Show Rundown

#1048: Throw Your Keys Down the Drain

Original Air Date: 11.27.2010
Show Open Topic

How one listener's NOT wasting a perfectly good hour during Car Talk.

Call 1

Davina Childs (, Washington)

Exhaus/clutch question. Rumbles and vibrates when she shifts or accelerates uphill. Mechanic said catalytic converter had broken, replaced, still doing it. Also occasionally at stop, if she's on the clutch pedal. The clutch is the problem--broken spring, or bad release baring. She needs a new clutch-put on her Christmas list.

Call 2

Al Atherton (, Tennessee)

Driving/family question. Disagreement with brother over truck parking. Brother says Al pulls into garage in a way that makes it impossible to back out. Al says if you can get in, you can get out, unless you skid. Who's right? Tom and Ray side with Al. If you can pull in, you can back out.

Call 3

Dee Hartman (Oxnard, California)

A question about heated seats. Her husband just got used Durangos without heated seats, and Dee misses them badly. Can you get aftermarket? Yes, you may be able to, or find them in a junkyard. Can also try shearling seat covers.

Call 4

Ephraim Hochberg (Brookline, Massachusetts)

A question about gas mileage. Since he got engaged, his fiancee began driving car,gas mileage has doubled. Did she do something to the car? No, she just drives more sensibly than he does--doesn't do jackrabbit starts, etc, and, thus gets better mileage.

Call 5

Danny Broyles (Valdosta, Georgia)

A question about an engine noise. Hears a knocking sound--metallic. Also gets a large puff of smoke when he starts. Checked valves, they seem okay. What else could it be? May be an accessory--alternator. Take belts off and spin each accessory, see if he hears the noise. If that's not it, could be crankshaft pully or wrist pin.

Call 6

Sharon Hansen (, Colorado)

An engine decorating question. She wants to put a wreath on car, but her husband says the car will suck in needles, which will do damage, and it will void the warranty. Is he right? Theoretically, maybe, but in practice, he's wrong. Won't do any damage--get a wreath and enjoy it.

Call 7

Michael Williams (Memphis, Tennessee)

A question about driving, and 6th gear. He just got the car, and doesn't know when to use the 6th gear. Feels like a idiot. Doesn't want to do something stupid to his car. Tom and Ray says it's simple--use 6th gear the same way he's used 5th.

Call 8

Jill Mack (, New York)

A question about brakes. She got them fixed. Backed out of parking lot, pedal went to the floor, no brakes, she smashed into another car. Mechanic said they forgot to do something. What did they forget? They forgot to take it for a test drive--need to get calipers set. Good thing they took responsibility and fixed it, all should be fine now.

Call 9

Brigadeer General Ed Holman (Iraq, )

A question about engines and speed governors. He has the police interceptor version, shuts off at 118 miles an hour. Wants to go 140. How can he make it go faster? May be something with the chip--can try swapping with another Crown Vic. Tom and Ray also suggest visiting Crown Vic owners' site.