Show Rundown

#0950: Oy to the World!

Original Air Date: 12.12.2009
Show Open Topic

Radically reworded Hanukkah songs.

Call 1

Betty Branch (, Texas) - 2006 Toyota Avalon

While driving, had a gallon container of quarters on rear passenger that fell over and spilled. Dug most of them out but thinks there's about 30 dollars-worth sliding around somewhere in the car--she occasionally hears them. They likely got in through rear floor vents, to get them all out will require removing rear seat. It's possible they'll slide out one at a time, but that'll take a long time.

Call 2

Bill Jarrett (Louisville, Kentucky) - 2000 Nissan Maxima

When it's really cold, below 20 degrees, brakes don't work. Pedal goes down but doesn't slow car at all. Teenage son discovered this, blew through stop sign. Problem goes away after a few minutes. The guys say it's likely that he needs a new power booster, but it's possible that a hose may just be clogged. Check hose first, then see if water is freezing in booster. If it happens again, use the parking brake or drop it into neutral.

Call 3

Mary Ludwig (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) - 2007 Ford F150

Hears clanging from rear when she accelerates, no noise at coasting. Sounds like just got married and have cans strapped to back. Guys suggest she get under the car near the gas tank and shake the tailpipe, that might be the source of the clanging. Could also be an exhaust hanger, or drive shaft coming apart too, take it to the dealer.It's still under warranty, so she says she'll take it to the dealer.

Call 4

Antoine Smith (Dallas, Texas) - 2000 Jeep Cherokee

Hears squealing noise when he turns on AC or heat, also on cold mornings when he first starts it. Sounds like a belt, so he replaced belt and pulley, but noise didn't go away. Guys think his main pulley could be out of alignment, the piece of rubber that divides it into two parts could be loose. Also, when he put new belt on, he made it too tight, so loosen it a little.

Call 5

Heather Headley (, Oregon) - 1990 Toyota Camry

When she drives through puddle a few inches deep at slow speed, loses power steering. Comes back a few seconds later. Tom and Ray say the belt is getting wet--belt is low in this car, but hers may be loose. Also, splash guard may be gone, making it worse. Check the belt, it may be loose and/or worn out.

Call 6

Kim Ameed (Cumberland, Rhode Island) - Subaru Forester

A question about aerodynamics and mileage. His 2 daughters go to college out of state. He didn't have room to carry all their stuff, so he bought a cartop carrier. Subaru says not to drive with it empty, so he has been putting bags of kitty litter and bottles of water in it for the trip back. Is it okay to drive with it empty? Anything else he can use, since he has no use for the kitty litter? Why is he getting better mileage with it, than without? Answers 1: Subaru says not to do it because of liability, probably best not to. 2. Can give kitty litter to a local repair shop, they'll use it to soak up spills. 3. He's getting better mileage because he's probably driving more slowly.

Call 7

Tara Wagner (Arvada, Colorado) - 1997 Jeep Cherokee

Her car shimmies horribly at high speeds when it hits a pothole or bump. It feels like car is going to fall apart. Has gotten a number of different opinions--shocks, struts...etc. The guys say it could be any or all of these, as well as the steering damper. This car handles lousy to begin with, so she should drive slower. But, take it to a mechanic and get all the steering components checked. Very dangerous.

Call 8

Matt Boles (Salt Lake City, Utah) - 1991 Volkswagen Van

In the morning when it's cold, it's hard to shift into 1st and 2nd and grinds into gear. Fine after 20 minutes and not as bad if engine still warm. He put a new clutch in. Tom and Ray say he might need a less viscous lubricant for the winter, try a lighter weight oil with a slippery additive.

Call 9

Laura Gibson (Atlanta, Georgia) - 2001 Toyota Camry

A question about maintenance/driving/wear and tear... 120k miles, works as a college recruiter and has to drive around the state. Can either drive her car, reimbursed 55 cents/mi and can rent a car through insurance. Better deal to make $500 driving own car or renting car? Wants to keep Camry running as long as possible. Tom and Ray say she'd be better off renting a car and saving the miles and future repairs on her car. Also, renting is a good way to test drive cars for a longer time without a salesman sitting next to you.