Show Rundown

#1125: Book This, Rebecca

Original Air Date: 06.18.2011
Show Open Topic

What happens when a German barbecue goes haywire? You're about to find out!

Call 1

Cameron Cooke (, Connecticut)

When Cameron starts her car, it makes a horrible screeching noise. When she releases the key, the noise goes away, and the car runs fine. It's been doing this for about 8 months.Tom and Ray suggest it's either the starter motor drive beginning to fail, or the starter may be getting ready to fall out. She can keep driving as an experiment to see how long before it fails--when it fails, the car won't start. But, it won't be terribly expensive to fix.

Call 2

Bill Bukowski (Sanford, Maine)

Bill's trying to fix up this car for his sons. When he steps on the gas, it coughs, bucks, nearly dies, but eventually catches. Has checked and replaced several items, including crank sensor, throttle position switch. he's also checked fuel pressure. Tom and Ray think the problem may be in the coil pack. Bill has two other non-working Probes, so the guys suggest he swap the coil pack from one of them into this one.

Call 3

Jim Davis (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Consulting Chemist, calling to follow-up on Matt from MN who swears that his kids spilled soda on his Honda's upholstery on a hot day, and scorched the leather. Jim ran experiments in the lab, and couldn 't replicate scorching at 100 degrees Celsius. He thinks it's more likely that the soda interacted with sweat and left a stain.

Call 4

Jennifer Boswell (Van Nuys, California)

A dump/salvage question. The car is constantly in the shop, and she's sick of it. Can she sell sell certain parts, then take it to a field and let people whack at it for fun? Guys tell her it's a bad idea--body is probably most valuable part, and that'll be destroyed. Also wasteful, and not very green. She should give the car away to a needy person, making sure they know it's condition, and find some other catharsis. Suggest she hold an essay contest, 'Why I need Jennifer's Car?'

Call 5

Jep Streit (Brookline, Massachusetts)

An engine question. Jep is a man of the cloth, and took the car to a new mechanic for a tune-up, got timing belt changed. Very soon after the car died, and he had it towed back to the shop. Mechanic said camshaft broke, was coincidental with timing belt job, but he replaced the camshaft for free. Was the mechanic blowing smoke? Tom and ray think he was. Chances of camshaft breaking are really slim--more likely, he put timing belt on wrong and it jumped. Suggest Jep go back and try to work out some restitution.

Call 6

Lisa (, California)

An electrical question. Her kids shoved coins into CD player. If she goes in there with a pair of tweezers, will she get electrocuted? No, but she probably won't be able to get them all out. Take it to a shop and ask them to remove the radio--that should enable them to get the coins. Can also try turning car upside down and shaking it...

Call 7

Topher Bill (Fredericksburg, Virginia)

Family Topher is the Father or Rebecca from Car Talk Show #9708, who complained about his anal-rententive record keeping. Topher wants equal time, explains why he started keeping 'the book', and says Rebecca's free to stop doing it when she actually owns the car, but as of right now, it still belongs to him.

Call 8

Mara Horan (Poland, New York)

A driving and marital question. Mara and her husband disagree over more efficient way to climb a 3.1 mile hill near their house--very steep route that goes straight up, or windy, more gradual climb. Husband says it doesn't make a difference--and Tom and Ray agree with him.