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#0821: No Poorly Done Deed Goes Unpunished

Original Air Date: 05.25.2008

   Best Moment

This week on Car Talk, good intentions go awry for Drew in New Jersey. He decided to surprise his girlfriend Sarah by washing her car, and--oops!-- left a very large and messy scratch. She's kinda ticked off, and her mood probably won't improve when she realizes his restitution will require her wallet. Meanwhile, out in Colorado, another family is in need of Magliozzi Mediation. This time, it's Tyler and his dad, who can't agree on what kind of car crash causes the most damage. We think they might want to lighten up just a little, but Tom and Ray nonetheless take a step back to their year(s) of Physics 101 to try to help. Also, a mysterious backfire makes one woman think her husband may be trying to knock her off, a skier wonders why he's become a member of the Brake Pad of the Month Club, and what do you do when a mechanic tells you your carburetor needs work... when you don't have a carburetor? All this and more, on this week's Car Talk.

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This Week's Puzzler

Most cars have one, some have two, none have three and some have four. What is it? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

How do you plant four plants... and keep them all equidistant? Find out!

Show Open Topic

Could Infiniti's Plasma Cluster Filtration be the solution Tommy's been looking for all these years?

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Newton's 2nd law: F=ma

by louathome

Fellas, you're pulling my ear-bone. The impact forces are equal. Assuming the cars are identical (equal in mass) with crumple zones working as engineers intend; the head-on collision will result in the cars coming to rest without rebound at the point of impact in both scenarios. (inelastic collision)The occupant in the (intact) cab will go from 60mph to zero over a distance of perhaps three feet. ... So the accelerations will be equal. F=ma Therefore the forces felt inside the cab will be equal for both scenarios. Now go forth and apologize.

Favorite Moment: Cartalk intro. music

one way they could be right

by okin15

If it weren't for the stipulation that it is an "immovable" wall, then crashing into a wall which gives a little would make the 60 mph crash less bad. Since in real life, it's likely that the wall would give some, it feels less dangerous.


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