Show Rundown

#1039: Extreme Dashboard Makeover

Original Air Date: 09.25.2010
Show Open Topic

General Motors' planned IPO: suggestions for better ways for them to raise cash.

Call 1

Danielle Addleman (Novato, California) - Honda CR-V

Driving/ethics. Is it okay to count her 3-week-old son as a passenger so she can use the carpool lane? It's OK from the technical legal standpoint, but is it OK from the moral point of view, since babies can't drive? Tom and Ray think she's okay--an adult non-driver would count!

Call 2

Robin Belle (Washington, DC, ) - 2006 Ford Freestyle

When she brakes really hard, her steering wheel shimmies violently. When she brakes normally, it just shimmies a little bit. Could be a warped disc rotor or a bad tie rod end, which could break and cause her to lose control. Could be very dangerous if it's related to the front end. She should get it checked immediately.

Call 3

James (Pavo, Georgia) - Dodge Pickup

The dashboard is cracked. Is there a way to fix it? He's worried that stuff will fall into the crack and do damage. Guys suggest upholstery, driveway sealant, contact paper--most serious suggestion is to fill cracks it with silicone caulk RTV adhesive. Or he can just live with it--padding underneath makes it unlikely for any foreign object to do any harm.

Call 4

Grace Ledding (Los Angeles, California) - 2007 Ford Mustang

She loves the car, but the clutch is so heavy, it hurts her foot to drive it. She's very athletic, but if she drives it more than 30 minutes it kills her foot. Is there a way to change the weight of the clutch? This is a heavy duty clutch, because it's a heavy duty engine. Not an easy way to fix it. Next time, buy an automatic. Ray also suggests she see a doctor to make sure she doesn't have planter fascitis.

Call 5

Josh Archer (Presque Isle, Maine) - 2005 Toyota RAV4

He has a strange rattling noise coming from the back, and as soon as you hit the brakes, it stops. It sounds like he either has a loose pad or the caliper slides have worn out. It could just be that the 'anti-rattle' springs have broken. He wants to know if he can fix it himself but it's not a good job for a first timer.

Call 6

Jennifer Chumps (Lockbouie, ) - 2008 Ford Explorer

She found a deep long scratch on her car. She realized later that her husband had done it, but not mentioned it. When she confronted him, he said it's her problem, because both cars are in her name. How can she make him fix it? Guys said humiliation on NPR would make him fix it.

Call 7

Jesse Flack (Sudbury, Massachusetts) - 2003 Volkswagen Golf

On cold mornings, car has trouble starting. Mechanic told him it's the ECU, and he learned that if he uses a blow dryer on the ECU, car will start. Mechanic says it's $850 to replace the ECU, but he's seen them on-line for as low as $80. Can he buy one and replace it himself? Guys think he can find one online, or he can also try fixing the ECU-- it may just be a bad solder joint.

Call 8

Don (Zachary, Louisiana) - 1986 Toyota Supra

He has a squealing problem. When it starts up, it will start to squeal for about 55 seconds. It also squeals when he brakes or turns on the lights. The guys think it's a vacuum leak someplace, possibly the power brake booster.

Call 9

Laura Lippay (Concord, California) - Jeep Wrangler

She and husband just bought house in suburbs and have a Jeep -- too big for her. She misses her Honda S2000, and wants to get a second smaller car, for about $4000. She's thinking about a Fiat, Alfa or MG. Mechanics think she's crazy. Ray thinks it's crazy. He suggests a used Miata. Tommy thinks a Fiat is a great idea.