Show Rundown

#0930: Bernsteining the Clutch

Original Air Date: 07.25.2009
Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray translate the grunts of mechanics.

Call 1

Ron Hadge (La Mesa, California) - 1989 Ford Probe

MIT classmate of Tom's, chat about 5:15 Club. Check engine light has been on for 'last 75,000 miles. ' Everyone he takes it to wants money just to check it--other way to find out? Still passing smog tests. Could be a bad Oxygen sensor, which he could test on his own wit a digital voltmeter. Could also just try black tape.

Call 2

Julie Comus (Mt. Vernon, Washington) - 1985 Volkswagen Van into a fender bender, 'backed into a car that wasn't there'.,and didn't tell husband about it. Should she fess up? Also sheared off roof vent with garage door. Yes, she should confess.

Call 3

Erica (New Orleans, Louisiana) - 1985 Toyota Celica

AC/idle. When in gear and idling, gets shaking/metallic rattle sound from underneath. Grad student, hoping it's serious enough to warrant folks helping her get new car. Probably isn't--could be AC compressor bolts, or compressor/ compressor clutch going bad. Tom thinks it may just be a low idle.

Call 4

Ed (Wilmington, Massachusetts) - 1985 Chrysler New Yorker

Shift lever...hard to get it out of park when on a hill, worried he's going to destroy linkage? Is it a design flaw? Yes, guys say it's common on some front wheel drive cars, give him a workaround--engage parking brake before putting it in Park, and then shifting out of Park before taking off parking brake. Any real fix is likely to be expensive.

Call 5

Sara Adams (Streetsborough, Ohio)

Pet chicken--how is it riding in her car? Drive a couple of hours in cold weather to airport and church at 65 MPH--friends told her her chicken was in the parking lot. Chicken is likely hanging out under the hood, to escape the cold--need to warm their garage.

Call 6

Alexander Bernstein (New York, New York) - 1994 Saab 900

Leonard Bernstein's son. Dad was told by the Italian guy who sold him his Maserati that he should always double-clutch--downshift as he this a good idea for all cars? Not really necessary on syncro clutches, but probably not doing any harm. Guys says they'll call this 'Bernsteining the Clutch'.

Call 7

Denise (Evanston, Illinois) - 1961 Volvo 240

restoring.... turned 45, bought volvo out of nostalgia, off the web. Doesn't even run. No brakes, no seats. windows don't work. Should she fix it up? Yes, but needs to find a special mechanic--'not a good mechanic, an old mechanic'. Also maybe find another Volvo to use for parts.