Show Rundown

#1050: Tommy's Knee and Jack's MGB

Original Air Date: 12.11.2010
Show Open Topic

The real truth about Tommy's fateful ski trip 40 years ago.

Call 1

Diana Abele (Flagstaff, Arizona)

When it gets to be below 32 degrees, and she starts it, she smells gas fumes inside the car. It's been happening for about a year, but is a lot worse now and makes her eyes water. It's a leaking injector rail--common Subaru problem. Take it to her shop, and see if there's a Technical Service Bulletin on it. Get it fixed, because it could start a fire, and breathing gas fumes is not healthy.

Call 2

Patrick Hughes (Poughkeepsie, New York)

He came across a "vehicle fuel efficiency booster" in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. It plugs into the cigarette lighter and claims is will increase the fuel efficiency by 18%. Is this legitimate or bogus? Tom and Ray say it's "boooogus', but encourage Patrick to buy one and experiment with it. Guys also dare company to send some here so they can experiment.

Call 3

Abby Bollman (St. Paul, Minnesota)

When she hits the brakes, it smokes from the right side, under the hood, and there is a smell like burning popcorn. Is her car going to catch on fire? Tom and Ray think it's unrelated to the brakes because it happens so fast. It could be a broken motor mount or a small oil leak or a crack in her exhaust system. She can't ignore it.

Call 4

Naomi Hatch (Salt Lake City, Utah)

When it's cold, her car whines like a baby: "ehhhhhhhh." When she stops, the whine stops, but as soon as she moves again the noise starts. When the car warms up, it quiets down slightly. Took it to a shop, tried a couple of things, didn't help. Could be a lot of things, including belt tensioner and water pump. She needs to find a new mechanic who'll really track it down. Try Mechanics Files.

Call 5

Adam Bennet (San Diego, )

Girlfriend lent him her car while she was away. He went off-roading, and couldn't get it out of 4-Wheel Drive. Could he fix it in two days before she got back? Guys said it was a broken linkage, and probably wouldn't get fixed in time. Right answer! linkage was broken and car wasn't ready in time but girlfriend forgave him, and repair was free under warranty.

Call 6

Jack Joseph (Houston, Texas)

He's owned the MG since 1975. He parked it in his garage when it blew a head gasket--after 20 years, his wife demanded he get rid of it (the Civic Association was complaining about it). Jack told her he got ride of it, but he actually took it to a shop to get fixed and repainted. After 2 years, the car is ready, and Jack is worried his wife will kill him when he brings it home. Guys offer to break the news to his wife. When they tell her car will be as good as new, she says it's okay for Jack to keep it--she knew how much it meant to him.

Call 7

Bianca (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

The car has 180,000 miles on it--has trouble getting up to speed, up hills, etc. There is a 'power' button next to the handbrake that engages the power drive. She uses it all the time, but her boyfriend thinks this will shorten the life of the engine. Is he right? Yes, it's not good to sue that all the time--it winds out the engine. Problem is likely due to low engine compression, or car may just need a tune-up. Could just be due to age and miles, car is in its golden years.

Call 8

Katie (Washington, District Of Columbia)

Ever since she took 14,000 miles cross country drive this summer, her engine light randomly turns on and off. Sometimes it flashes, other times it just turns on or off. She had her mass airflow sensor replaced, then the car stalled in Vegas. It's probably an oxygen sensor. Have a shop scan for the problem.

Call 9

Julie Rathsbun (Mobile, Alabama)

She has 2 men, who continue to tell her she needs to buy a new battery. Would rather spend the money on new clothes to attract some better men than these. Does she really need a new battery? The dealership just left the light on and drained the battery way down, but it seems to be working fine. Tom thinks her battery is fine. Draining the battery down, as long as it's recharged, will not damage the battery.

Call 10

Johnny Overdorfer (Tempe, Arizona)

The car still runs, but the problem is that every time he makes a left hand turn then engine cuts out. It does it about 80% of the time, and the sharper the turn, the more likely it is to cut out. He can start it right back up. Tom and Ray think it's the float in the carburetor.