Show Rundown

#1010: The Dart vs. The Bel Air

Original Air Date: 03.06.2010
Show Open Topic

Fair Trade? A listener offers to trade his '75 Chrysler Concorde for the box of Car Talk music CD's.

Call 1

Breanne Cameron (Raleigh, North Carolina) - 1998 Subaru Outback

Transmission. It's an automatic but drives like a manual being driven by someone who can't drive a manual! Slow to shift from 1st to 2nd--worse in cold weather. Guys think the transmission is on its way out, take it to a tranny shop and get an assessment. Using an additive might help free up sticky valves.

Call 2

Romualdus Kaminskas JR. (, Connecticut)

Mid-life crisis. Has his eye on two auction cars but doesn't want the wife to know about it: a '63 Dodge Dart convertible or '56 Chevy Bel-Air. He's hoping to buy both, but if bidding gets too high and he can only afford one, which one? Ray says the Chevy, because it'll have better resale value. Tom says the Dart, because, well, it's a Dart.

Call 3

Sam Fink (Ypsilanti, Michigan) - 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee

His car feels like an army of school janitors with floor buffers are under his car when he's idling. Doesn't make a noise, just feels it go from the front to back and side to side. Tom and Ray think it's a loose exhaust, have a friend stick his head under the car to listen for it.

Call 4

Bob Kunkle (Greeley, Colorado) - 1997 Plymouth Voyager

Bought used from former pastor. Acts like it's running out of gas--he'll be driving, suddenly power drops, feels like it's gonna die. Has never left him stranded. Replaced fuel filter, helped for a while, tried new pump, didn't help. check engine light has been on since he got the car--he put electrical tape over it. Could be any number of things causing the problem--take it in and have someone scan the code.

Call 5

Chrissie Sausen (, Minnesota) - 2009 Mercury Milan

engine/belt... When turns on heat, it makes high-pitched whistling sound like dozens and dozens of crickets. Warranty just ran out. Guys think it's just debris trapped in the blower motor, slight chance she needs a new blower, but unlikely with so few miles. Take the blower motor out. Also, try taking it to the dealer--maybe they won't notice it's out of warranty. Bring a Bundt cake to blind them with footwork.

Call 6

Mike Simpson (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) - 2007 Chevrolet Van

Road trip... Going on a 13-day trip with 9 students to San Francisco and back, for his English class about Jack Kerouac. What should they bring to deal with problems? Guys suggest a cell phone and AAA card, pliers, duct tape, oil. Get it checked before hand. Don't speed, as that might might overtax the engine. When he gets to SF, get an oil change before heading back.

Call 7

Saraya Sahd (, Pennsylvania) - 1999 Volvo V70 cluster went out last year. Now, they hear a 'boink' coming from the rear when they go over bumps. Likely a bad spring, or broken stabilizer link. Should be easy to find if someone looks underneath.

Call 8

Mark (Bedford, New Hampshire) - 2003 Volkswagen Passat

Engine/oil... Goes through a quart of oil every 1500 miles. No drips, leaks, smoke. Car runs fine, he's tried dyes, but nothing works. The guys think it's burning oil. and had been running on low oil before, If he keeps filling up oil, it won't get any worse. VW engines just seem to burn oil.