Dealerhips are great for second opinions.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 1999

Dear Tom and Ray:

The engine on my '93 Toyota Celica sounds as if it is full of tree frogs. This
sound seems to go away when I push in the clutch. My mechanic said my throttle
bearings are going bad. When I asked him what the consequences might be, he said
my engine might "seize up." However, he said it wasn't bad enough to replace the
bearings yet. My car has only 40,000 miles on it, but lots of city driving. Can
you tell me about throttle bearings and when I'll know when I have to replace
them? -- JoAnne

TOM: I've never heard of throttle bearings. But I'm going to write that down and
try it out on a few customers next week. It's obviously working for this guy!

RAY: He may have said (or meant) "throw out bearing," which is a crucial part of
the clutch. But that wouldn't be right either, because a bad throw out bearing
would START making noise when you pushed in the clutch. You say the noise GOES
AWAY when you push in the clutch pedal.

TOM: And in any case, a bad throw out bearing wouldn't cause your engine to

RAY: Unfortunately, when pushing in the clutch causes a noise to stop, that
indicates that the problem is inside the transmission (pushing in the clutch
stops the transmission gears from spinning). So that may be where your problem
lies. It's very unusual, however, on a Celica with only 40,000 miles. So this is
a case where a second opinion is definitely called for.

TOM: And the dealer is the right place to go. When you have an unusual problem,
the dealer has an advantage over other mechanics, because he sees a lot of these
specific cars and may recognize the problem right away, without a lot of
exploratory (i.e. costly) work.

RAY: So take it to the dealer. Who knows, Joanne, Toyota might even feel guilty
about this and pay for part of the repair (if you yell enough). Good luck.

Order Tom and Ray's best-selling pamphlet "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car
Without Even Knowing It!" You're probably doing at least one of them! Send $3
and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope to Ruin, PO Box 6420,
Riverton, NJ 08077-6420.

?(C) 1999 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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