Show Rundown

#0902: The '09 Ikea-Mobile and Other Concepts

Original Air Date: 01.10.2009
Show Open Topic

Ideas for helping the Big Three sell more cars.

Call 1

Erin Rodriguez (San Juan, PR, ) - 1963 Cadillac DeVille

A transmission question. Recently, she had the transmission rebuilt and shipped the car to Puerto Rico where she now resides. After 2 weeks there, it's stopped shifting gears. It won't go out of 1st, reverse. Should she put a contract out on her mechanic in the States? Could be low on transmission fluid. It does have leaks. If she drove it low on fluid, the transmission may be cooked. She needs another rebuild.

Call 2

Mike (Chicago, Illinois)

A maintenance/winter driving question. His fiancee moved to Chicago from North Carolina and thinks her car is Texan and needs to adjust to the winter. So she is starting it up and letting it run for more than 1/2 hour or 45 minutes. She's nuts. Just give it a minute to warm up, then drive off gently. She should also practice driving on snow and ice.

Call 3

Kathy White (Ventura, California) - 2004 GMC Envoy

A heating and cooling question. When the AC is on, it sounds like a monkey is trying to escape out of the dash. It's a tapping noise, and it's very random. It usually happens when it's very hot out. Could be a blend door electric motor that's stuck?one of the gears is stripped.

Call 4

Keith Munslow (Providence, Rhode Island) - 2002 Ford Focus

An exhaust/brakes/heat/cool question. When it's raining out and he slams on the brake, a strange acrid, burning smell emits in the cabin. After a long drive only. It's only if he has to stop short. It's a burning, exhaust like smell. The car is usually filled with musical equipment. It could be a sticking brake?likely, since the check engine light is not on.

Call 5

Chris Beard (Portland, Oregon) - Volvo V70

A brakes/ABS question. It makes a weird noise and she can feel a "Booinnnnnng" in her brake pedal. Sometimes the ABS and Trax Control lights come on. It's been doing it for six months. The ABS is kicking in, and pushing back on the pedal. Likely a bad ABS sensor, which would be cheap, or could be entire ABS module, which would be expensive.

Call 6

John Baker (Cincinnati, Ohio) - 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon

An engine/oxygen sensor question. "Collects" old VW buses. When plugged in, the van hesitates. When unplugged, it runs fine but he gets horrible gas mileage. What's going on with the sensor? Airflow meter is most likely telling computer that the car is running too rich. Find the book that explains water-cooled engines.

Call 7

Lillian Goldenberg (San Antonio, Texas) - 2006 Toyota Camry

Tires questions. Dealer said she has a nail in a tire and needs to replace it, but wouldn't tell her where the nail is, or do the job. Can she leave it in until tire goes flat? Or should she have tire changed now? May have to replace the tire if it's in the sidewall. If in the "business" side, it can be plugged or patched. Call back the dealer and complain. She needs to get it fixed because it is dangerous.

Call 8

Holly Madison (Aneaky, Iowa) - 1999 Chrysler Town & Country

A transmission/engine/brakes question. When it's in gear but stopped, there's a clicking, rattley, knocking sound, thinks it's under the hood. It won't make the noise in park or neutral or if she lets off the brake. Could be the hydraulic lifters. She could try new transmission oil, or an additive.

Call 9

Tony (Stanwood, Washington) - 1998 Dodge Ramcharger

Transmission or engine/throttle question. The accelerator seems to surge. The rpms go up and down "Zzzeee, zzzeee..." Goes away under load. Could be a faulty computer, bad solenoid. Could have a code stored in the computer. Have it scanned for a code, there could be a technical service bulletin on it.

Call 10

Martha Uhl (Los Angeles, California) - 2008 Nissan Altima

An engine/oil/hybrid question. Her dad told her to get oil changed every 3k miles. How often with a hybrid do you have to change it, since it runs on the regular engine only half the time? It's probably 7,500 miles in the owner's manual. It's typically a bit more between oil changes than a conventional engine, and can be even more if using synthetic oil.