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#0909: Step Away from the Blanket, Paula!

Original Air Date: 02.28.2009

   Best Moment

This week on Car Talk, Paula in Maine is convinced that the only thing getting her Subaru to start on really cold mornings is the warm blanket she's throwing on the hood. Tom and Ray are convinced Paula's a wacko, but, can they offer a better explanation? Also, Escort owner Steve plays a game of Hide and Seek--with his battery; Avital in California wonders if motor oil separates a la Paul Newman salad dressing; and is a 10-dollar fix too expensive for a Toyota owner who's decided to only make "necessary" repairs? All this, plus a hernia-inducing puzzler from Ray, on this week's encore edition of Car Talk.

Review this Show | 11 Reviews | Need Help Listening? View Call Details

This Week's Puzzler

Ray helps his neighbor move a woodstove. Can you figure out what trick the neighbor used to get his loaded VW van up the slippery driveway? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

A husband and wife go to buy a used car. The salesman shows them a late model Japanese car that he says the owner only drove to work and back, and to church on Sunday. She never left town nor drove on Saturday. How did they know he was lying? Find out. Find out!

Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share a few of their favorite lawyer jokes.

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Show Review - 747

by Anonymous

Show Review - 750




What's up guys??? I thought you announced repeat shows! The last few weeks have featured old clips and puzzlers. The Daniel Pinkwater call - heard it years ago. The 'inky shadows' puzzler - ditto. The blanket call - heard it before. The Used Car puzzler - another oldie. So - what gives?

Come on, guys

by eugene

Ford Diesels... I owned 2 Tempos and one Topaz, 1985, '86, plus some cars for spare parts, heads, vacuum controls &c. Ford was crazy for putting aluminum heads on the cast iron block. Didn't take much heat to crack the heads. Millage was well over 40 mpg. The battery is in the trunk. It may be carpeted over, but the large rectangle box is there that holds the battery. Being a diesel, the battery is quite large, and if under the hood, there would be no room for the engine.

Favorite Moment: I love the show. I use it for my walking program, and makes the time go quickly.

Paula and her Blanket Good Try

by williamedonnelly

Well, Paula, if you think your blanket ritual is working, then go for it. My experience. I had a '74 Dodge Dart V8. After some years of owning it, there were serious starting problems starting it on cold weather mornings in S.E. Pennsylvania. My variation was to start it in the early evening to warm it up, then cover the hood with a thick, quilted moving blanket. The next morning, in bitter cold, the car started flawlessly. Without the blanket, during the bitter cold, I always had to rely on a jump start. Good for you Paula. Good show.

Favorite Moment: Car talk hosts doubting Paula's theory/ritual.

Paula and her blankie

by Anonymous


Laugh, Laugh, Laughing and Full of Laughter

by Anonymous

I don't think I have ever laughed so hard. At least not in a long time. If you want to release some good endorphines or improve your mental health while still learning a little, listen to these guys. What a joy you bring during these economic times. I think we forget to laugh. God bless you guys!!!!

Favorite Moment: When you make fun and laugh at everyones' attempt to be profound, smart, innovative or just downright creative but silly. I like how you teach us to laugh at ourselves and not take us, our ideas, or our possession so seriously. Thanks guys! Love the jokes too!

Thought I had finally lived this down!

by Anonymous

Man, this episode is seven years old! I thought that no one remembered my gaffe of misplacing my battery and insisting it wasn't in the trunk. I have started getting made fun of all over again!

subaru legacy, had similar problem

by sl32

Paula, I dont know if you see this comment, but I think I had very similar issue with my 1995 Subaru legacy a few years ago and I didn't use a blanket. Basically my legacy would just die and wont start, or wont start in the morning but if I wait a while then it starts perfectly. I drove the car for 4 months this way, had no check engine light on, went to several mechanics... in the end I took it to subaru dealership and they found that it was a faulty oxygen sensor. Replaced and that's it, the issue was fixed, never had the problem again. (fyi, regular generic obd reader didn't pick up the code, but the subaru one did, so...)

Favorite Moment: the blanket

The Mouse that Roared

by rmhodge

Great show! I particularly like the section about the man with the Volvo 2000 XCountry and the dead mouse smell.

Favorite Moment: The dead mouse piece.


Legal Observations

Ever wondered how many lawyers it really takes to change a light bulb? Tom and Ray have the answers!

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