Show Rundown

#1031: Bugsy's Letters From Camp

Original Air Date: 07.31.2010
Show Open Topic

We uncover a treasure trove of Bugsy Lawlor's letters from camp.

Call 1

Kevin Hannahan (Stillwell, Kansas)

A safety question. He lives in a cellar-less ranch house in Kansas, and is worried about tornados. Would they be safer to sit in the car in the garage? Could be-- since, the car is heavier than he is, less likely to blow away. He could make it safer by fashioning a tie-down of some sort.

Call 2

Joanne Magliozzi (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Tom's wife... calling to yell at him for saying she "looks like a truck."

Call 3

Melissa Dole (Washington, District Of Columbia)

A door question. The hinges are loose/deteriorating. She tied it shut with rope attached to the seat. Can her boyfriend fix it? Depends--could be a worn out latch and hinges--to replace those, go to a body shop. Can just replace the entire door at a junkyard, which her boyfriend might be able to handle.

Call 4

Diana Prakliss (, Indiana)

There's a smell of sewer gas. It's overwhelming smell after prolonged idling or highway driving. She thinks it's coming from the exhaust. Had a tune-up, replaced plugs wire, coil, much of exhaust system. Guys think she's leaking fluid from transmission cooler lines, it's getting on the hot exhaust, and causing the smell.

Call 5

Christopher Jackson (, South Carolina)

A fuel pump question. His car won't start unless he whacks the fuel pump. He has replaced the pump several times, but problem keeps recurring. Has to get a friend to turn key while he whacks. He may be getting an ill-fitting fuel pump, but more likely, the problem is crud in the gas tank, whacking loosens things. Try taking the tank out and cleaning it.

Call 6

Sasha Swift (San Francisco, California)

A question about driving stick shift. She's about to get her license and inherit a car with stick shift, but she's having a hard time learning to drive stick--the car keeps stalling. Her dad rides with her, makes her more nervous. Tom and Ray tell her to practice without Dad--don't even think about giving gas until she finds release point and gets comfortable with that. Then start working in some gas.

Call 7

John Seager (, Delaware)

A question about the suspension and the engine. At idle, the tach drops from 1000 to 400 rpm, then goes back up and down again. Also at idle, he hears a sound like a 'can of uncooked rice' coming from in front of him. Likely two different problems--idle could be a lean mixture caused by a bad oxygen sensor. Noise could be the water pump bearing or even a belt.