Show Rundown

#0948: Hello, You're on "Sal Talk"

Original Air Date: 11.28.2009
Show Open Topic

Tom shares the story of two bear scientists.

Call 1

Sal Patrillio (New York, New York) - Chevrolet Cavalier

A transmission question. When he starts the car in the morning, it won't go into gear until it warms up--worse when it's cold, sometimes takes 8-10 minutes. Mechanic says it's something 'minor' in the trasnsmission. Guys think tranny is cooked--clutches are gone, and it will get worse this Winter,. Can spend $1200 on transmission rebuild, or use a remote starter to warm car up so it'll work by the time he's ready to go.

Call 2

Quentin (Vancouver, Washington)

A question about his Dodge Dart Swinger. He's restoring it. Grandpa drove this into the garage in 1986, and it's been there since. Now it's been offered to him. Worth taking? Wife not crazy about it. May be in decent shape, since it hasn't been driven, but will likely need brakes, belts and an oil change. Take it to a mechanic for a full going over...he may be better off driving it once for the experience, and then getting rid of it.

Call 3

Jessie Souweine (, ) - 1993 Toyota Camry

A fuel question. Whenever they fill up, the car smells like gas for 2-3 days...smell seems to be worse in the trunk. Likely a hole in the gas tank, at the top or in the filler neck. Can try the 'match test', but better to take it to a mechanic who can run an exhaust gas analyzer and find the leak source.

Call 4

Andrea Gardella (, Colorado) - MINI Cooper

A buying question. She's been driving a 1981 Volvo, moving in with fiance, so she's going to have a two-hour commute over mountain roads that can get snowy, and have elk. She really likes the Mini. Guys think the Mini's too small, and she needs something with All Wheel Drive--suggest a Volvo S60, or Subaru Forester.

Call 5

Dan Raleigh (, California) - 1984 Toyota Tercel

A steering question. Steering is a little sticky when he turns, requires extra effort to complete turn and get it back to center. Will the car kill him? Doesn't have power steering, which makes it easier for him--problem, is likely seized universal joint at the bottom of the steering coupling. Easy for a mechanic to replace, and cheap.

Call 6

David Glenn (Brooklyn, New York) - 1995 Ford Escort

A question about the instrument panel. The car runs fine except there's a flashing light with a picture of a 'guy sitting at a steering wheel' on his dash. Has no idea what it means and it's driving him crazy. Bought car used, no owner's manual. It's the airbag light, telling him his airbag isn't working or has been removed. Get it fixed.

Call 7

Stephna May (San Francisco, California) - 1992 Mazda Protege

clutch/gears/transmission question. Her car bucks and lurches in 1st and 2nd gear--can only make it stop by stepping all the way down on clutch, or shifting to higher gear. Clutch is chattring and likely cooked--she just moved to San Francisco, and may have caused it. She'd probably be better off with an automatic. Put a new clutch in this one, take it back to where she moved from and sell it there.

Call 8

Jimmy (Long Island, New York)

A transmission/pottery question. He read an article about using an old transmission as a potter's wheel, wants to try it but not sure what kind of transmission he needs. Article said it should be a 3-speed, but a 4-speed may work. Guys say he should be able to find one in a junkyar,d can even use a tranny with a slip differential if he has a welder put a flange on it.