Show Rundown

#0939: The Civic Lullaby

Original Air Date: 09.26.2009
Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share some classic Steven Wright-isms.

Call 1

Adele Veilleux (, Connecticut) - 1995 Nissan Maxima

Clutch/shifting. She can't get the car into gear in the morning. Later in the afternoon, it will work fine. Took it to mechanic. who said he couldn't replicate the problem. Likely the clutch master cylinder--also possible that the floor mat slid under the clutch pedal, preventing it from engaging.

Call 2

Kate Broderick (San Diego, California) - Volkswagen

Driving/marita dispute. She was taught to keep the car first gear with her foot on the clutch. when she comes to a stop light--it's safer, because if you get rear-ended you won't go into the intersection. Husband says this wears out the clutch, and she should put it into neutral. Guys say husband is right.

Call 3

David Genese (Beaumont, Texas) - Mazda

The car ran out of gas. He put $3 of gas in it and ever since it's been spitting and sputtering as he tries to go down the road. Found that #3 spark plug wasn't firing, tried replacing, still doing it. Also tried new fuel filter and injector cleaner, didn't help. Probably coincidental with running out of gas--he needs to do a compression test, possible he has a burned valve or a hole in a piston. Also could be a bad injector.

Call 4

Sam Weaver (Sorento, Florida) - 2008 Honda Civic

When her 7 month old son has a meltdown in the car, she thinks it helps to calm him by gently tapping the brakes and 'jiggling' the car. Is this hurting the car in anyway? Will this wear out the brakes more quickly? Also uses Led Zeppelin to lull the kid to sleep. What she's doing isn't causing any harm, and she won't be doing it very long, so don't worry about it.

Call 5

Brett Wilson (Charlottesville, Virginia) - Suzuki Swift

When the car is in gear, it makes a noise like "Wawawawaawmamama." Only when it's moving, doesn't seem to happen in reverse, seems to go away or change when he puts it into neutral. Mechanic told him they couldn't figure it out, and he should turn up the radio. Likely a bad gear or bearing in the transmission--may not be worth fixing, as long as tranny fluid is okay. Can also get a 2nd Opinion.

Call 6

Rosanne Naunheim (St Louis, Missouri) - Chevrolet Suburban

Carbon monoxide. She works in the ER and was talking to a resident who said that catalytic converters in modern cars make it impossible for one to kill themselves by running car in a closed garage. She thinks he's wrong. Guys say he may be right--it's still a bad idea, but you're more likely to die from oxygen deprivation than from monoxide poisoning.

Call 7

Tracy Whalen-Payne (, Ohio) - MINI Cooper

Buying/marital dispute. In the market for a new car, husband wants an RX8 but she really wants a Mini. Which should they buy? She does mostly city driving, so Mini would be fine--will also do a lot better in the snow than the RX-8. Tell husband RX-8 will be unsafe in Winter, and get the Mini.

Call 8

Luis (Grand Junction, Colorado) - 1987 Saab 900

Sometimes when he turns the key, nothing happens. Cranks, but engine won't fire. Likely a problem with the switch on the clutch that locks out the starter--get it fixed, it will get worse and it won't start at all.

Call 9

Brittany Pederson (Carver, North Dakota) - 2006 Honda Civic

The key won't come out of the ignition. If she puts it in gear, then in park again, the key will come out. Could be simple problem--not going all the way into Park when she first does it. Also could be a motor mount. Can fix it, or make it work by hitting it.

Call 10

Aron Randall (, Georgia) - 2003 Land Rover Range Rover

He started smoking from the stress of school last semester and now car smells like cigarettes. How can he get smell out before his parents come visit? Try spraying Febreeze. Also, check our site--someone else may have a suggestion.