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#0932: Zap This

Original Air Date: 08.08.2009

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This week on Car Talk, Richard's goats won't stay away from his car. Will electro-shock therapy work? Meanwhile, Heather's stuck in WA with a Subaru that won't make a cross-country trip. Can Tom and Ray convince her dad to buy her a new car, or is this family reunion doomed? Meanwhile, Jose's car fell off the jack while he was changing a tire. Here's hoping Tom and Ray can save him from a fiery crash. That and more on this week's electrifying hour of Car Talk.

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A plea for hate mail to Car Talk to be more civilized.

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    Show Review - 929

    by brucer26

    Always a good show. However, you are wrong on the goat herder in Dogtown, CA. Hook the fence right to the car. Won't hurt any electronics - all that is isolated on the inside. It will hurt the herder if he forgets to turn off the power before opening the door.

    Favorite Moment: Goat herder

    Show Review - 931

    by Anonymous

    Show Review - 932

    by Anonymous

    Show Review - 933

    by Anonymous

    Show Review - 1098

    by wolfgang

    Goats...

    by ThurloweDweeb

    Creative idea, Richard, but there's a (quite a) few caveats. And shame on MIT engineers for not catching this one :p But the sad fact is that all electric circuits require a complete path for what is known as "Continuity." For a fence charger, this means that you need to "Ground" it. All fence chargers *I've* ever seen have four connections: two for power in, one for the "hot" side of the fence and one for the Ground. As far as automotive electronics being somehow "isolated," consider the fact of the common "Negative Ground" schema of the modern automobile... where the negative terminal of the battery (and alternator, which is typically affixed to the engine) is attached directly to the vehicle. Now, electric fences are not continuously charged. It's not like if you get a couple inches from one and a small lightning bolt issues forth to zap the unsuspecting livestock. Rather, they emit a few thousand volt pulse every second or two. Let's see... Engine Control Computer, ABS Control, ECC, BCM... what a wonderful world of computers available to fry with kilovolt pulses surging against the *ground.* No offence, Richard, but as a farmer of many years, it's advisable to keep your animals restrained in ... IN the containment area rather than create exclusionary zones to keep them OUT of. They will always outsmart you; instead of one containment area, you will end up with 35 'exclusionary zones.' Best to all!

    Favorite Moment: Heather's tongue ring

    Heather should fly to Maine

    by s-c-smith

    I agree with your advice to Heather to fly from WA to Maine instead of driving her old car. Not sure why her parents don't offer to buy her the ticket but with a daughter away at school myself I would be glad to use my frequesnt flyer miles to fly her back to see her parents. Have Heather email me if I can help. thanks.

    Favorite Moment: It was great when you called up the dad and had the 3 way conversation.

    Dear Cliff Cloven

    by Anonymous

    What an interesting program! Taking my morning coffee, and laughing in the morning with the Car Talk program has become a fairly regular routine now, and one I proudly admit. Upon hearing Richard's circumstance, I could not help but write in with my own suggestion. A solution, perhaps. At least a theory to explore. Richard's goats climb up on his car, and damage the top. Is it possible that the goats simply want to stand up on something? Are they not accustomed to climbing mountain cliff and craggy bluff? Suggestion, pre-Pavlov: Richard, could you use the materials for the pen you would build, to instead create a large box for them to stand on? With 3 goats, you may need several boxes, so you aren't instigating a "King of the Hill" scenario. If the box situation is undesirable, then what would the cost of a few large boulders added to the goat's area of choice be, in comparison to the cost of materials to build a pen?

    Favorite Moment: Logging in to catch what the "Brother's Rimm" said, after discovering that my own laughter had drowned out the din of the radio, during portions of their broadcast. Thanks to NPR, and Car Talk. You have my vote for the "Life Improvement" Award, should such a thing exist.

    Another lousy show

    by Anonymous

    Encore, should mean bravo, not run away! :-)

    Favorite Moment: My favorite moment, was when iTunes told me there was 0 seconds left to listen to.

    Treat Us with Silent Contempt, Please

    Listener Tom Bourque takes issue with the rude letters sent to Tom and Ray.

    Auto Repair Magic

    Listener Dave Taylor shares a long-standing concern.

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