Show Rundown

#0849: Four Years, No Reverse

Original Air Date: 12.06.2008
Show Open Topic

New words from our Department of Nuevo Etymology.

Call 1

Stacie Biancardi (Fayetteville, North Carolina) - 2003 Toyota Corolla

Heating/cooling question. When she turns on the AC, and flips it to cold, it blows nothing but hot air. Could be as simple as a fuse or her condenser might be damaged with a small hole, and refrigerant might have leaked out.

Call 2

Dan Elliott (New York, New York) - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta

A transmission question. He hasn't had reverse for the past 4 years. Is it worth fixing? It's either inside the transmission, or the linkage between the shifter and the transmission. If the linkages need to be adjusted it should be reasonably affordable to repair. Otherwise, it'll be expensive.

Call 3

Anna Bracewell (Cincinnati, Ohio) - 1995 Nissan Maxima

Anna smells gas inside the car that she got from her dad. They already replaced the injectors. Tom and Ray think an injector or two may be leaking--maybe her mechanics didn’t tighten something. She can try to figure out where the smell is coming from herself using Tom and Ray's straw-up-the-nose method, or she can take it to a shop and have them “sniff” the injectors with their emissions tester.

Call 4

Jake Bresson (Wooster, Ohio) - 1999 Honda Civic

Every time he turns on the heat or AC, there’s a rattling noise coming from under the dash. Tom and Ray think something is probably stuck in the blower motor area, likely leaves or sticks. He could access it from underneath and remove it, or just let the blower run on high and break up whatever is in there.

Call 5

Tracy (Staten Island, New York) - Nissan Stanza

A mysterious car had been parked outside her house for two months but the cops won’t tow it because it had plates on. She wanted to remove plates, but Tom and Ray talked her out of it. She didn’t remove plates, and two weeks later, the car relocated to the next block. Correct answer!

Call 6

Ryan (Bloomington, Minnesota) - Saturn

He recently swapped all four tires and wheels with his wife’s 03 Saturn Ion. He went to change them back and the wheels would’t come off his car. He had to force the lug nuts using a breaker bar. It sounds like he's deformed the metal. Tom and Ray recommend that he try loosening the wheel nuts and driving back and forth—they may break loose. He might have to buy some new wheels.

Call 7

Keith Karum (Chicago, Illinois) - 1995 Ford Escort

When he’s driving about 50 mph and hits a bump, the speedometer jumps up 15 mph, even though his speed hasn’t changed. When he hits the dash, and it will go back down to 50 mph. He probably needs a speedometer head. He can buy one at the junkyard for $50 and replace it or he could just keep hitting the dashboard.

Call 8

Joyce (Brooklyn, New York)

She has dyslexia, has never driven before, and now that she’s approaching her mid-thirties, wants to learn. A friend is willing to teach her but she needs to buy a car to learn on. She wants something small, safe, cute, reliable, and cheap. She wants a used mini or smart car but guys suggest a used Civic, Chevy Aveo, or Toyota Echo; it's a good idea to start with something even cheaper to see if she can drive.

Call 9

Rob Hunter (Los Angeles, California) - 2001 Toyota ECHO

Rob is relocating from Vermont to LA with girlfriend. He’s got a leaky gasket and has to have ignition coil replaced. Is it still safe to drive this across country? Reapir will cost $1,000 and Tom and Ray say it must be done before leaving for the trip. Then they get a better idea and suggest he sell this (to Joyce), and take his girlfriend’s Honda Civic to LA.

Call 10

Mark (Albequerque, New Mexico) - 2002 Toyota Tundra

His clutch was sticking so he replaced the master cylinder. Now it randomly happens, usually first thing in morning. Clutch is up in the evening, down in the morning. It stays depressed sometimes. He can pop it up when he uses his toe while driving. He should try a master cylinder from Toyota and check the slave cylinder, too.

Call 11

Artie (Eugene, Oregon) - 1999 Honda Odyssey

When he turns left at a low speed, the car sings at different pitches. The whole family sings along. It sounds like a humpback whale. Tom and Ray suggest he try to see if it happens with the engine off. Try to isolate the conditions that cause the noise. Could be plastic rubbing together in the steering column, a dried-up ball joint, or it could be the clock spring mechanism. Probably not the power steering pump or the belt.