Show Rundown

#0927: Van Dwelling 101

Original Air Date: 07.04.2009
Show Open Topic

A rebuttal: why women prefer dogs over men.

Call 1

Janet Kirby (, Indiana) - 2001 Volvo XC70

Brakes/vacuum/booster question. There's a sound as if there's flatulence when takes foot off brake, sounds like slowly letting air out. Embarrassing when there's company in the car. Vacuum brake booster is failing. Needs to be replaced, because her power brakes will be sans power.

Call 2

Geoff Murfitt (Salem, Massachusetts) - 2006 Toyota Matrix

A windshield question. He got the windshield replaced on his wife's car, the guy made a mess of it, and now he thinks it's not on correctly. The dashboard rattles where it meets the window, and his there is a whistle when at high speed. Was it installed incorrectly? Yes. It needs to be correctly installed. Don't go back to the same installer. Call his insurance company, who recommended the place.

Call 3

Tara (Fremont, California) - 1987 Volkswagen Van

road trip...woman who was dating the guy who lived in a van in a parking lot at Stanford. They broke up, got back together, now planning to drive the van across Canada to NH. Wants advice on becoming a van dweller. It'll be a good relationship test. Be prepared for the van to break down, try to get a list of mechanics along the route who work on old cars.

Call 4

Anna Child (Carborough, North Carolina) - 1996 Jeep Cherokee

An engine/belt question. Her car squeals when she turns the car on. Only happens in the summer. In reverse or first, still squeals. In second gear, squeal goes away. It stops in neutral, and it gets louder as she moves. She lives in a small town and everyone can hear her coming. Probably just a noisy belt. Her belts haven't been replaced since 2001, and are probably due for replacement.

Call 5

Ethan Hollander (Crawfordsville, Indiana) - 2000 Toyota Camry

A heating/cooling/smell question. Car smells like urine when turns on AC. Thinks squirrel might be relieving himself. Is that possible? Yes, could also be a result of pine needles, or, perhaps, an irate student? He's a college prof and maybe a student he failed got his revenge this way. Buy some Fridgie-Fresh and use it to clean out the ventilation system, and don't fail any more students.

Call 6

Jackie Baker (Newburyport, Massachusetts) - 2006 Scion xB

A transmission question. She has a really hard time shifting in morning, especially in cold weather. Dealer says she just needs to warm up the transmission. Only 800 miles left on the warranty. Warm up explanation is bogus--get it to dealer before warranty expires. They may need to 'dig deep' into computer. Could be the tranny, more likely it's the computer not getting proper signal that engine has reached operating temp.

Call 7

AJ Abdul-Jabbar (, Kansas) - 1992 Honda Accord

A question about starting. In the summer if he's trying to start up after just turning it off, it will crank but won't start. He has to wait several hours to start it. If he kicks relay that hangs down near the brake pedal, it will start. Sounds like classic case of bad fuel pump relay, but he had that replaced, and it didn't help. May have been aftermarket relay. Try getting OEM one from dealer. It could also be the fuel pump, injectors not firing properly, or computer problem.

Call 8

Nikki Wilson (Tioga, Pennsylvania) - 1997 Jeep Wrangler

A heating/cooling question. The heater works great in the Spring and Fall, but in Winter, it doesn't even warm her hands. What can she do to fix this? Could be as simple as a thermostat, or a plugged heater core. Check the engine operating temperature with a scan tool.

Call 9

Matt Schafer (Evanston, Wyoming) - 1991 Lincoln Town Car

A prank question. He and his friends are involved in a car prank war, and he needs to find an un-toppable, yet non-destructive, epic prank. He can't figure out how to get Crisco off of his windows, and petroleum jelly out of his exhaust. He needs to take off each door panel and clean the rubber window trim with a solvent, like methanol. Also, should back off the pranks--they're getting out of hand.