Show Rundown

#0923: My Truck Runs Better on Compost

Original Air Date: 06.06.2009
Show Open Topic

From the Washington Post: Math equations-- using words.

Call 1

Abby Nelson (Portland, Oregon) - 1997 Ford Taurus

brakes/wheels/suspension... She drives boyfriend's car. It now makes whoop-whoop sound right side on wheel, when she hits brakes, wheel shakes but whooping sound stops. Did she do it? Mountain driving by the boyfriend may be to blame. Sounds like he rode brakes on downhill driving instead of downshifting so she's off the hook. Disc brakes are warped. Should be a good test for their relationship.

Call 2

Angelo Milia (Fryeburg, Maine) - 1995 Subaru Legacy

A suspension question. He has a clicking noise on driver's side, when he makes a right. Bad CV joint Also burning oil, trying additives. 258,000 miles, worth fixing? Wants to keep car until kid is finished law school. Yes, fix axle--maybe get a rebuilt. Oil additives aren't doing anything, check oil frequently, and change it when it's down a quart. At this mileage, things wear out, so oil burning not surprising.

Call 3

Jeani Sancey (Yulee, Florida) - 2000 GMC Safari

transmission... after 30 minutes driving, automatic transmission tries hard to shift. She added some additive gunk, no change. She would try gunk at any price in lieu of a transmission rebuild but the guys say it needs a full rebuild. Eventually, the car will stop shifting into second gear. Before getting it done, ahve it checked top to bottom to see what else it needs, then decide to keep or dump. Bring mechanics chocolate chip cookies, and say, "I'm in trouble and I need your help."

Call 4

Beth (Honolulu, Hawaii) - 1997 Toyota Tacoma

A question about AC/heat/cooling, and a smell. A friend of fiance changed spark plug, and put "degreaser" engine--now, when she turns on AC, it smells like cigar smoke for 30 minutes, then clear. Did they drop a cigar? Was it the engine stuff? No, she's smelling burning oil--valve gasket is leaking and dripping oil onto exhaust manifold.

Call 5

John Rush (Aspen, Colorado) - 1998 Volkswagen Jetta

A buying/transmission/body question. Should he trade his cousin a pair of skis with broken bindings for this car? Has 200k+ miles, can't shift into first and second gears, thinks it needs a tranny, and was painted with bedliner. Problem may not be tranny--may just be shift linkage, in which case, this is a fine deal. Can try testing linkage, or take it to a shop.

Call 6

Andy (, Minnesota) - 2005 Hyundai Elantra

A question about steering and power steering. His girlfriend's car -- squeals when turning wheel. Power steering in good shape but pump slows down when turns. Once car warms up, doesn't do it. Checked belt, it wasn't loose. Belt probably needs to be replaced, it's just old and cracked. Can replace it himself, but make sure he has diagram to follow.

Call 7

Meg Constantino (, New York) - 2002 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The AC isn't working. Told she needed a new condenser because coolant blowing out. Went online and learned how to override the pressure sensor, now it's working fine! Knows she has a slow leak, but does she still have to get the condenser fixed? Guys said she needs new valve, and should fix it--donᅢᆵᅡ﾿ᅡテᅢᆵᅡ하깶ᅡ﾿ᅡツᅢᆵᅡ하タᅢᆵᅡ﾿ᅡツᅢᆵᅡ하ルt want to be blowing this stuff into the air. Take it in to A/C shop to have it fixed correctly. Might be charged double because she tried to do it herself.

Call 8

Philip Hickman (, Ohio) - 1991 Chevrolet S-10

He recently loaded 1500 lbs. of compost into a 2800 lbs. truck and ran fine. Now with an empty bed, the truck coughs, sputters and couldn't go over 55 mph. Happened twice. Two possibilities: when unloaded, there's a crimp, or some disruption in fuel line that loading it down is fixing. Or ground connection incomplete in engine compartment. Will be very easy to find, or impossible. If impossible, buy more compost, turn the turn back of truck into a planter to grow food for the farmer's market.