Show Rundown

#0850: The Great Car Talk Snorting Scandal

Original Air Date: 12.13.2008
Show Open Topic

Ray's snort-- is it organic, or does Car Talk have a top secret snort track?

Call 1

Bob (Queens, New York) - 1994 Geo Prizm

A seemingly simple starting/electrical question. The car won't start at around freezing and below. He tried everything including new battery. Could be caused by a number of things: low engine compression, engine temperature sensor, dirty injectors. Could try starter spray. Bring it in, check sensors, get a compression test, check injector pattern.

Call 2

Susan Burke (Manchester, New Hampshire) - Scion xB

A body question. She dropped her wedding band down the steering column. How can she get it out? Now that husband knows about it, he personally wants to fish around with a coat hanger to get it out. Take the two plastic pieces off the steering column and it should fall right out.

Call 3

Alon Bout (Lavern, California) - 2000 Toyota Tacoma

A clutch question. When he releases the clutch, it will make a "we we we we." sound. If he presses in less than a millimeter, the sound will go away. Most likely the clutch release bearing, but it could also be a misaligned pivot point on the clutch fork. Try lubricating pivot on clutch fork, if that doesn't work, forget about it.

Call 4

Alan Lipkin (Denver, Colorado) - 2004 Lincoln Aviator

A fuel/suspension question. His car is starting to sound like his mother when she's nervous. It makes a whooping noise, "whoop whoop", near the rear of the car by the gas tank, but only on hot days. It could be a faulty evaporative emissions system. Fix it, since it's bad for the environment. Also, he's an ear/nose/throat doctor, who tries to help diagnose Ray's snort.

Call 5

Amy Brown (North Waterboro, Maine) - 2005 Chevrolet Malibu Classic

A suspension/brakes/steering question. When turning sharply left, from high speed, while slowing down, there's a noise like "Whhrrrrrrr!" Could be disc rotors? The brake discs can deform and touch the dust shield to make a scraping noise. Probably nothing serious, but have it checked out and slow down in the mean time.

Call 6

Charlie Roan (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) - 2001 Honda Accord

A body/electric/tires question. His daughter gets shocked whenever she gets out of the car. Mechanic told her it was just static energy. Tires build up static charge as they drive. It differs from car to car. She can try exchanging tires, or use a ground strap.

Call 7

Tony (Jacksonville, Florida) - 2007 Honda Accord

A window question. He pressed the button, and the motor clicks, but the window won't go down. He tries banging it on air, but it doesn't help. It's probably a bad switch. Take it to the dealer, even though it's past warranty--may be a service bulletin on it.

Call 8

Karen O'Donnell (Boston, Massachusetts) - 2001 Dodge Caravan

An electrical/instrument panel/dash question. She's always going 120 mph with a cold engine and no gas in the tank, i.e. none of the digital dash lights work. She needs a new instrument cluster--can find one at a junkyard.

Call 9

Jeff Guthrie (Leadville, Colorado) - Subaru

An engine/exhaust question. He just bought the car for $382 last year. In the winter, when he puts it in gear, one of the cylinders misfires. After he stays on the gas for a while, the cylinder will eventually kick in. Probably needs to lean out the choke... not enough air going into the cylinders. If he can't adjust it, can install a hand choke, i.e. on a lawnmower.