Show Rundown

#1111: The Lexus ATM

Original Air Date: 03.12.2011
Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share some news from Gallup polling: mechanics are rising when it comes to being trusted. Is your guy one of the not-so-good ones? Here's how to find out.

Call 1

Gail Carriger (San Francisco, California)

A water and body question. Her car has a leak, and water is pooling in trunk--spare wheel well. Can she drill a hole to let it drain? Yes, she can drill, as long as she's clear of the gas tank and muffler. She could also try duct taping the weather strip between the tail lights and body, which is where the water is likely getting in. Or, she could actually fix the leak!

Call 2

Anne Gore (Anchorage, Alaska)

A question about brakes. When she makes a sharp right-hand turn, the dashboard brake warning light comes on, for a few seconds. Can she just ignore it? No, she can't ignore it, as it likely means something is wrong with brakes. Her brake fluid could be low, or she could need new brake pads--both of which would need to be addressed right away. Slight chance it's just a misadjustment of the switch that activates the light.

Call 3

Frank Wong (Riverside, California)

A driving and marital question. e and his wife just drove cross-country. When they arrived at Riverside, the transmission blew up. The mechanics said that it was a catastrophic failure of the center differential bearing, very unusual for so few miles. Did his wife cause it by poor stick shift driving? Tom and Ray think Frank's wife is innocent. If she was driving clutch that badly, he would have noticed it, and problem would have been the clutch, not the differential. It was just a bad part.

Call 4

Lori Abramson (New York, New York)

She won the car during the taping of the Nate Berkis TV show. Only problem is, she has no use for a car. Any way to get rid of it other than selling it? Tom and Ray say she should negotiate with the dealer to sell it back to them before she takes possession. Make sure she knows MSRP and dealer invoice price going in. And, don't forget to pay income taxes on it!

Call 5

Noah Todras (Richmond, Virginia)

The car has dual exhaust, one of which is spewing white smoke, with a slight sweet smell. Tom and Ray say the smoke is coolant, which is leaking into the cylinders on that side--could be a cracked head, or failed manifold gasket. He needs to take the heads off, and replace it. May as well do both sides.

Call 6

Mary Gordon Spence (Austin, Texas)

A question about brakes. Her car makes a one-note high pitched humming sound, which only goes away when she steps on the brakes. Mechanic heard it, said it was her brakes. Tom and Ray agree--she has a leak in her vacuum brake booster. Should be easy to fix.

Call 7

Robin King (Batesville, Arkansas)

A question about animals. Her dog got carsick, and threw up in the cup holder. Some of it oozed down into the emergency brake. Now, her car smells like dog puke when it warms up? Can she just stick a hose down there and wash it out? No, because it's a sealed system, and water will get trapped. She can fashion an extension onto the crevice tool of her vacuum and use that to get the chunks out, and hope smell goes away over time.

Call 8

Ellie Ambule (Chicago, Illinois)

She and her car got trapped on Lake Shore Drive during blizzard. She was in the car for 12 hours, it got buried in snow. When they rescued the car, it started, but ran rough--she discovered a big block of ice on the engine. even after thawing, car still runs rough at idle, like it will stall. It also lurches in 4th gear. Check Engine light is on--which is good, because mechanic can scan it for code. It's a classic engine misfire, likely caused by water/ice cracking a spark plug or insulation on coil.

Call 9

ERic Katz (Phoenix, Arizona)

About a year ago, his 10 year-old daughter found a 100-dollar bill under the front passenger seat. Yesterday he was cleaning the car and found another 100-dollar bill in the same place. Tom and Ray suggests he take the seat out to look for more! And check under the carpet! Or, put the seat forward and check under the seat cushions. Previous owner could have used car for nefarious purposes, and stashed money there.