Show Rundown

#0944: You Can Look, But You'd Better Not Drive

Original Air Date: 10.31.2009
Show Open Topic

Amusing statements from accident reports

Call 1

Jamie King (Nashville, Tennessee) - 1992 Toyota 4Runner

A tranny/engine question. He loves the car 'more than her husband', but when she stops at a stoplight and then steps on gas, it feels like it's in neutral--car just kind of rolls until it hits about 15mph, then kicks into gear. Replaced tranny fluid a few moths ago. Tom and Ray say if she's lucky, she's low on transmission fluid, because of of a leak. If it's not low on fluid, the tranny is cooked. Wheel of Misfortune confirms their diagnosis.

Call 2

Steve Kaufman (Portland, Oregon) - 1987 Jaguar XJS

A dump/keep question. This car was given to him by an Aunt, and is sitting in his garage. He's already spent a few thousand on it, and it's still got a million problems. Should he get rid of it or keep it? Women pay attention to him when he drives the car. And men love it too. Guys say if a few thousand dollars in repairs has him unhappy, he's not ready for this car. Either dump it, or get a second job to pay for it.

Call 3

Katherine Wilson (Ann Arbor, Michigan) - 1998 Mercury Tracer

Thumping noise like a drum when backing up. Doesn't hear it when she's moving forward. Sounds like it's coming from underneath the front. Can feel it under the floor board. Guys think it might be a stuck brake. If not, it could be a bad shock.

Call 4

Megan Shea (Rockport, Massachusetts) - 1993 Saab 900

A heating/cooling question. Whenever she gets stuck in traffic, the car overheats. The first time, the hose exploded, so she got a new hose, but still overheats. She's been refilling the coolant. Guys think she has a coolant leak, likely from radiator or water pump, but could be from any number of places. Take it to mechanic, have them top off coolant, keep it overnight, and pressure test it.

Call 5

Amit Purohit (Arlington, Virginia) - 2002 Acura RSX

A clutch question. There is a strange creaking noise coming from his clutch as he releases it--like a creaking door from a horror movie. Not sure if it's coming from inside the car, or under the hood. Guys say if it's the former, could just be the clutch pedal hinge, and spraying lubricant could make it go away. If noise is coming from elsewhere, it's likely the clutch release bearing.

Call 6

Eileen Lewis (Truckee, California) - 1997 Subaru Legacy

A question of smell/physics/marital dispute. When she and husband are driving, and they smell something stinky, she says 'roll up the windows, quick!' but her husband says 'roll DOWN the windows, to let the air pass through.' Who is right? Guys say it depends on where you are in relation to the stink--if you're past it, like after running over a skunk, open the windows. If you're approaching it, or know you'll be passing through it for a while, keep windows closed.

Call 7

Brian (Estes Park, Colorado) - 1997 Jeep Cherokee

A starting question. If he leaves the car overnight, or drives it to work, and leaves it all day, no problem. But if he's running errands and turns off car for a few minutes, won't restart. Cranks, but feels like there's no gas. Could be fuel problem, or spark. Needs to take it to mechanic, and get them to experience the problem. Also, about to drive to Utah, afraid to shut car at gas station, so he keeps it running. Dangerous? It's not a good idea--they tell you to turn off engine so you don't drive off with the nozzle in your gas tank, but in this case, he can have dispensation to do it.

Call 8

Squirrel (New Orleans, Louisiana) - 2002 Nissan Altima

A suspension question. When he is driving it, it makes a whu-whu-whu-whu noise, that seems to be coming from the rear. He thinks it sounds like something is out of balance. Guys think it's got scalloped tires, they aren't round anymore and the car needs new tires.

Call 9

Michelle Dion (Toronto, Canada, ) - 2003 Volkswagen Jetta

A maintenance/winterproofing question. She's an 'Itinerant Professor', just moved from Atlanta to Canada, and is worried that her car won't make it through her first Canadian winter! Friend told her she needs new tires and beefier wiper blades. Is that true? Yes, she needs four snow tires, more heavy duty wiper blades, a good ice scraper, and Bronco Nagurski long underwear. Also may need a block heater, depending on how cold it gets. And, check the antifreeze and practice driving in snow.