Las Vegas Car Talk: Answering Your Questions About Burning, Smoking, and Sputtering Cars


We’ve all felt the fear when the check engine light pops up on your car’s dashboard. What the hell does that mean? How much will it cost me?

Or worse, your car starts to smoke. You open the hood and have no idea what you’re looking at or what to do next. Or you hit the gas and the car sputters.

What is causing this squealing noise from my wheels? What coolant should I use for my vehicle?

How do I keep my car from overheating in this scorching heat?

Bobbie, mechanic and local auto shop owner, 5 Star Auto Repair; and Jesse Moreno, mechanic and owner of Genuine Auto Services in downtown Las Vegas joined state of nevada host Joe Schoenmann to answer callers’ questions about the car.

And if you had a question but missed the show, or if we couldn’t get in on Thursday, don’t worry, we’ll start again on September 22.

If a store is really clean, says Bobbie, “watch out.” Shops are always busy unless they have a bad reputation in town.

“If it’s one of those places that’s completely empty, and they’re dying to have your job the moment you walk in, they’re like, ‘Yeah, we’ll take care of that right now. They’re usually tell-tale signs, sort of red flags, if you will,” Moreno said.

My car is swerving?

Sandy from Las Vegas called because his 1996 Toyota Rav4 is wobbling in the morning. Mechanics said it could have been a drivability issue, generally looking at the fuel management, the way it actually drives, the engine management.

Depending on the diagnoses, there may be several problems.

Both work on older cars and age has nothing to do with the vehicle. “Really, in the end, did you service this vehicle?”

My car squeaks?

Zachary called in his 2015 Honda Accord. He has squealing brakes. It has new rotors, but it still squeaks. And there’s nothing wrong with brake pads.

“The squeal is a vibration, just like the wings of a cricket,” said Bobbie, who says the brakes are likely polished from a smooth ride. “Slam on ’em once in a while, have fun!”

“We get a lot of these in our store after the rains,” Moreno said. “You know when it’s raining you have a hot road or a heat pad. As it starts to go down you start to slow down, basically that heat transfer makes it buff if you will, and it basically polished it, it’s like polishing the rotor.”

My car needs a priest?

Daniel drives a 1996 Buick Sentry. He thinks he has a grounding problem. He said his cruise control worked sometimes. Every time he would press the brake pedal, the rear frost would come on and while the cruise control wouldn’t work, the third brake light wouldn’t work either.

“You don’t need us, you need a priest, you need an exorcist,” Bobbie joked. Moreno suggested looking at the multi-function switch.

“That it all basically relates to that same circuit over there,” he said. “This thing controls your turn signals, which basically controls your brake lights, because it goes through this circuit. So if you’ve already changed the module, but haven’t looked at your multifunction switch, there’s a strong possibility , you might want to go ahead and think about it.”


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