(Announcer: This is Bumper To Bumper Radio, the car show. Drive in anxious and cruise out confident. With the best automotive information for your vehicle, Bumper To Bumper, helping you and your car feel better and now your hosts, Matt Allen and Dave Riccio.)
Matt: Well good morning everybody and welcome to another edition of Bumper To Bumper Radio I’m Matt Allen, my co-host chair is empty today because Dave Riccio is out, uh, playin’ mountain bike racer this morning out in McDowell Mountain somewhere, so it’s, uh, me and one of the guys from Bumper To Bumper Radio. We brought in Frank Leutz to help, uh, answer some questions and keep the conversation going. Frank is from Desert Car Care and again we’re here every single Saturday from 11 to noon to help you with your car. So, that’s what Bumper To Bumper Radio is all about, to help the motoring public and the consumer have a better overall car experience. So if you got questions about your car, maybe you’ve got answers about some of our questions, I don’t know. We encourage you to give us a call, it’s easy to do, don’t be shy. 602-277-5827 its 602-277-KTAR and if you’re shy and don’t wanna come on the radio, you can always text your question in to 411923 and we’ll either get back y- with, with you by text or maybe we’ll, we’ll use that, uh, question on air to keep things going. So today on the Bumper To Bumper Roadmap, we’ve got, uh, we have an Email Of The Week, Fact Or Fiction?, I’m sure Frank will come up with something during one of the, one of the breaks, and, uh, is your car part of your allergy problem? Who’s got that stank goin’ on? And, uh, maybe used car buying tips, there’s a lot of stuff that we’re seeing in our shops Frank, tell us a little bit about Desert Car Care and what’s happening with you.
Frank: I, I, I just, I just wanna know where Mr. Dave Riccio is and you talk about bicycling, mountain biking, and sweat sock stenchiness (Both laugh) I can’t get, I think Dave knew something ahead of time. I’m Frank with Desert Car Care, we’re out in the East Valley. Matt, thanks for having me on and, uh, fixin’ cars, you know, our shop’s kind of like an old, uh, uh, barber shop, you know, everybody knows everybody and uh, just have a lot of fun fixin’ cars and you know, at times, uh, let’s face it, fixin’ people. (Laughs)
Matt: Right well, that’s-
Frank: We’re doin’ all of that.
Matt: Well, yeah that’s, you know, it, it’s true, not only do we fix the cars but Frank, we’re gettin’ off our original topic a little bit here but, you know, you get people that come in, you have men, women, crying at the counter, I mean you’ve gotta be counselor, you’ve gotta be car repair expert, uh, condo-, you know, console people and, and help them. there, it’s a, it’s a stressful thing when you have a broken down car.
Frank: It is.
Frank: And I, and I gotta tell ya, especially when somebody comes in and says, “I’ve got a nasty odor from my vent.” (Laughs)
Frank: What the heck is that all about?
Matt: Well, first, before we get into the odors though, I mean, this is the time of year, I go out to my car in the morning and it’s got this nice dusty yellowish green stuff all over it and that’s all that pollen that’s been comin’ outta the trees
Matt: and blowin’ around all night and that’s getting into your car so, that, that’s coming into the air conditioning vents and, uh, you know, just stuff that’s on your body maybe it’s, uh, I mean I can sit at the stoplight sometimes and sell, smell someone else’s cigarettes from a car, it, it’s nasty.
Frank: This is the greatest time of year to be outdoors, right? But at the same time, for many of us, it is tough. You know, I almost wonder if there’s an allergy shot we can give our car. (Both laugh) Right?
Matt: Yeah, right, huh?
Frank: It seems like it’s infected.
Matt: Well the, the first thing that we’re talkin’ about though is your car, most late model cars have a cabin air filter or particulate filter. Some cars have 2 or 3 of them, uh, you know, some the Mercedes, BMWs there’s recirculating filters, there’s fresh air filters. And what that’s doing, it’s just filtering the air that’s coming into your car, it’s gonna pick up the leaves, the dirt, the dust, pollen, all kinds of junk and, and you really wanna have those changed about once a year in Arizona and I like to do them during the spring. This is when we’re gettin’ our air conditioners ready, make sure they’re, they’re working and besides the odors, I mean we can get, uh, we can get carbon activated filters to help with some of the perfumes and, and other stuff. But what other symptoms do you see, Frank, of a plugged up or dirty cabin air filter? Maybe lack of-
Frank: Right, so, absolutely, you know, cabin air filters are key, you know similar to that filter in your house, you know, that should be changed out and this is the time of year, as you said, once a year. Um, once in a while, if that egg roll was left behind in the back seat hidden under, uh, you may emanate an odor and, uh, you know, cabin air filters will help with that, but you know, the biggest thing, along with that, is the air flow volume.
Frank: You know, we get a lot of folks complaining about, “Hey, I’ve got cold air, but it’s like I’ve gotta suck it out of my vents.” (Matt laughs) and they don’t realize that cabin air filter’s been sitting in there for 60,000 miles.
Matt: Yeah, plugged up.
Frank: Plugged up and it’s restricting uh, that air flow.
Matt: What are some of the things you’ve seen in the cabin air filter that are just, you (Laughs) you shake your head.
Frank: Yeah, I, you know, we had one gentleman come in and you know. he’d, snowbird individual, right? Coming in to visit in the winter and so here is in February and he comes in and not only does he not have air flow volume, but he really emitted a stench (Matt laughs) and so we got into it and we checked it and it was a dead rodent. (Laughs)
Frank: A little tiny mouse, he made his home during the winter and uh, you know, uh, you know, poor mouse and, uh, poor driver, but we, we had to remedy. So, there’s all kinds of stuff that you can get in these uh, ventilations and, stuff that we can’t see.
Frank: We expect it to do what it’s gonna do but we don’t realize whats happening. (Laughs)
Matt: Yeah, so we (Laughs) yeah, you’d be amazed at what, some of the stuff you find, uh, again, signs of a rodent, we see like yarn, they build this nicle little nest and it’s in the vent maybe and then you turn the fan on and it blows it up and it stops right at the filder, filter fortunately. So that’s good, I’ve seen some articles: Is Your Car Killing You? The different, uh, odors and stuff that, that come in the car, I think that, that might be a stretch but, but, uh, so keepin’ the cabin air filter changed and clean once a year will help, will, it’s not gonna necessarily get rid of that stenchy and that stinky odor, there’s some other things we’ll talk about in a second to clean that out. But that’s gonna keep the air flowing through clean and help keep some that pollen and stink from the outside and get those particulates captured in the filter and so at, when you’re at your shop this time of year, once a year, beginning of the season, have them check it or just replace it.
Frank: That’s right and if you come into our shop with 15 air fresheners hangin’ from your rearview mirror, uh, we’re gonna, we’re just gonna check it without you even knowin’ it. (Both laugh)
Matt: Yeah, cuz there’s sumthin’ wrong. There’s sumthin’ goin’ on there.
Frank: There’s sumthin’ wrong, yeah.
Matt: Well what about the other odors Frank? Besides the interior of the car and your allergies, I always say, you know, the toucan, I like the Froot Loops commercial, got the fol- “Follow your nose.” Uh, your nose can tell you a lot about what’s happening with your car. So I’m gonna come up with some, some smells here Frank and then we’ll talk about what areas of the car. So, if you’re standing outside your car and you have that maple syrup or, or sweet smell, what are you thinkin’ Frank?
Frank: Well, certainly, I, I don’t, my daughter’s not cookin’ pancakes in the back that I don’t know about that’s for sure. Uh, but that sweet smell is emanating from some sorta coolant leak from your cooling system, your radiator or some hoses, you know, that sweet smell, that antifreeze.
Matt: People will, I’ll walk out to a car with a customer and, “Oh, let’s take a look.” and I’ll walk up and it just you know, I click the thing and the hood opens up that inch and you’re feelin’ around, tryin’ to find the deal to release the hood and I already know, I go, “I don’t know what your problem is. but I know you have a coolant leak.” “Well how do you know?” “I can smell it, it’s got that sweet smell.” And you look and maybe you just see a hose that seeping or, or a radiator that’s cracked, not even related to maybe what they came in for maybe we wanted to show ’em a you know, a delayed valve under the hood or, or check a check engine light and you, and you see, you smell that odor, so that’s a dead giveaway.
Frank: Well and I gotta tell you personally, it’s really bad, you know, when you’ve been doing this for so many years when you’re driving your at an intersection and, and all of a sudden you smell that pancake syrup smell and you’re like, “Oh, that guy’s got a coolant leak.” (Laughs)
Matt: “Somebody around me is in trouble.” Yeah.
Frank: Yeah, that’s that nose.
Matt: So,uh, burnt carpet you thinkin’, what are you thinkin’ when y- if you were sittin’ in your car and it’s just a burnt smell, it’s just burnt.
Frank: Yeah, burnt carpet, um, well that’s uh, that burnt carpet isn’t good. Burnt carpet could smell like some fried brakes. (Both laugh)
Matt: Burnt out brakes, maybe you’re usin’ the brakes a little too much. Uh, I’ve done it before, “Oops, is that that parking brake that I left on 50 miles ago?”
Frank: Exactly, exactly.
Matt: And didn’t see the light or maybe a clutch.
Frank: That’s right.
Matt: People come in, the clutch slipping or, or maybe you’re riding the clutch a little bit too much, you get that, that burned carpet. What are some of the other ones Frank that you, you think of that, that, uh people describe or?
Frank: You know, the burnt brownies or just burnt food in general, right? If you’re cookin’ in your kitchen and you’ve burnt something, you get that burnt smell, that could be engine oil leakin’ onto the exhaust.
Frank: Right? You know you get, uh, you get that um,
Matt: Power steering leak and yeah but the biggest one, you get the valve cover,
Matt: It’s kinda drippin’ down the side of the engine and it gets on the exhaust manifold and it’s just got-
Frank: Your nose can tell you so much about your car and uh, the fact is you really need to, when you smell these things, get it in early on or get some attention, um, because some of these things are minor in the beginning that you can settle up with and uh, avoid a, a disaster.
Matt: Yeah, I mean that’s, that’s one of the, what, 7, 6 senses? I don’t even know, I can’t think today, but the, the nose is an-
Frank: The nose knows baby. (Laughs)
Matt: The beak is an important, uh,
Frank: That’s right.
Matt: Important feeler. So, we’ve got some open lines, we’re taking your calls, we’re takin’ text messages 602-277-5827 Text your questions into 411923 I’m Matt Allen, he’s, uh, Frank Leutz from Desert Car Care and we’ll be right back.
(Announcer: You’re listening to Bumper To Bumper on NewsTalk 92.3 KTAR)
Matt: Alrighty, good morning and welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio I’m Matt Allen, Dave Riccio is out racing mountain bikes today, so we’ve drug in Frank Leutz from Desert Car Care to, uh, help me out a little bit, keep the conversation going, which I know for Frank, you’re, you’ve always got something (Laughs)
Frank: Well, I, I just had to step away a few feet since we’re talking (Laughs) about senses and odors, did you work out before you got here this morning?
Matt: No, I’m wearing my flip flops today (Laughs)
Frank: Oh you are, ok.
Matt: Yeah, I’ve got no shoes on.
Frank: Oh, that’s the problem, ok.
Matt: I do have a, I do have a fresh pedicure this week though.
Frank: Look at you go.
Matt: So the dogs are in good shape Frank, dogs are in good shape. So we’ve been talkin’ about the stink from your car, maybe your car is, uh, contributing to your allergy problem and, and uh, just simply havin’ the cabin air filter or the interior air filter of your car changed might just help you a little bit, whether you’re sensitive to some perfumes or if you’re out driving in the haboob, or, or sucking in all that fresh pollen that seems to have found your car overnight if you’re not fortunate enough to have a parked in the garage. I know my car is outside under the tree every night and uh, it’s covered with pollen so you may want to be looking at the cabin air filter if you’ve, if you’ve got that issue and again, we recommend changing those once a year. So, if you want to get involved with the show, you can text us at 411923 and that is of course if you’re too shy to call in 602-277-5827 So Frank we are gonna ick Anne from Scottsdale, she’s got a question on a 2004 Buick Rendezvous. Anne, what can we help you with today?
Anne: Uh, this is a tire question, will you take it or do you uh-
Matt: Absolutely, no, whatever you need. The show is for you.
Anne: Ok, well, first of all, I really enjoy the show every Saturday morning. But I took my car into a very reputable shop that I’ve been using for 7 1/2 years and I like very much for an oil change and a tire rotation and they told me that um, I needed new tires due to weathering uh, I only have 16,000 miles on my tires and uh, they’re only 3 1/2 years old but um, I just, so I’m just asking is this, is this something relatively common? This is a very high dollar tire, I might add. One that we all know, a name that we all know. (Laughs)
Matt: Sure. Um, yeah. the tires are expensive, so do you, so you say the tires are about 3 1/2 years old?
Anne: They’re 3 1/2 years old
Anne: and they have 16,000 miles on ’em, but they are cracking uh, there is cracking and I can see the cracking along the sidewalls, um, I’m just wondering if um, if that’s called weathering and if that’s normal here in Arizona.
Matt: It is. Do you park your car inside or outside?
Anne: It’s parked outside but it is parked in the shade.
Matt: Ok. Well, the tires, I mean 3 1/2 years old, that seems a little bit premature, to me, to be cracking. If it’s a very well-known, popular tire brand that we all know, I think I know where you’re headed with that, chubby little white guy. (Laughs) But uh, that, that’s a, that’s a little bit premature in my book, Frank, what’s the, it’s very subjective but it’s 6 years-
Frank: It is very subjective, uh, you know, in the Arizona heat, sure, certainly we’ll, we’ll see some of that weathering, uh, definitely uh, feel your plight there Anne, with the tires dry rotting like that but the key, unfortunately, is if you have any cracking on the sidewall or on the treads, you, you do unfortunately have to get it taken care of.
Matt: Well, and I’ll, but I’ll debate you a little bit there Frank, I don’t know about any, I mean there’s some cracking
Frank: Fine. RIght.
Matt: Where you can see it uh, separating from the tread on the side and that’s real cracking or you see these very fine
Frank: Feather cracking.
Matt: Feather cracking, so maybe it’s, you know, uh you’re in uh, you’re in Scottsdale, I was gonna say if you were on the West side, I’d send you by S&S Tire, but Discount Tires’ always a good choice. They sell tires and they’re honest people, so they may tell you, “Hey, it’s you know, it is what it is. It needs tires.” If they’re only 3 1/2 years old, I might be talking to the tire store or the shop that sold them to you and you might be able to get some relief from the manufacturer. The other thing is on the side of that tire there’s a DOT number and it might for example say, in your case, it might say 27 10, that would mean that those tires were manufactured in the 27th week of 2010. So if you’re looking at your tires and you can find that number on the side. Those tires may have been 2 1/2 years old before you even got to them so that’s one thing to keep an eye out when you’re, when you’re buying your new tires, is to make sure you’re not getting some old inventory but I, I would be looking for some relief from the manufacturer at only 3 1/2 years. So Anne, thanks for the call, we appreciate it. and thanks for listening. We’re gonna go with Rich in Phoenix, got a question about buying a new car maybe. Rich, what can we help you with?
Rich: Yeah, good morning, I’m thinking about buying a Nissan Altima uh,you know, the 4 cylinder, 2.5 4 cylinder Wanted your overall opinion on that vehicle and more especially, the CVT. I’ve never had an automobile with that transmission.
Matt: Now are you buying a brand new car Rich?
Rich: Well either a ’13 or ’14 because they came out with a you know, different body style. ]
Matt: Ok, I, you know, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with the Altima itself, I mean we see ’em in the shop, they’re nice cars, uh, the CVT transmission, I believe they’ve got a lot better, they’ve had problems with those over the years and that’s any manufacturer, not just Nissan. As a matter of fact, I know, well, Nissan had some issues with them in the Murano but that, that smaller car, I know we have one in our shop vehicle at Virginia Auto Service. We have a Cube, they’re kinda different to drive, it’s like that old uh, old, uh, lawnmower engine go kart that you had, you just t- twist the throttle when it goes and, and it’s always in the RPM range, so little bit different to get used to. Frank?
Frank: CVTs have come a long way Rich, and uh, quite frankly Nissan Altima, uh, very very good reputable vehicle. Uh, I wanna add uh, to, to, to you Rich and maybe some of the viewers that may contemplate buying a car? Hey guys and gals, rent the car for a week or two, get a feel for it, um, take it in to your local garage or take it to one of our Bumper To Bumper Radio shops and have them uh, you know, take a peek at it, but get a feel for it um, before you actually make a commitment. But otherwise, Nissan’s a great platform.
Matt: You know, I know when I bought my, my wife and I bought the car, that was a station wagon. It’s a mid-size small
Frank: Station wagon?
Matt: Import station wagon.
Frank: Did you say station wagon? (Laughs)
Matt: It’s a wagon.
Frank: Wagon! Matt But it is a sport wagon Frank, I’ll have you know.
Frank: Oh I see.
Frank: I see.
Matt: But, you know. I thought, “Well, it’s big, uh you know, it’s got, it’s a wagon, it’s, it’s big enough but it is a quote ‘sport wagon.'” Well, by the time you get 3 car seats in there or even a car seat with an adult the back? Ugh, didn’t work out so well. Tight fit, so I agree, you wanna get that car, if it’s a popular enough car where, most cars you can find at a rental agency somewhere.
Matt: Go rent the thing, take a road trip. Or even if you can’t rent one, go drive it 50, get the salesman, say, “Get out, I don’t want you breathin’ over my back.
Frank: That’s right.
Matt: I’m gonna go drive this car for 50 miles. So thanks for the call on that one. We are gonna go with, how ’bout Scott in Scottsdale on a Tacoma. Scott, what can we help you with?
Scott: Um, yeah, hi guys, um, I was replacing my uh, brake pads, uh last weekend and I noticed that um, my hose that goes to my radiator had like some crusty, you know, radiator fluid kinda stuff kind of just frozen around there and I was wondering does that mean I’m gonna need a new radiator?
Matt: Well, you said it’s at the hose, how many miles are on your, your Tacoma Frank or, or Scott? Scott: 72-
Matt: 72,000? Well, I mean, we see, it’s not uncommon you see just that little crustacean buildup and in your case, it’s probably a, a pinkish white color, right?
Scott: Well yeah, like a reddish it’s just the, from the red fluid.
Matt: And was that where the radiator hose made the connection to the radiator?
Scott: Right. Yeah, exactly went all the way, yeah.
Matt: Ok, I think your question was do, am I gonna need a radiator? I think the answer to that is no. You probably just got a hose clamp that could be weak and allowing that to leak, but at the point you’re gonna change out the hose clamp on your car, I’d just pop that lower radiator hose off, if you’re doing that, I mean, you did your brakes so it sounds like uh, sounds like you could handle this, but I would just pop off to lower radiator hose, drain it out, might as well put a new upper and lower hose in it and then you’re gonna wanna use the right Toyota coolant, the red coolant, you don’t wanna mix colors and uh, get that thing filled back up and uh, you should be fine. I don’t, I don’t think you need to be worried about a radiator at all at this point. General rule of thumb on a radiator, we start looking pretty hard at it at 10 years or 100,000 miles. So when we come back, we’ve got more open lines, takin’ your text messages of course and if you wanna give us a call, 602-277-5827
(Music: Hot Rod Race – Arkie Shibley)
(Announcer: Bumper To Bumper on NewsTalk 92.3 KTAR)
Matt: Alrighty, welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio, I’m Matt Allen, your KTAR car guy. You can find that on Facebook by the way, if you’d like to go there and, and like me. I could use some more friends and uh, as well as Bumper To Bumper Radio. If you go to bumpertobumperradio.com there’s a list of great shops throughout the Valley that can help you with your automotive needs in a very stress-free environment and you can uh, follow the Facebook link there and like us on Facebook. We can interact there as, at times as well. So again, I’m Matt Allen, we got Frank Leutz, I always mess up your name Frank, I, I’m sorry.
Frank: It is one of those names, Dave but, you know, or Matt I should say.
Matt: (Laughs) Matt, whatever.
Frank: Dave, Matt, right? There we go, um, but it’s my pleasure to be here this is actually pretty engaging topic uh, and uh, smells and odors and all that stuff can really make a difference if you can narrow down what they’re, what they’re comin’ from.
Matt: Especially if you’re stuck in traffic, you may not want that odor. But we’ve got a text right on topic and I’ve of course lost it already, but I think uh, they say “My ca-, when I sit in my car, the air smells moldy. I’ve cleaned and, and detailed the car, but the smell comes back a week later.” Pretty common problem and what’s probably happening in your car, you have a condensation drain or, or inside your evaporator where your air conditioning is, there’s a, there’s a box there and it has a drain in the bottom ‘cuz you’re gon- the air conditioner’s gonna dry the air and that water’s gonna wind up in that box and it needs to drain out the bottom. If it doesn’t, you’re gonna get mildew, mold, get that funk growing in there and uh so that, that needs to be cleaned out and that’s something that most shops do as part of their regular AC maintenance and service right Frank?
Frank: You know it’s not that difficult you know, that drain tube, a lot of times you can capture leave and debris.
Frank: Uh, on the cowel there by the windshield um and you know, you can easily unplug that but standing water is the key guys when it comes to that stench um, moisture and so on. So that AC needs to drain off or else it’s a bag of socks.
Matt: Yeah, oh and it’s nasty. But, so, the first thing we’ve got to do is get the moisture outta there, so if that drain is plugged, and that’s usually on the passenger side floor, just kind of where the, where, if you’re sitting there and that the floor is flat and then it, it starts to go up? On the outside of the car, typically you’re gonna see that drain there, maybe you can get a coat hanger in there or a pencil or sumthin’, see if it’s restricted, get that water out. Secondary to that, I know in our shop we have some special equipment where you fog the int- you know, blow a bomb off inside of the car and it goes in, circulates through the vents and and cleans that. But I think at home, you’re just as well, you can put, turn the air conditioner on, put it on recirculate, where that’s gonna pull air off the passenger side floor well and uh, hey, I wouldn’t be shy to get a can of uh, of Lysol, pull the trigger, and let it fly. Run that, run that through the vents, run it ’till it’s blown out the vents, suckin’ it out the bottom and then close that carb and let it sit for a while and that might kill, kill that funk.
Frank: Matt, I want to know there’s some, uh you know, the Internet’s a very interesting place right? You can find lots of stuff but, um, I’ve never tried it, maybe some of our uh, listeners have, but they say soaking vinegar and putting it in a bowl and just lettin’ the vinegar-soaked rags?
Matt: It could absorb-
Frank: It maybe absorbs it? I don’t know if that’s some sort of gimmick, but-
Matt: Well, but, I think that’s an odor like cigarette smoke or something that’s stuck in the car? But if you’ve got like that mildew, you gotta, you’ve gotta kill the, you know, you’ve gotta kill the mold, so-
Frank: You’ve gotta kill off the mold, yeah, exactly.
Matt: So that’s why I was thinkin’ the Lysol or, or whatever, I’ve heard baking soda, I’ve heard from one guy, put bread all over the car and the yeast, or something happens it’ll (Laughs)
Frank: Uh, you know, I don’t know if it’s just me but I, I like to just get uh, get some of the Fabuloso (Laughs) You ever get that? It smells great for about, I don’t know, half a day?
Frank: I think a lot of us, we do, we mask the odors that come, you know we hang the 15 air fresheners from the rearview. (Laughs)
Matt: Yeah, well, is that like lipstick on a pig? I mean, now-
Frank: Exactly, just masking.
Matt: Now you have a, a turd that smells like pine. (Laughs)
Frank: Right, but it works for me. You know, Fabuloso, there we go. (Laughs)
Matt: Right. Alrighty, so Sally is up, Sally’s callin’ fro Florence on a 2005 Hyundai Elantra. Sally, you’re on Bumper To Bumper radio, what can we do for ya?
Sally: Um, my car, it does a hard shift between 2nd and 3rd, but it only does it at gear, I can start it in the morning, let it, and drive it for like 15 miles and nothing and then after about that 15th mile, it, it’ll start, um, it only does it in upshifting from second to third.
Matt: And how many miles are on this car Sally?
Sally: Uh, about 145,000.
Matt: Ok, has anybody, have you ever had this looked at? Is there any, is there any fault lights on or warning lights on the dash? A check engine light or any other symptoms related or just that hard shift 2nd to 3rd?
Sally: Just the hard shift and, and a lot of times it’s not even, won’t even be that hard, it’s just like, uh, it’ll be like a hesitation,
Sally: And then it’ll jump into gear.
Matt: Ok, well, you know, transmission problems are sometimes masked or people think you have transmission problem when really you have an engine driveability problem. Frank just mouthed mounts to me.
Frank: Mounts, that’s right, maybe but
Matt: I was gonna go-
Frank: Mounts are gonna do it all the time. Exactly.
Matt: Yeah, it, you would feel that initial clunk on the 1st.
Frank: That’s right.
Matt: Not necessarily that 2nd, 3rd. Um, low transmission fluid, but it doesn’t make sense, I would think that would be happening when it was cold.
Matt: And go away as it warmed up so boy, that’s a tough one. Re-
Frank: That’s gotta be looked at, you know or otherwise-
Matt: Somebody needs to drive it.
Matt: Yeah, somebody needs to drive it. You could have a, I mean you could have something as simple as a dirty mass air flow sensor, there’s a lot of inputs that tell that transmission when and how to shift, uh,
Frank: That’s right.
Matt: Yeah, so it’s, it’s just a test drive, is really somebody needs to-
Frank: And without gettin’ side tracked Matt, we gotta talk about transmission fluid real quick, in that, uh, regarding Sally’s, uh, shift points, um, if, if one is not regularly flushing out the transmission, uh, based on the owner’s manual. And all of a sudden, you take it into a shop and at 140,000 miles it gets its first transmission flush, that could be a problem.
Matt: Well, yeah, yeah, it could be but you know, I think more important than that is a lot of people and we have the car in our shop right now, they just bought the used car, they think they have a transmission problem, and, and they do, they call, they wanted to have a transmission flush and of, so of course I’m finding out, “Why, why you wanna do this?”
Frank: Right. Absolutely.
Matt: “Why you wanna do this?” And then it comes out that they just bought the car, but then we see the check engine light is on and then we, we do some diagnostics there and find out it’s a transmission failure. There’s a, uh, it’s got a valve valve body or a torque converter on this particular Audi, but they still want to flush the transmission fluid. I’ve gotta tell you, that’s not gonna fix the car. That’s almost like going to the dentist and they say you have a cavity and you say, “Well, I’ll just go home and brush my teeth.”
Frank: Brush my teeth. Exactly. (Matt laughs) And I think the consumer needs to be cautious of that, you know, um, certainly on that point. Get the car checked out before you buy it for sure.
Matt: Yeah, exactly. So alright, we’ve got ever patient Rubin with the Land Cruiser. Rubin, what can we help you with on your Land Cruiser?
Rubin: Yes, talking about odors, um, on my Land Cruiser, when I turn on theAC, I got this smell, it’s not moldy or anything like that but, I believe this car doesn’t have a cabin filter, is that correct?
Matt: You know, some cars came with them some cars didn’t, some cars came with an option where there is a slot for it and you could just pull off the cover and, and put one in because it was an option, and there’s some of ’em where you could, uh, actually add it by you cut, there is, the, the marks are already perforated on the box and you could cut ’em and then, you know, buy the kit from the manufacturer. The first one came with the filter and the, and the clip-on cover. The best way to find out if you need, if your car even has one, if that’s something you wanna attempt doing yourself, just go to the local parts store, go to Napa, go to wherever you might choose to buy your parts from, and just look it up. Say, “Here, I have this 2000 Landcruiser XYZ model.” If you have the VIN number when you go in to look for parts, that’s even more helpful, and, and see if they have one. But-
Rubin: No, they don’t have one. That’s why-
Frank: Rubin, I have a question for you, is this more of a mildew kind of a let’s just face it,
Frank: No? How would you describe that smell Rube?
Rubin: Well, it’s like, um, dusty, you know, like a little bit, it’s, it’s not really bad and it only goes for I don’t know, let’s say, 5 seconds and then it stops.
Frank: It sounds like-
Rubin: Soon as the air conditioner start running and co- and the air, um, the cold air comes out, the, the odor is gone.
Matt: Ok, well that could be, what I would do, a couple things, if you want to see if you can add a cabin air filter to that model, go to the, go to the, the Toyota dealership, go the parts counter, and asked ’em again, “Do you have a cabin air filter for this car or is there an upgrade kit?” Now, you gotta be cautious though, a cabin air filter is not going to make pungent nasty odors go away, but in your case, so that dusty dirty smell? That’s gonna be the, the beginning of the mildew maybe or you could also check up on the cowling, lift the hood around the base of the windshield. That, we see those packed with dirt and debris and leaves and that’s where the air is coming into the car, might help just to clean all that out and then see if that odor goes away there and if you can put a cabin filter in there, great. If not, uh, just keep that cowl area clean. So thanks for the call Rubin and how ’bout, let’s see here Frank, we’re gonna grab or get Tammy in Mesa, she has got a 2005 Chevy Cavalier. Tammy, what can we help you with?
Tammy: Hi, um, I have an odor question and I don’t know if you’ll have time but if so, I have 2 vehicles, both with issues, so with the Cava-, um, yeah, with the Cavalier, um, I have 2 cats, I took ’em to the vet. They were in their little carriers, but I think one of them may have gone to the bathroom or something ‘cuz after I took the cats to the vet, my car started smelling, not like cat urine,but like sour milk and it was really weird. So I was feeling down where where, you know, where they were sitting on the floorboard and it was kind of, like, damp and then I smelled my hand, but there was no odor to it.
Tammy: But, so I soaked all that up and I thought, “Well, it has to be cat urine.” It’s the only thing I could think of, right? So, I went and bought the in- instamatic, you know, cat urine cleaner and that saturated the car, um, with that. But I still smell spoiled milk. (Laughs) So, I don’t know if you have better recommendations for how to clean the carpet or if there could be something else that might you know, have an odor that might smell like sour milk.
Matt: I know Frank is vigorously looking on his smartphone right now because before the show we were talking about there is a, a sour milk smell that we talked about.
Frank: It’s gonna be, yeah, that’s gonna be difficult Tammy, I think what we’re finding is the vomit acid, quite frankly, you know, whether it be human or pet.
Tammy: So you think they, they vomited rather than urinated?
Frank: Well, it’s possible. The, the bottom line is, uh, uh, you know, that bodily emission (Matt laughs) either way, uh, it’s gonna be a challenge. I think you’re headed on the right path.
Matt: Maybe some white vinegar, maybe-
Frank: Again, I, I I just read this and I’m, I’m really sensitive to what we find on the internet, I haven’t talked to anybody, but I’m gonna offer up the uh, the vinegar saturated rags in the bowls and try that to help saturate those odors.
Frank: Almost kind of a charcoaly saturation, yeah.
Matt: And what was-
Tammy: I, I was kinda thinking, I had read something about using vinegar and then baking soda and then,
Tammy: Um, it said it’ll, like, foam up and dry and then vacuum it, vacuum it out.
Matt: W-, well, let us know how that works out for you.
Frank: ‘Cuz we wanna know.
Matt: What was your other question that you had? Which other car?
Tammy: The other one is on my husband’s car, he has a 2003 Matrix, Toyota Matrix and with his and I think you might’ve hit the key on one of the issues, because he just has a foul odor in his car always and it’s even worse when he runs the air. But, also, hi- the passenger side front seat sometimes get, not the seat itself, but the floorboard gets damp or wet, so would that be what you guys are talking about with the gentleman before with the um, like maybe the air conditioning not draining out properly?
Matt: Yeah, I think you nailed that one right on the head that, that condensation box or that evaporator box is just filling up with the condensation from the air conditioner, so if he can get under the car in a safe manner and this is one thing when we’re giving advice on doin’ it yourself, if that’s his thing, never, ever, ever, ever get underneath a car that’s not properly supported with jack stands or anything, it could ruin your day and a lot of other people in your family’s day if something happened. So, get the car up and you’re gonna be looking for just maybe like a little inch long tube sticking out of the bottom of the floorboard area and you can take a pin, don’t take anything real long ‘cuz you could go up there and jab and poke a hole in the, in the evaporator something about a something the length of a pencil, a pen, maybe a little bit of a coat hanger and, and poke around you’re probably gonna get a half quart of water out of there I bet, so good question. We appreciate the calls and we’ve got, uh, very patient waiting Chris and Don and Linda from Scottsdale, we’ll be right back with you.
(Announcer: Bumper To Bumper on NewsTalk 92.3 KTAR / Music: Maybellene – Chuck Berry)
Matt: Alrighty, welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio, I’m Matt and I’ve got Frank Leutz with me.
Frank: Happy day!
Matt: (Laughs) Helpin’ out from Desert Car Care in, uh, in Chandler. Dave Riccio is out riding the mountain bike, uh, I don’t know what it is about the mountain bikes I’m, uh, I’m like my friend Marshall, I, I like the right hand throttle and the dirt. If I gotta, that’s too much peddlin’.
Frank: You know what though, this time of year, um, many of us peddle in, you know, in the gym. Why not pedal out, it’s a gorgeous time to be out, so kudos to Dave, he’s-
Matt: I’ll twist that right throttle hand, uh, myself. (Frank laughs) Throttle and brake are for me. So again Frank, thanks for comin’ in and joinin’ us.
Frank: My pleasure.
Matt: And, uh, we’re talkin’ about that, those funky smells in your car and, and this is the time of year that the cabin air filter, just like the filter in your house that, uh, you’re supposed to change it once a month. So if you haven’t done that yet, maybe it’s time to do the car and the house. But the car is, is a once a year deal and, uh, got a lot of people with, with funky smells and mildews and odors and, and those can be cleaned out. We have stuff in my shop that can do it, you can use Lysol at home, change the filter, cabin air filter, make sure the AC drain is unplugged. There’s several things you can do at home and if you’re looking for a shop to help you with that stuff, bumpertobumperradio.com you’ll find a handful of Mom and Pop shops I like to call them, locally owned, locally operated uh, by people in your community. So, if you need one: bumpertobumperradio.com We’re gonna grab Linda in Scottsdale, she’s got a new car 2013 Nissan Altima. Linda, how can we help you?
Linda: Hi, yes, my car, it was only purchased September 1st. It’s an SL Altima.
Linda: 2013 and I made a big mistake (Laughs) 4 weeks ago of picking up 2 bags of fertilizer from the nursery and they put ’em in my trunk and a block away and I was like, “Oh my gosh, maybe I should go back and bring them back and return them.” But I did not, I drove all the way home, My entire new car smells so bad.
Matt: Ok, you got that manure type fertilizer.
Linda: We Febreezed the trunk, we took the carpet out, the inside, we had this odor away stuff. So my question is when I go take it to the dealer, should I just have the in-cabin filter changed or do I have to have the one under the hood changed or should I somebody recommended spraying something called,I think, Ozide or something in a vents where the windshield washers, windshield wipers are?
Linda: Outside and then turning on the air and just letting it run.
Matt: Well, the, the if that odor’s from the fertilizer, probably manure stuff.
Linda: Yeah, oh God. I go, “What did you guys do to your stuff? 5 years ago it didn’t smell like this.”
Matt: (Laughs) You didn’t get the odor free, right?
Linda: Oh God.
Matt: Well, changin’ the cabin air filter I do not believe is going to help with that at all. The cabin air filter we’re typically changing that because it’s packed with dirt, dust, leaves, other debris that, that’s gonna come into the car from the outside or be lifted up off the passenger side floorboard. If you’ve just got that stench in the car and you said it was in the trunk, the one thing I would do is make sure it’s all out first of all. If that bag split, it might have gone around that carpet, it mighta got down below by the spare tire well. Make sure that’s all out and geez, I think y-, you know I think the Google remedy is as good as any. You’re just gonna have to try, again, the bowl of vinegar.
Frank: The challenge, the biggest challenge with that is what we’re seepin’ into the carpet, you know, and that’s, uh, just like in our homes, you know, it’s so tough to get uh, those odors, you know, uh, out. So it, I, I think within time Linda, uh, and maybe, maybe a little elbow grease, um, you’ll get it done. But probably not gonna suggest you have everything tore apart and spend all this money to try to alleviate that. I think within time um, and some Fabuloso (Both laugh) uh, you know uh-
Matt: And I’ve heard charcoal.
Matt: I mean, I guess you can still get charcoal that doesn’t, isn’t like the Kingford Matchlight you don’t want that.
Frank: You don’t wanna light it up.
Matt: (Laughs) You don’t want the one with the fuel on it in the, in the trunk of the car, but I would, that is certainly one where I would dig into the, to the Google remedies. And I’ll tell you what, when you’re done with that, would you follow up and send us an email at bumpertobumperradio.com and, and just let us know how that turned out and and what the, what the ultimate remedy was? And then remember too, your 2013 Nissan, you don’t have to take that back to the dealer, we’ve got a couple great shops in Scottsdale that can take care of all your, your needs to keep that car under warranty at the same time. We’ve got Whitey’s in South Scottsdale, Airpark Auto Service in North Scottsdale, so if you’re looking for a shop give one of them a try. And, uh, let’s see Frank, we’ve got, I don’t know if I can do that one, we’ll save him for a second. We’ll take Chris and, uh, she’s got a Toyota Matrix. Chris, what can we help you with on your Matrix today?
Chris: Hey, uh, I got a weird problem and it’s a little off topic, so you guys may not know, but, um, every time I park on an incline, um, the car, you know, it’s a stick, it kinda rolls forward a little bit when I park it. Uh, I always have trouble starting after that but it’s only when it’s parked on an incline.
Matt: Now when you say you trouble starting it, tell me a little bit more. Does, does the engine actually crank over or you just turn the key and nothing happens?
Chris: Just turning the key and nothing happens, no click or anything.
Matt: Hmmm, I, Frank, I, I wouldn’t be thinkin’ that really has anything to do with parking on the hill because-
Frank: It really, it really shouldn’t unless, I have a thought, if our battery is not clamped down and I, I’m not sure, Chris, if that’s the case but and this is really reaching.
Matt: That’s, yeah. (Laughs)
Frank: It’s reaching.
Matt: We’re not in San Francisco on that uh,
Frank: Exactly, that’s an incline.
Matt: On that steep hill Frank.
Frank: You know, when I think no crank, no start, obviously we’re dealing with the primary side, right? Of voltage and things like that. So, uh, Chris make sure that you don’t have anything like a battery that may be not connected properly and, and again, this is reaching. Um, it’s a very odd set of circumstances that you’ve got um, you know, with that. So, you may wanna have a shop look at it, um, you know?
Matt: Yeah, I’m just thinking it’s coincidental. Some of the different items, when you, when you go to, to start that car they, they don’t want you to be able to start the car in gear and have the thing take off across the shop or across the house, across the parking lot, wherever you are. So you have to step on the clutch in order to start the car and there’s a clutch inhibitor switch that’s basically an open and close switch, so that every time you step on the clutch, it will then allow that starter circuit to uh, be completed and allow the engine to crank over so that’s, that’s the area that we’re, we’re looking at. Yeah, you may check- Good idea Frank?
Frank: Yeah, Chris this may be reaching, but I think it’s worthy of it, check your carpet, you know, on an incline and, and you know, maybe that carpet is startin’ to snug itself under the clutch pedal and you know?
Matt: Yeah and not even on an incline because,
Matt: I mean. how many times I’ve seen people come in and the car won’t go
Matt: And they’ve got the, the floor mat just is pushed up,
Matt: And it’s underneath the gas pedal, it’s underneath the clutch pedal. So that’s a good one there Frank, I wasn’t, I wasn’t thinking about that. So. Thanks for the call Chris.
Frank: It’s the odors, you know?
Matt: (Laughs) And Frank, um, one topic, we’ve only got about a minute here. Used cars, we see it all the time, I know you see it in, in, uh, your shop, I see it in my shop. people are goin’ out and making mistakes buying used cars. Please, please, please, at least have your mechanic or a shop check this car out before you buy it.
Frank: It’s tax season, you’re looking, get a pre-purchase inspection.
Frank: Don’t do the post purchase. Um, we’ve got lots of sad stories we could share but, get your car checked out.
Matt: And same thing with a new car.
Matt: Get, you know, if you’re at a dealer, “I wanna go drive it, here’s my driver’s license, let me have. I wanna go get 30 minutes.” Go drive it in the conditions that you think you’re gonna use the car and make sure it’s got the gadgets and the bells and the whistles, and all that stuff you want. ‘Cuz remember, a lot of people selling used cars are not sellin’ them ‘cuz they are in perfect shape, so.
Frank: That’s right.
Matt: Again, thanks for joining us, I’m Matt Allen, Frank Leutz helpin’ me out today, Dave Riccio will be back with me next weekend. And, again, every Saturday Bumper To Bumper Radio from 11 to noon. Peter, thanks for runnin’ the dials and have a great weekend.