Show Rundown

#0929: Happy Birthday, Grammy!

Original Air Date: 07.18.2009
Show Open Topic

Happy Birthday, Grammy! Ray shares a story about accidentally eating one old lady's birthday cake.

Call 1

Gwen Johnson (Largo, Maryland) - 1988 Nissan Sentra

starting...occasionally won't start if it's wet out, fine the rest of the time. Hasn't had it looked at.Guys think it's a bad spark plug wire, or distributor cap. On a dry day, try taking a mister and spraying wires, then cap, with water--if it doesn't start, that'll tell her the problem is there.

Call 2

James Fishelson (New Iberia, Louisiana) - Dodge

An engine and roadtrip/driving question. He's driving across the country to Alaska. Dad says he shouldn't drive it above 50 mph, but occasionally finds himself going 65. Is that okay? Dad's right--50 mph is the right speed, unless he's passing a semi. He should also try to avoid interstates, and stick to smaller roads--Abide by Tom's MG policy, drive only on roads that existed when the car was built.

Call 3

Tim Peterson (Cincinnatti, Ohio) - 1995 Honda Civic

An engine question. Rattling noise when he accelerates, says it sounds like the compressor in a small refrigerator jiggling. Needs the car to last another 8 years. Guys believe it's a sympathetic vibration from a loose heat shield, not a big deal.

Call 4

Colleen Flores (, Illinois) - 1998 Chevrolet Lumina

A question about brakes. She invited Mom and Dad to movies, Dad said he had to drive--just got got new brakes, said mechanic told him only he could drive the car and had to vary speeds for first 500 miles to break them in. True? Not really--new brakes do have a break-in period, but it's only a few minutes, definitely not 500 miles. Maybe Dad's making it up because he doesn't like her driving?

Call 5

Peter Rice (, Massachusetts) - 1994 Ford Explorer

A transmission/engine question. He's getting puffy smoke, feels like tranny is slipping. Adding a lot of tranny fluid, but engine oil level is getting higher, and oil is turning brownish. Swears he's not putting tranny fluid in the wrong place, but Ray's convinced that he is. Tom thinks the tranny cooler line is leaking into the radiator and he has a cracked block or head gasket. Guys tell him to drive it to the studio.

Call 6

Josh Erlandsen (San Antonio, Texas) - 1998 Chevrolet Metro

A transmission question. He's lost 4th gear, and shifts straight from 3rd to 5th. It's working fine since it's a commuter car, but is it harming anything? No, it's fine, but it might be good to drain out the transmission. Might find the pieces that used to be 4th gear. Also concerned about excessive brake wear on his Accord--that's likely caused by a faulty booster.

Call 7

Wendy Lopez-Swiatek (Rochester, New York) - 2008 Jeep Liberty

A buying question. She and her kids fell in love with a Jeep Liberty, and now she's obsessed by it. Completely inappropriate for her. Currently drives a Sienna, which is almost paid off, and is saving money for kids' braces, college, etc.... Guys suggest she rent one for a few weeks to see if she if it's true love. If it is, go for it. She's already picked out a name--'Patrick Henry'...'give me Liberty, or give me...'