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#0816: Welcome to the Shnerdling

Original Air Date: 04.19.2008

   Best Moment

This week on Car Talk, because you demanded it (well, one of you demanded it), Tom and Ray explain the latest addition to the Car Talk lexicon, "shnerdling." We'll give you a hint: it involves a flight to Iceland, and an overdose of lutefisk. Closer to home, the new owner of a Ford pick-up discovers a bonus: a 100 pound propane tank strapped to the undercarriage. Is it safe to drive, or should he stick to grilling burgers down there? It's this week's Call of the Week. Also, the auto-relational dispute list grows by two: first, there's Peter who wants to know why his wife won't let him take their infant in the backseat of his Jaguar XK8. Then there's Sarah, who's about to find out if her boyfriend loves his Jeep more than her. And, on Stump the Chumps, we find out what made a Volvo start Singin' in the Rain. All this, plus a new Puzzler from the Laws of Physics series, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

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This Week's Puzzler

Nothing's wrong with the vehicle, but the brakes are getting hotter and hotter going downhill-- even with the vehicle in lowest gear. What's going on? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

How do you measure 45 minutes, with two fuses and a lighter?

Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray mention the new PBS NOVA show they're hosting next week, "Car of the Future." Plus, they finally define..... "Schnerdling."

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Show Review - 368

by Anonymous

Show Review - 370

by Anonymous

Show Review - 372

by reedy

CNG vs Propane

by betsycliff

From what you said about the pickups tank filler saying CNG is it really a propane tank? Propane is liquid until it changes state to a gas, like in your barbecue. CNG, Conpressed Natural Gas) is natural gas which is compressed to a high pressure in the storage tank in order to store it during non-use. You can store more miles of propane than CNG but some (in the boating world) think CNG is safer as it is lighter than air and thus raises if there is a leak, where propane in a gaseous state is heavier than air. (Do you want to blow the top of your boat off or the bottom? You can obtain a compressor to convert home use natural gas to CNG so that your car (or pickup) can be filled overnight at home. Faster refills require trading the empty tank in for a full one. So which is it CNG or propane? Thanks for the great show


by Anonymous

You numbskulls, there is no Lutefisk in Iceland. We have our own, ah, 'delicacies', but the Lutefisk is a Norwegian speciality. And no Moose either, so any Moose-sushi or other Moose products are out. But you are right, the Restroom is sometimes called "Snyrting", which in a rare lapse of language transparency has no reference to what happens in there. Love the show regardless

Favorite Moment: Finally having 'shnerdling' explained. I have looked in countless dictionaries.

Info on mileage for Compress Natural Gas

by Anonymous

Here is a government site that talks about mileage for CNG vehicles.

The Propane

by Jake

Concerning the propane tank I just wanted to relate to you guys that this sort of propane conversion system is very common in other countries, particularly Europe. The tanks are usually installed in the trunk of the car but in the case of a truck it makes sense that it would be on the underside. Concerning the safety issue, as long as it is installed correctly this sort of system is not any more dangerous than regular gasoline. Americans are only used to the common gasoline but gasoline is a high explosive as well, and whatever you say for propane you can say almost the same thing for gasoline. Also consider that if this system was installed into a fleet vehicle at some sort of an organization then they certainly would make sure that it was safe because of the potential issue of liability if one of their employees became "crispy". Propane systems like this are generally less polluting and cheaper to run than conventional gasoline. I would not recommend going off-road driving in the rockies but please do not let your fear of the unfamiliar discount a better way of travel.

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