Show Rundown

#1026: A Few Cowardly Men

Original Air Date: 06.26.2010
Show Open Topic

Is our Producer, Doug "The Subway Fugitive" Berman, a bad influence on the next generation?

Call 1

Kate Brown (Grand Rapids, Michigan) - 1994 Honda Accord

A horn question. Came out of a store, and her horn was blaring--couldn't get it to stop. Drove with it blaring, stopped at a muffler shop who told her problem wasn't the horn, but couldn't diagnose the noise. Problem likely is the horn--contacts have disintegrated. Replace the horn pad, but don't try it yourself, as the airbag is also in there.

Call 2

Sue Torrey (Southbury, Connecticut) - Ford Freestyle

A buying question. Her 17 year old son has smashed her Ford Freestyle three times, so they want to get him his own car. He plays the upright bass, so he needs to carry instruments and an amplifier. Son hates the Freestyle, but the guys think that's the best car for him. Tell him it's the Freestyle or he gets a pair of Clark Wallabees for walking. An old Volvo wagon might also work.

Call 3

Bruce Barlow (Swansea, New Hampshire) - 1990 Mazda Miata MX-5

A maintenance question. He only drives the car in the summer and only puts around 3k miles on it a year. All he does is change the oil. Is there anything else he should be doing to take care of "Molly"? Have all the fluids changed. Differential oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, coolant. Watch for signs of deteriorating rubber parts.

Call 4

Veronica Devore (Alexandria, Virginia) - 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis

A starting/fuel question. Cranks, but won't start. It happens more often when car is warm. She can get it to start by pumping gas pedal--AAA guy did the same thing. Tom and Ray think it's leaky injectors, causing engine to flood--pumping pedal increases air, to even out the mixture. Could be expensive to fix, depending on how many injectors are leaking.

Call 5

Jim (Morristown, Tennessee) - 1992 Chrysler LeBaron

A transmission question. This is Jim's mid-life crisis car. His son'borrowed' it for a date with three girls. Was trying to evade cops, and hightailed it over some railroad tracks. Now car will only go in reverse, and not always. He may have burned out the transmission when he had it floored. He needs a transmission rebuild or replacement. Get son to work on it!

Call 6

Julia Childs (Long Beach, California) - 2000 Toyota Camry

A questions about smell. She's about to give this car to her daughter as graduation gift. But, the family cat got attacked by a bigger cat, and while they were taking it to the vet, cat peed in the car and they can't get the smell out. Guys suggest 'Nature's Miracle,' for the smell--if that doesn't work, can replace the seats and carpet with parts from a junkyard. Also, take it an AC shop to make sure it's not actually mold coming from debris in the vents.

Call 7

Mary Beth Callan Serdechny (West Hartford, Connecticut) - 2008 Nissan Quest

A fuel/engine question. She was in a big rush and accidentally put diesel in her car. She had it towed, and now the dealer says she has to replace the entire fuel system for $4000 and says she may have voided warranty. She looked online and found places that said she just needs to flush everything, for about $300. Guys say the latter is correct--she just needs to flush and clean the system, and didn't do any lasting damage. Shouldn't affect the warranty.

Call 8

Marc Gottessman (Arlington, Massachusetts) - 2004 Volvo S60

An exhaust question. He pulled out a huge chunk of what looked like human hair from the tailpipe. It was about 2 feet long. A week later they found tons more of the stuff. Looks like fiberglass, black and gray and white. It's sound deadening material that surrounds the metal baffles in the mffler. Won't affect performance, but car will get louder as more of this stuff leaves. When it gets too loud, get a new muffler.

Call 9

Jennifer (Lockberry, Colorado) - 2008 Ford Explorer

Body/marital question. 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. Now she wants the most expensive and labor intensive way for him to fix it. Unfortunately, scratch went below clear coat, so she has to take it to a body shop--take it to the dealer, since they'll charge more, make husband pay, and make him apologize. Also, humiliation from being outed on Car Talk to her friends will help.