot of snow/slush build-up in her wheel wells, occasionally hears it grind on turns. An ex-boyfriend said not to knock it off, as it would damage bumpers. True? No, her ex was nuts. She can knock the snow off, and it won't do any damage. Never listen to an ex.

Call 7

Kevin Dilmore (Prairie Village, Kansas)

A question about steering column and airbags. Whenever he turns the steering wheel to the far left or right airbag light comes on. Afraid it's going to pop off while he's driving. Problem is likely a bad contact in steering column. When he makes that turn, current to airbag getting lost. He needs to fix it, because it means he doesn't have airbags when it happens. And it should be easy to fix.

Call 8

Larry Mudd (, New Jersey)

Buying/marital question. His family just expanded, need to buy a minivan. Larry wants to buy one used from a rental company, thinks they're well maintained. His wife thinks it's a bad idea--cars are abused by drivers, and not taken care of. Tom and ray agree with Larry--rental cars usually well-maintained, and even if one driver is bad, they don't have it long enough to do real damage. As long as car is getting regular oil changes, should be okay. But, stay away from a car coming off a lease.