Show Rundown

#0845: Zen Dad, Reasonable Raymie and Nutso Tommy

Original Air Date: 11.08.2008
Show Open Topic

A letter from a listener who's fixated on excellent parallel parking technique-- from her dates.

Call 1

Ben (Crystal City, Virginia) - 1988 Honda Odyssey

engine/belt...the front squeaks in a cycle. He thinks it's engine related, and his Scottish/Irish mechanic couldn't hear it. Has it on tape. It's either the water pump bushings or timing belt tensioner--he needs to have it fixed immediately, because if the timing belt goes, his engine is cooked. Get a new mechanic.

Call 2

Diane Robinson (Conway, Arkansas) - 1994 Nissan Sentra slipping, primarily on hills. She's waiting on a back-ordered Prius. Should she replace the clutch, or can she nurse it along until the new car comes? Clutch is pretty much gone, but she's not likely to recoup the cost of repairing it when she sells it. Sell it as is to someone willing to do the clutch himself, or donate it to trade school/NPR.

Call 3

Brian Sahd (Brooklyn, New York) - 1983 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

A suspension/rear left wheel question. When he turns left, rear makes a loud crunching noise. Makes noise when he turns right too, but not so loudly. 150k miles on it now. Could be a mis-sized tire hitting the inside fender liner, or something impinging on the exhaust system. Get someone to put it on a lift, and they should be able to tell right away.

Call 4

Kawica (Honolulu, Hawaii) - 2001 Mazda Miata MX-5

body... the car retains water. When it rains, water comes from the rear of the car under the seat and floods the floor. When you stop, it sounds like crashing waves. Plugged up drains from convertible top; water leaks in to trunk from top or through vents. Guys suggest taking the carpet out, with the carpet removed it will be easier to find source of leak. Hose it down, or after a heavy rain, search for leak by driving/breaking. Post question on Miata message board, someone will know where leak is.

Call 5

Tony Peil (Seattle, Washington) - 2005 Subaru Outback

Power steering belt...when she goes from braking to turning her wheel (while parallel parking), there's a screeching noise that's so loud children go running from the car. It sounds like "squirrels in a blender" her mother says. Also she feels a pulling sensation in the wheel. The power steering belt is sticking so she needs to get it tightened.

Call 6

Mike Blum (Los Angeles, California) - 1993 Geo Prizm

clutch... Recently had clutch replaced. Periodically, the pedal sticks. Has to use toe to lift it up. Then it's fine. Took it back, but they can't reproduce it. Clutch master cylinder is no good and needs to be replaced...may have not needed the clutch replaced, if this was the problem all along.

Call 7

Marcia Laska (Allegheny, West Virginia) - 2005 Volvo XC90

gear lock...can't shift out of park in cold weather (for over a year). Seemed to have started having problems after her dog spilled lemonade on shifter in his frantic leap for a hamburger. She needs to consult manual and find out location of shift lock override. It needs to be taken apart; solenoid may not be getting enough juice...may be from lemonade getting sticky, or just coincidental with lemonade spill.

Call 8

Jakob Schiller (Redding, California) - 2002 Subaru Impreza

driving/etiquette/horn... family argument over whether you should honk horn at someone who cuts you off. Dad's a practicing Buddhist, says let it be. Jakob thinks other driver needs a lesson. Ray agrees with Jakob--a quick honk, but would add a small scolding finger wag. Tom says to sideswipe other driver, especially if you're driving a heap. We'll put it on the site for others to weigh in.