Show Rundown

#0943: Would You Rather be Right or Happy?

Original Air Date: 10.24.2009
Show Open Topic

Cosmoline really does exist! Tom and Ray review a sample of the good stuff, sent in by a listener.

Call 1

Linda (Camden, Maine) - 1987 Toyota Tercel

A starting question. Won't start after it sits overnight in a pouring rain, unless she blows a hairdryer on the distributor. Got new wires, husband has seen arcing over the distributor. Problem is a crack in the distributor cap--when water get in, spark gets grounded before it gets to the engine. Get a new cap and rotor, and problem should be solved.

Call 2

Gaspar Testranovo (New York, New York) - 1984 Ford Ranger

Oil leak. Losing 1.5 quarts a day from his dipstick. He's a plumber, took hose from kitchen sink, drilled a hole in the gasket cover and ran hose so oil would go back into the car. Thinks he's getting too much oil pressure. Guys think the problem is his PCV system, not venting properly, causing pressure to build, and push oil out. Replace the PCV valve.

Call 3

Rebecca Martin (, Connecticut) - Chevrolet

Driving. She's a grad student, going home to Indiana for Thanksgiving--can she drive this? No, she shouldn't try it...she actually comes to this conclusion on her own, guys offer to send her money for airfare.

Call 4

Millie Kirkwood (Plano, Texas) - 1997 Honda Civic

Car wash/windshield. Wax from local carwash gets on her windshield. Friend said she could remove it with mild steel wool. True? Maybe--a detailer told T&R one could use 400 steel wool, but they think she might be better off with special car window cleaner. Tom also suggests contact lens cleaner.

Call 5

Richard Darby (Baltimore, Maryland) - 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

Timing belt/chain. 170,000 miles on it. Mechanic said it was time to replace his timing belt. Another mechanic told him he doesn't have as timing belt, he has a timing chain, wants $300 to change it. Which does he have, and should he do it? He has a timing chain, and there's no recommended change interval. But, if it breaks, it'll wreck the engine, so if he wants to keep the car, it's worth doing preemptively.

Call 6

Jere Rider (Adrienne, Michigan) - 1997 Jeep Cherokee

A driving/shifting question. Started driving her sister's co-worker's husband to work, he's telling people she's a lousy driver because of the way she downshifts. She goes right into neutral from 4th, and coasts to a stop. He says she should downshift through all the gears. He also talks constantly while she drives. He's wrong about downshifting, but her method is only okay if she's going slowly. If she's going 40 mph, she should step on brake in 4th, slow down to 20-30, then shift. Also, get loud heavy metal CD to drown out his talking.

Call 7

Nancy (, Pennsylvania) - 1997 Toyota Camry

A question about stalling. The car usually starts up fine, but stalls when she shifts from Park to drive, engine seems to just fade, and then die. Doesn't happen if husband keeps revving engine. Tell husband not to rev--it's worse than having it stall. Problem is likely coolant temp sensor sending erroneous signal, so engine isn't revving fast enough when engine is cold.

Call 8

Doug Harrison (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) - 1985 Ford F150

A marital question about smoke. Turned on defroster for first time, got thick black smoke, and smell of 'burning paper'. Wife says it was dried up bugs that caught on fire--he told her she was nuts. Guys are stumped--don't think it's bugs because it doesn't get hot enough to ignite them. Originally thinkthe blower motor is seizing, causing the insulation to melt, but the AC worked, so that kills that explanation. Suggest he light a couple of bugs on fire to see if it's the same smell.