Show Rundown

#1006: A Gassy Dog and a Heated Car

Original Air Date: 02.06.2010
Show Open Topic

The word is "Subris"-- Subaru + Hubris. Will our listeners suggest other, new automotively-inspired vocabulary?

Call 1

Marianne Jackson (Oakland, California)

A heating/cooling question. If she turns the fan on, heat is oppressive, blower immediately goes to full blast. She bundles up so she doesn't have to turn on heat or drives with windows down. Especially problematic, because she has a gassy dog. Guys think it's a bad heater control valve--fixing would likely cost a few hundred bucks. A cheap fix: get needlenose vice grips, and crimp heater hose to shut heat off.

Call 2

Jamie Peacock (Little Rock, Arkansas)

A steering question. When she turns wheel makes a, 'ahhhhhhhhhhh' grinding/groaning sound. It only happens when she turns, left or right. The mechanics couldn't hear it. Probably a bad power steering pump--this car may have electric power steering. Go to dealer, and see if there's a bulletin on it. If she doesn't fix it, she could lose power steering.

Call 3

Chris (Canterbury, New Hampshire)

A body question. This is a former police interceptor. He commutes from NH to Boston. Whenever he approaches someone from behind they slow it way down, because they think he's a cop. How can he signal that he is not a police officer? Try a novelty horn, or painting it bright orange, take the grille off, and hang some fuzzy dice from the rear view mirror.

Call 4

Zach Simons (, Pennsylvania)

A heating/cooling/radiator question. He has blown through 4 radiators over the past year. The first one was a Saab one, but the other 3 have been aftermarket. When he starts to slow down, and idles, his oil light comes on and then PSSSST and steam blowing past the car. The guys think it's either a failed head gasket or a crack in the block. The mechanic needs to look for exhaust gases in the coolant in the radiator.

Call 5

Sally Roscetti (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Washing/cold weather question. Her husband says don't wash car when it's really cold, because water gets into the seams and freezes, ruining the car. But it's been cold and she wants to wash salt off her car. Guys think the advantage of getting salt off car outweighs the frozen water threat. High-pressure air at car wash will help dry it off.

Call 6

Brian White (Richmond, Virginia)

A starter question? When he turns the car on, it goes VRRRRREEEEHH and makes the most irritating noise for a bout 1/2 a mile, and then it stops. Now it makes the noise when he turns the car off too. Probably a screeching belt or tensioner. Spray the belt with water to see if the screeching goes away. Possible it's timing belt related, which would be bad news if it breaks--so get it checked.

Call 7

Rosie (San Diego, California)

She's having a dispute with boyfriend. When he puts on parking brake, he doesn't press button on handle and it goes CRRRR. She says he's wearing out the rachet, he says she's being fussy. Recently, car rolled backwards on hill when he put parking brake on. Guys say he's not hurting the rachet, cables maybe have stretched or he didn't pull it hard enough.

Call 8

Clay Robinson (Seattle, Washington)

An electrical/windshield wipers question. The windshield wipers don't work, and his wife has banned him from hanging an arm out the window with a towel to clean the windshield. It makes a clicking noise, but they don't move. Probably needs a new wiper motor--try finding one at a junkyard.

Call 9

Mary (St. Louis, Missouri)

A question about body/locks-and a blowtorch. Her young son shoved a piece of bark in the driver's door lock, and it broke off inside. Now she uses the key-fob or just gets in from the passenger side. Can she use a blowtorch to get rid of the bark? Not a good idea--flame might be a bit much. Can try a heat gun, or stump removing solution. Guys say other listeners will likely post suggestions on site.