Show Rundown

#1112: The Bowling Ball Incident

Original Air Date: 03.19.2011
Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray open the show with the results of our recent poll on genders.... and heated seats!

Call 1

Kat Flesh (San Diego, California)

A question about brakes. She's been driving for 17 years in 7 different cars, and has consistently gone through two sets of brakes a year. Is it her driving, or bad luck? It's her driving--she's likely speeding betweent stops, meaning she has to slam on brakes, causing excessive wear. If she slows down a bit, she should be able to get down to one set of brakes per year.

Call 2

Jeff Rogers (Youngstown, Ohio)

An engine question. His car has trouble-restarting after being driven between 15-45 minutes. Problem is intermittent, seems to happen most when fiancee goes to the bridal shop. He's replaced spark plugs and wires, and fuel filter. This car is direct fire ignition, no distributor. Problem is a 'hot soak' condition in the coil pack--one or more coils in bad, or module is bad.

Call 3

Robin Rothrock (Spokane, Washington)

She smells gas inside the car. Her husband denies smelling it, but she thinks that's because he drives an old Bug, which smells worse. Tom and Ray think she has a leaky fuel pump, should be easy to replace.

Call 4

Michelle Shane (, Michigan)

Parking/marital question. The truck has a manual shift transmission. Michelle leaves it in gear when she parks, with parking brake on. Husband says this damages gears, she should leave it in neutral. Who's right? Michelle is right, and this is recommended in her owner's manual. She should leave it in gear, so engine compression can keep car from rolling if parking brake fails. Gears can handle it. Tell husband he's wrong.

Call 5

Sid Hurlburt (, Virginia)

An emissions question. After 22 years, and 220,000 miles, dashboard light went on, with Greek symbol Lambda, and letters SOND. Is this dangerous? Should he stop driving? Light means there's a problem with his oxygen sensor--mixture too rich or too lean. He can wait to deal with it next time he takes car in for service, or put black tape over it.

Call 6

Jane Burliston (Boston, Massachusetts)

A question about noises. She's heating different noises--one is a high chirping sound, the other a low growl. Both are intermittent, can happen whether car is moving or not. Tom and Ray think she has a bad belt, or bad tensioner.

Call 7

Danna Lomax (Chula Vista, California)

A buying question. She and husband are quitting their jobs to travel around the country for a year with their two small children. Looking for something big enough to sleep/live in. Tom and Ray suggest they buy something smaller, maybe even another Windstar, and use money saved to stay in Motels or'll be much safer driving on winding mountain roads.

Call 8

Steve Raymond (Montour, New York)

A transmission question. While driving home one night, he drove over a bowling ball in front of a topless bar. He thinks it was placed there by some drunk guys. Ever since, car occasionally won't move when he shifts into Drive, but is fine in Reverse. Did the bowling ball do damage? It may have--could have dented or crushed tranny cover, causing fluid to leak. Could also be coincidence.