Click and Clack

Battery replacement easier if left to the pros

Dear Tom and Ray, We have a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country van. Is it OK to buy and replace the original battery ourselves? Or is this a job for the professionals? We just bough ...

Geezer car has geezer window but only in the cold

Dear Tom and Ray, I’ve got a Buick — a geezer car because I’m a geezer. It’s wonderful at eliminating road rage because it is completely incompetent at driving aggressivel ...

Tom and Ray settle a bet but not in reader’s favor

Dear Tom and Ray: Please help me settle a bet with my father-in-law ... the winner will buy the loser his next battery. My father-in-law claims that even though car batteries ...

Traffic court argument doesn’t hold much water

Dear Tom and Ray, It occurred to me the other day that as a car is driven and the tires wear down, each tire’s circumference decreases. Since the speedometer measures speed thr ...

Are headlights always on a bright idea?

Dear Tom and Ray, I enjoy your column every week. In our cars, the headlights turn off automatically when we exit the vehicle so there’s no danger of leaving the lights on and d ...

Reader asks: What weight oil should I use?

Dear Tom and Ray, I recently was advised to use a much lighter weight of oil than I am used to using. I was told I should use 5-20 weight oil in my 2007 Pontiac Solstice convert ...

Does driving constitute a workout?

Dear Tom and Ray, I wonder if you can settle an ongoing dispute that I have with my wife. She is an avid walker and an exercise freak. She wants me to join her on these power wal ...

Rear disc brakes versus drum brakes

Dear Tom and Ray, All of the cheapest cars these days seem to have drum brakes on the rear instead of disc brakes. But drum brakes have more parts than disc brakes and are much ha ...

Might as well drive on bad transaxle until it breaks

Dear Tom and Ray, The transaxle differential bearing on my ’98 Toyota Sienna van is growling like a cat in the vet’s office. This has been going on for about 5,000 miles now. ...

Hubby’s not neutral on wife’s shifting

Dear Tom and Ray, With all the news about uncontrolled acceleration, my wife has decided that she wants to be prepared in case it ever happens to her. We know the proper thing t ...

Dressings are for salads, not belts

Dear Tom and Ray, Belt dressings? Yes or no? I heard on your radio show not to spray belt dressings on serpentine belts. But I was recently told to use belt dressings on my serpen ...

Burning question about combustion has answer in oxygen

Dear Tom and Ray, I’ve heard that each gallon of gas burned by a car releases about 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. I’m not a chemist, but even allowing for some creativ ...

We stand by our answer

Dear Tom and Ray, In a recent column, you got the wrong answer to the “hummingbird” problem. Fifty years ago, my boss in an Air Force research laboratory used this problem to ...

Odd braking supposedly normal but could be a problem

Dear Tom and Ray, Every time I am braking and go over a bump in our 2008 Prius (a frequent occurrence in hilly San Francisco), the anti-lock braking system kicks in. The problem ...

The brothers talk science

Dear Tom and Ray, I’ve heard that each gallon of gas burned by a car releases about 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. I’m not a chemist, but even allowing for some creat ...