Show Rundown

#9138: Is There an Honest Mechanic?

Original Air Date: 09.21.1991
Show Open Topic

Discussion about Jaguars.

Call 1

Rita (Cleveland Heights, Ohio)

Clutch. She's had the car for 6 months now and still not comfortable with shifting -can't seem to find the spot of engagement. Honda is telling her that new hydraulic clutches account for this difference/difficulty. Tom and Ray say some clutches just never "feel right". She should take the car to an empty parking lot and try driving the car without using the gas pedal -just releasing the clutch without stalling.

Call 2

Bruce (Phoenix, Arizona)

Mechanic. Bruce is looking for an honest one. Tips? Tom and Ray suggest that Bruce take his car to a prospective mechanic with a legitimate problem, and test him/her by asking them to check out a part that you know is ok or has been recently serviced/replaced.

Call 3

Kimberly (Pacifica, California)

Engine. It's shaking at idle and feels like those vibrating beds found at motels. The mechanic is suggesting that timing or valves are the problem. Tom and Ray don't think it's either of those. More likely, there's a vacuum leak. She should have a tune-up.

Call 4

Norm (Mezamanie, Wisconsin)

Tires. He recently moved to WI and can't get up his steep driveway in the snow with this car. A physicist friend disagrees with theory that car's wider-than-average tires are adding to the problem. Tom and Ray say the physicist is wrong. Get a set of narrower rims and tires if you really want this to make it up the hill in the snow.

Call 5

Bill (Roanoke, Virginia)

Handling. There's a slight vibration and hum when turning the steering wheel to the left. Tom and Ray think the power steering pump could be dying. He should listen while a friend turns the wheel. Be careful near the fan though!

Call 6

Michelle Ferguson (Denver, Colorado)

Fuel. She's having a harder time locating regular/leaded gas. Are there mechanical modifications that can be made in order to run this vehicle on unleaded? Tom and Ray say using unleaded gas may eventually cause recession of the valve seats, but not to worry.

Call 7

Glenn Richardson (Hadlock, Washington)

Automotive husbandry. He's a mechanic. Some of his customers refer to their cars as male or female. How do they know the cars' gender? Tom and Ray say there are many clues to be derived from the reputation of the car as well as the Latin root of the car model's name.

Call 8

Bruce (Paradise, California)

Buying. He wants to buy one but isn't sure if '78 with carburetion is preferable to a '79 with fuel injection? Tom and Ray aren't at all certain that '78s were carburated, but have a bit more confidence in a 13-yr-old carburetor is probably better than a 12-yr-old fuel injection system.

Call 9

Briget (Tallahassee, Florida)

Noise. When she puts the car into reverse and releases the clutch, the car makes a noise. Tom and Ray think it could be a loose heat shield.