#1340: Arachnid and Pinion Steering

Oct 05, 2013
This week on Car Talk, Jeryldine's car is infested with spiders, and she has no idea how to get rid of them. If she follows Tom and Ray's advice, her car will also be full of birds, bats, lizards, and, most likely, still spiders. Elsewhere, after losing his girlfriend and her car, Glen's friend suggested he browse his neighbors' backyards for a replacement--car, that is. Will he find the Cabrio of his dreams, up on blocks? Also, Lacy thinks her Accord's engine is trying to escape, one piece at a time; Barry's dealer would be happy to work on his stuck parking brake, if Barry can only get the car to move from his garage; and on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Tom and Ray helped quiet Lisa's screeching Civic enough so she could talk to her cute neighbor. All this, plus the first Automotive Puzzler of the season, and more, this week on Car Talk.

Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share BMW's Ethics 101 class for dealers.

This Week's Puzzler

The Empty Brake Fluid Can: What one question will reveal what's wrong with the car?

Last Week's Puzzler

Spy Games with Buttons: How did they change the buttons so that the Nazi spies could not open them?


Spiders in car

There is a product called Tempo SC Ultra made by Bayer. It is an insectide that kills many insects,including spiders. It is safe for use indoors, as per the label. I spray it in my basement, garage and even around on door and window sills. It does not smell or leave any kind of residue that I can see. I assume you could sray it under the seat of your car, the floor boards, head liner or in the trunk. The product works when the insect walks through the area that was sprayed; you don't have to spray it directly on the insect. Good Luck
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The caller should google spider repellents - There's some kind of leaf you can buy that keeps spiders away. Eucaliptus maybe. That would be better than bats (they smell).
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Tom and Ray's long use of pesticide use in enclosed spaces becomes obvious

I greatly appreciate the humor and advice that Tom and Ray dispense on a weekly basis, however there are times where I bury my head in my hands and weep for humanity. This week - DIY insect killing in your car using bug bombs. Let's start with some basics - pesticides are poisons. While it is true that modern chemistry has provided us with safer pesticides, they can still kill humans or make you sick if used inappropriately. Second - It is against federal law to use pesticides in a manner that is inconsistent with its labeling. This is usually not because someone was bored wanted to make some nice rules, but scientists familiar with the chemistry thought that it would be a bad idea to use it in a way that was not intended. Telling someone that "the label is just there to scare you" is horrible advice. The label is there to keep people safe. Search the FAQ of the different companies that make the different foggers or give them a call. They have addressed this issue. (example toward the bottom of http://answers.hotshot.com/answers/7545hotshot-en_us/product/071121201379/hotshot-hot-shot-indoor-fogger-questions-answers/questions.htm) Last there are alternatives to pesticides that can kill insects and many other pests. Cleaning the car out to remove the source of the infestation or what they are feeding on can be used quite effectively. Many spiders do not do well when exposed to heat or cold for extended periods of time. There is also fumigation using carbon dioxide which is far safer than using any of the off the shelf fogger products. (Additional resources can be found at http://livingwithbugs.blogspot.com/2009/02/bug-infested-cars-and-car-talk-tm.html) Applying a little bit of thought to find the best approach to fixing a pest problem can be effective, helps to keep us all safe, and can even save some money. Sometimes a pesticide off the shelf is the answer, but let's try to keep the reduction in car talk listeners limited to turning off the radio. Thanks!
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