Show Rundown

#0916: Tire Pressure and National Security

Original Air Date: 04.18.2009
Show Open Topic

Ingenious financial planning and the many benefits of Car Talk.

Call 1

Simon Frost (Scotsdale, Arizona) - 2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Simon's got a question about brakes. When he brakes at 55mph or higher, the car shimmies. Recently he had the oil changed and brakes checked. Did they do something? Or is this unrelated?

Call 2

Allie Weitzman (Newton, Massachusetts) - 2001 Nissan Altima

A heating/cool question. The temperature gauge jumps all the way up to high sporadically. When she stops the fan runs really hot. Also, she drove with the gauge really hot all the way to Maine. Her sister discovered she was low on coolant, and the family mechanic put a new radiator in.

Call 3

Paul Wagner (Dallas, Texas) - 2005 Chrysler Sebring

An engine/performance/oil/exhaust question. At idle, his car sounds like a VW diesel--slapping sound. Otherwise, seems normal. Could it just be the belt tensioner? Or is something really wrong?

Call 4

Katie Walton (Decatur, Alabama) - 1998 Toyota Camry

Katie's car has a string of problems. Randomly, it won't start. Now it's not accelerating properly, hiccuping when she's trying to accelerate.

Call 5

Nicholas Morgenstern (Brooklyn, New York) - 2002 MINI Cooper

Nicholas has a transmission question. The Mini has a manual transmission, and any time the car's in gear, there's a "brrrrrrr.... brrrrr...." noise. As the RPMs increase, the frequency goes up. He's had the car for about a year. Mechanic says replace the whole transmission! Help!

Call 6

Stephanie Endres (Blaine, Minnesota) - 1997 Nissan Maxima

Stephanie thinks the car is developing Alzheimer's. She presses the remote car door opener, and windows will roll down. It's unpredictable!

Call 7

Briana Pompei (Evanston, Illinois) - 1998 Toyota Camry

A question about power steering. It leaks power steering fluid rapidly. She can't afford expensive repairs and was quoted at $1000. Is it really that expensive? Can she postpone the expense?

Call 8

Harold French (Chattanooga, Tennessee) - GMC

An AC/plant life question. He turned on his AC, and all these little flowering buds came flying out the vents. Is he missing a filter or something?

Call 9

Karen Bertrand (Gaithersberg, Maryland) - 2007 Nissan Versa

An electrical/sensors/computer question. The tire gauge light comes on only in a certain area, which is near a military installment and NSA. The dealership says it's weather related, but she's skeptical. What's going on?