Show Rundown

#1004: The $30,000 Paperweight

Original Air Date: 01.23.2010
Show Open Topic

The problem with bringing barbecue forks to a house fire.

Call 1

Emily Anschlowar (Long Island, New York)

A brakes/ booster question. Her husband's car, when he steps on the brakes, makes a hissing sound like, 'SHHHH.' Recently had the discs replaced, noise didn't go away. Vacuum brake booster is leaking, and she needs a new one.

Call 2

Greg Hastain (Portland, Oregon)

An engine question. While changing timing belt, he broke off bolt on water pump. In trying to get bolt out, broke off easy-off bolt extractor. Can't get it out now. What to do? He needs to shatter the 'easy out' tool, or take the engine out. Can try it himself, but may have to cry 'Uncle', and take it someplace.

Call 3

Rebecca Playfair (Columbia, South Carolina)

She's having trouble starting the car. Cranks, and she can usually jump it, but not always. She needs a starter motor. There is probably a bad connection inside the starter somewhere, and more current from jumping the car is probably helping start it.

Call 4

Simone Sellars (Seattle, Washington)

A question about a noise. Took friend for Chinese food after a trip to the emergency room. She drove over a curb in the parking lot, and now car makes a grinding noise, when she starts from a ddead stop. Noise goes away quickly. Did she break something? Sounds harmless-she may have bent the dust shield behind the disc brakes. But, just to be sure, have someone look at it, to confirm that it's nothing serious.

Call 5

Chris McFadden (Boston, Massachusetts)

A transmission/engine question. They haven't driven it much, but since the blizzard a few weeks ago, the car won't upshift. First five minutes won't let you go faster than 20-25 mph. Check tranny fluid--might have damaged a transmission cooler line driving in snow/slush, so there's not enough fluid for it to upshift. Or, the linkage might have been damaged. May need a new tranny, worth doing if they love the car, and if the seats are in decent shape.

Call 6

Debbie Wagner (, Missouri)

A question about the suspension. In winter, it sounds like a donkey. Eeeh, eeeh, eeeh, eeeh,' from front end. Could be a ball joint or one of several bushings that needs to be replaced. Push on fender, listen and isolate the noise. Take it in to get checked out. It could be dangerous.

Call 7

Joseph Bright (Monterey, California)

Starting/fuel/engine question. Thinks the car is a vampire because it won't start in the middle of the day when it's warm. Guys think it's the classic Honda fuel pump relay problem...not enough fuel getting to the engine.

Call 8

Katie Montgomery (Boulder, Colorado)

Ice/frozen wheels. Husband left the car parked in a huge puddle when they went away on vacation. Cme back, found car frozen to the street, with ice up to rims. How can they dislodge it? Boil lots of hot water. Drill holes near the tires, fill with hot water, add sand in front, get friends to push.