#1231: The Clairvoyant Mechanic

Aug 04, 2012
This week on Car Talk, Ann's car is emitting a mysterious gummy substance through the vents. Her mechanic doens't know what it is, or where it's coming from. But, that hasn't stopped him from telling Ann it'll cost her $1000 to fix it! Talk about psychic powers! Elsewhere, 13-year-old Thomas was gifted a '94 Altima for helping a car dealer. Now, he needs Tom and Ray's help convincing his Mom to let him drive it when he gets his license in three years. Also, Alita needs help keeping the Truck That Wouldn't Die from, uh, dying; Amy's been convinced that her Civic's starting problem is a Honda safety feature that was so special they only used it on her car; and on Stump the Chumps we find out why Jean's Porsche almost rolled off a cliff while in Park. All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk

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A listener sends Tom and Ray a not-so-subtle hint about the odor emanating from their cars.

As Read on Car Talk


civic ignition

amy's civic may start better with a new key. as a honda tech, i have seen a couple of times the key itself get worrn. i woulg suggest she go to her neerest honda dealer and ask them to cut a new key by the code. she'll need the car's vin number, her prooof of ownership, and her picture id. this might work, and would be cheeper than changing the whole lock.
Favorite Moment: 

clairavoiant mechanic Tommy is partially right

re: show 2012 08 04 segment 9 Clairvoyant mechanic the black stuff that comes out of the vents of a Frienza. Tommy was PARTIALLY correct! It is the seals around the vent "Doors" -PARTIALLY! But there is a larger piece of foamy plastic in older GM's and that is the air filter! The air filter is a piece of foam that is on the INSIDE of the heater core so to get at it you have to remove the heater core or take apart the dash (removing the core is easier on most of these GM's). The Filter is made of plastic foam and is broken down by ozone into the goo that closely resembles the goo from which it is made. It looks fibrous and when rubbed squishes into a gooie ball the sticks to anything. This took me many hours to find the first time but I now know what it is.
Favorite Moment: 
Tommy being actually correct (partially)

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