Show Rundown

#1113: Slugging Etiquette

Original Air Date: 03.26.2011
Show Open Topic

Why older siblings are smarter-- Tom and Ray share some recent research findings.

Call 1

May (Beltsville, Maryland)

A question about power steering. No power steering on left-hand turns, mostly notable in parking lots, or turning from a dead stop. No problem on right turns. Bad news--it's likely her rack and pinion and will be very expensive to fix.

Call 2

Tom Coyne (, New York)

A question about the engine and oil. Oil light started flashing, and staying on. Called dealer, who told him he needs a new engine. Guys at work said just to use heavier oil and STP. Who's right? Dealer could be right-light means low pressure, but needs to find out why. Get someone to drop the pan and see what the bearings look like. If they're shot, he needs an engine, if they're okay, he may get by with a new pump.

Call 3

David Long (Washington, District Of Columbia)

A question about driving/slugging etiquette. He's a 'slugger'--gets rides to work from drivers so they can use HOV lane. Rules say he's not supposed to speak unless spoken to, but he sees drivers doing stupid stuff and feels compelled to say something. What should he do? If he feels driver is doing something dangerous, he should speak up--if driver is offended, he just won't pick him up again.

Call 4

Elizabeth (Brooklyn, New York)

A question about tires. Got a flat tire around Christmas. Mechanic found three nails, and a 'bubble' in the tire. Removed he screws, told her to replace tires, but she hasn't. She's driven many miles since. Is this okay? Tom and Ray say it isn't--she needs to replace the bad tire ASA.

Call 5

Scott Bender (, Iowa)

A question about heating/cooling. Bu mistake, he poured about 1/2 gallon of washer fluid into coolant reservoir. Happened several months ago, and car seems fine, but did he do damage? Tom and Ray say he's probably okay, but he may as well drain out the washer fluid to be safe--most of it has probably not gone through the system yet. Then top it off with the right stuff.

Call 6

Wendy Levitus (Burlington, Vermont)

A clutch question. It's his fiance's car. When she drives it, occasionally the clutch sticks to the floor, and shifter gets stuck in gear. She's short, can't reach pedal unless she gets out of the car. Doesn't happen to fiance. Anything wrong? Tom and Ray think there's nothing wrong the with car--she's just having trouble pushing the pedal down all the way, because of her size--suggest she try pedal extenders.

Call 7

Keith (Boulder, Colorado)

An electric question. He has a trailer with a winch. Was hauling a tree trunk, went to change battery, discovered negative terminal had melted. What happened? The tree was bigger than usual, and drained the battery--battery will supply as much power as it needs to, even if it causes it to melt. He can install fusible links, so next time battery will shut down instead of frying.

Call 8

Cindy Glover (Boca Raton, Florida)

A driving question. The nurse that takes care of her mother keeps crashing the van. How can they get her to drive more safely? The nurse may be nervous--see if she can practice without Mom in the car. She may also need something smaller, like a Honda Odyssey. Nurse may also just not be a good driver, in whiuch case Cindy may need to hire a driver for Mom.