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#1001: An Explosive Trip Down I-95

Original Air Date: 01.02.2010
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Ready for a little Road Rage Spray?

Call 1

Sarah Fleming (Detroit, Michigan) - 1988 Honda Accord

Clutch....was replaced by 'backyard mechanics', now car pops out of 5th gear, and grinds when she tries to get back in. Will stay in 5th longer when engine is cold. Did they screw up the clutch job ?No--her 5th gear synchro is gone, which means she needs a new/rebuilt tranny--not the clutch guys' fault. Go back and try to make amends, or use bungee cord to keep it in 5th.

Call 2

Tyler Buckner (, North Carolina) - 1989 Toyota Corolla

A question about brakes. Makes a knocking sound. Noise speeds up as car speeds up, goes away when he steps on the brake, comes back when he takes his foot off the brake. Likely a warped disc or bad caliper--could also be something more serious, like a missing bolt on the caliper, so get it looked at.

Call 3

June Mays (, Alabama) - 1996 Jeep Cherokee

A driving question. She bought in order to 4-wheel in the woods. They just put speed bumps in office parking lot--does she have to slow down for them? Taking them at high speed pushes steering and suspension to the limits, but she's more likely to drive herself crazy and rattle teeth etc--she should slow down, if only to relax a little.

Call 4

Judith Parker (Fredericksburg, Virginia) - 1993 Mazda Navajo

A clutch/transmission question. She was driving down I-95 when she started losing the clutch, RPM's jumped, transfer case exploded, flames came in, melting brake pedal. Likely caused by a lack of oil--maybe she hit a rock and put a hole in the transfer case. She's trying to get more $ from her insurnace...left it with mechanic in RI, get him to say what he thinks caused the oil leak.

Call 5

Kenneth George (Bluffton, Indiana) - 2000 Ford Contour

A stalling question. When slowing down to idle, makes a noise 'like a cow mooing', then stalls. One mechanic told him could be throttle body or mass sensor. Guys think there's a crack in the tube connecting throttle body and air flow sensor, letting in too much air, messing up the mixture--would cause the noise and the stall.

Call 6

Victoria Doria (Eugene, Oregon)

Stump the Chumps--originally called because she was looking for used cars for her three sons. Needed something cheap, because she was going to Business school. Guys suggested old Volvos and told her to drop out of school to be an artist, or sell flowers. She didn't get Volvos because they were too expensive, but did dropout, became an artist and sold some work! Correct answer.

Call 7

Daercey Harding (Seattle, Washington) - 1999 Toyota Corolla

An engine/exhaust question. After driving through puddles makes strange sound for about 5 miles...'likea VW bus', sort of a vibrating/humming sound. Car has a double-walled exhaust pipe--could be that water is causing outer pipe to contract, come into contact with inner pipe. Next time it's dry, get car warm and spray underneath with garden hose to see if she gets the noise.

Call 8

Mike McGuire (Detroit, Michigan) - 1991 Chevrolet Lumina

A steering question. High pressure power steering hose is leaking, wants to replace it, but can't reach it. Guys tell him he needs a 'crow's feet' wrench, and walk him through it.

Call 9

Jean Cole (, Minnesota) - 2000 Chevrolet Suburban

A keep or sell question. Her husband is a salesman, drives 45,000 miles a year. Trades cars in after a year and a half to maximize resale. Is he being wasteful? Guys say, not really--reliability is important, and after that many miles things can start to go wrong. Just hope he doesn't expand this philosophy to trading in wives, etc...