Show Rundown

#0949: Libbie's Excellent Adventure

Original Air Date: 12.05.2009
Show Open Topic

Tom shares some accidentally amusing headlines.

Call 1

Jim Goggin (Williamsburg, Virginia) - 1993 Mercury Topaz

A transmission/engine question. Driving about 20 mph, makes sound like jet taking off WHRRRRRR then when you get up to 35 mph it kicks into gear. You can drive it on the highway and sound goes away. When you're slowing down, kicks back and car shakes. Tom and Ray think the transmission is on its way out, probably time to dump the car.

Call 2

Julia (Durham, North Carolina) - 2001 Volkswagen Passat

A question about leaks and the body. Every time it rains, the passenger side floor fills up with water, sometimes an inch or more! Recently, after a heavy rain, her husband opened up and found 6 inches of standing water in the engine compartment. If they cover the car with a tarp, no water. Tom and Ray think water's getting in through cowl, and not draining...get debris blown out, also get standing water removed or they'll get mold.

Call 3

Ari Ofsevit (Saint Paul, Minnesota) - 1998 Toyota Corolla

A question about power steering and a leaky power steering hose. When the car is warm and backs into a parking space, sprays all over the firewall and gets smoky. Told it would cost 200 dollars to fix. Dangerous to just keep adding power steering fluid? Tom and Ray tell him to fix it himself by installing a new hose.

Call 4

Tony Goren (Louisville, Kentucky) - 2001 Honda CR-V

A differential question? When he turns real sharp to left, like he is making a u-turn, he gets a wailing noise that comes from the rear end. When turning right, it's not as loud. What could this be? The pump fluid in the rear differential needs to be changed.

Call 5

Libbie Stellas (Seattle, Washington)

A road-trip question. She was looking for a car for an extended cross-country trip-looking for something she could also sleep in. Ray suggested a small pickup truck and predicted she'd never go back to Seattle. She got a Ford Focus, had a great trip, and has returned to Seattle. Double wrong answer!

Call 6

Blaine Tipton (, Oregon) - 2003 Dodge Dakota

An engine/vacuum question. There is a hissing sound from his engine when it idles. Tom and Ray think it's a leak in a vacuum hose. It could also be a leaky manifold gasket.

Call 7

Megan Van Meter (Austin, Texas) - 1997 Ford Escort

A heating/cooling question. She changed coolant overflow bottle last December because sensor had corroded. Check coolant light came on. Checked out, said must be air bubble in line. 3 weeks ago, sudden burst of sweet smell, windshield fogged over. Happening intermittently. . Getting worse with the cold weather. Taking it in Thursday. Has a leaky heater core. That was antifreeze that escaped. She needs to get this fixed. It will be expensive.

Call 8

Larry Grey (Newark, New Jersey)

A buying/mileage question. He is getting ready to buy a used car, looking to spend around 3,000 dollars. Most of the cars he's seeing have 100k+ miles--is that considered high mileage these days? Tom and Ray think 200k counts as 'high', but it depends on how the car has been taken care of--suggest he look for one being sold by an individual, who has maintenance records. Also, don't buy a car at an auction, unless it's about 1/2 price.

Call 9

Teresa Guiol (, Arkansas) - Honda CR-V

A question about animals. She lives on a farm in Northern CA, and there are a lot of 'farm cats' around, that like to crawl up under the hood of the car. One crawled into the engine compartment , and had been in there all day while she drove to and from work. So how can she stop these cats before they get themselves killed? Tom and Ray suggest opening the hood and spraying the cats with a little water. Either that or spray around her car with fox urine.