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#0835: Whose Gas is it, Anyway?

Original Air Date: 08.30.2008

   Best Moment

Description: 
This week on Car Talk, we wade into the seldom-charted waters of gas pump etiquette. Heidi's got a nifty maneuver to get the last few drops out of her hose, but was alarmed to learn she might be practicing Petrol Larceny. Also, could the essence of Car Talk really be expressed by one single word? Plus, Bruce in Illinois shares another reminder why you should never buy a car from your brother, a Saturn keeps mooing long past the pasture, and a sure-fire way to test a relationship: cook your girlfriend's transmission. All this, plus a few more signs you may need a new car, this week on Car Talk.

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Keep the gas out of our groundwater and air

by rkwong78

I try to empty out the pump not just for a few drops of gas, but also so that I don't drip the gas on the ground when I pull the nozzle out. Also, any gas left in the nozzle is open to air so that in AZ, on a slow day, any gas left there is going to evaporate anyway, gas being such a volatile liquid. Was also disappointed at the answer regarding accidental shifting out of D3 into Park or Reverse. Usually Click and Clack support their answers with some technical justification...this time there was none, just a 'don't sweat it'. What's happening in the automatic transmission when you do that? Why don't the gears strip? How are they built to avoid permanent damage? I love these guys, but this was not their best show.

Favorite Moment: One word...constult

The Math

by mattyg313

A 3/4 inch hose that is 8' long has a volume of 23.5 ounces. At $4 per gallon, that is about $.70 per trip to the gas station saved (or stolen).

My first show... and I loved it

by wickedH

About the gas in the pump: Unless the hose is airtight between the nozzle and the pump, then any gas in there would evaporate completely in a couple of hours or even minutes depending on the weather. Which means if no one used the pump recently before you, then you dont get any of his leftovers. And if you dont drain the hose completely into your tank, then you are throwing away gas that you paid for (or donating it to the next customer). It is absurd to say one is stealing in this case.

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