Show Rundown

#9136: Safety First

Original Air Date: 09.07.1991
4

Call 1

Rachel (Providence, Rhode Island)

Engine... every time she takes a right turn while the car's in neutral, it stalls. If she has the clutch depressed it just sputters but doesn't die. Tom and Ray think the carburetor float may be leaking/sinking or, more likely it's a bad electrical connection to the electronically assisted carburetor that's being broken on turns. Lastly, it may also be a bad motor mount which is allowing the accelerator cable to become tangled or obstructed.

Call 2

Jim (Anchorage, Alaska)

Starting... it barely turned over after being stored for winter. He found out subsequently that it now has bad compression. What should he do this Fall to prevent it from recurring next Spring? Ans... compression problem was caused by attempt to start on a still-very-cold-day after the car had been sitting for months... excessive fuel 'washed down' oil on cylinder walls and weakened compresssion... in future, just disconnect the battery and wait for a warmer day to restart for first time.

Call 3

Julie (Baltimore, Maryland)

Indicator... temp. gauge spikes as soon as engine is warm or she turns ac on. The mechanic replaced thermostat, water pump and temp. gauge/sending unit and told her not to worry about it. She's planning to sell it. Ans... replaced thermostat immediately... have mechanic verify that sending unit and gague are reading acurately... alternatively, cover the gague with a sticker or some black tape...

Call 4

David (New York, New York)

Transmission... when he shifts into drive it jolts into gear.The engine idle is ok. What to do? Ray thinks there's nothing wrong but Tom thinks he should check the U joints.

Call 5

Kathy (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Indicator... check engine light comes on periodically. The car's performance is noticeably poor when this occurs. He spent 1500-dollars at the mechanic and it's still not better. Tom and Ray say that some computer trouble codes don't store for very long. Next time, try to arrive at the mechanic's when the check engine light is illuminated or consider leaving the car with the mechanic for a week-or-two.

Call 6

Larry (Mill Valley, California)

Engine... requires three starts in am to turn over. After several trips to dealer(and several air intake control valves) later, it continues... valves seem to cure the problem for 6K-or-so... Tom and Ray say this is a very typical problem for Saabs and he should check with Saab.

Call 7

Mark (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Electrical... resulting after a pothole experience the car periodically blows a fuse for no discernible reason... circuit includes dash lights, heating system and the radio... Tom and Ray think the pothole incident caused a short circuit that needs to be located before it'll stop blowing fuses. Best bet: the radio.

Call 8

Stephanie (Columbia, Maryland)

Clutch... only engaging at the very end of play... astronomer/hubby itching to try and replace it. Should she let him? The guys say let him try and if he fails have the car and the leftover parts towed to a local mechanic.

Call 9

Caroline (Watertown, Massachusetts)

Starting... poor idle and stalling in the am.. she's also got a social problem: her auto safety engineer hubby decided that, in order to be safer in this little car, they should wear their bike helmets while driving/riding in the car. Tom and Ray say the sticky choke is failing to actuate. It needs to be disassembled and cleaned. As for the helmets: sure it'll help protect your skull, but an '84 Toyota Corolla isn't much of a car for someone so safety-conscious!