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#1044: The Mysterious Man in White

Original Air Date: 10.30.2010

   Best Moment

Description: 
This week on Car Talk, we've got a roadside repair story to beat the band. It involves a dead Camry, a remote mountain top, and a mysterious stranger, clad in white from head to hubcap, who did nothing more than say, "Just start the car." Meanwhile, Jenny in California wonders if over-revving an engine can cook a catalytic converter, and if not, should the accusation destroy a relationship? Also, a Grand Cherokee develops a bad case of flatulence; a '58 Lincoln with a brake pedal problem prompts some thoughts on Tommy's wardrobe; and, how much do you owe a friend who spent a few hundred bucks trying to fix your car... but succeeded instead in setting it on fire? All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

Review this Show | 20 Reviews | Need Help Listening? View Call Details

This Week's Puzzler

What apparently confounding feature of the atomic watch turned out to be not so confusing, after all? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

Two police officers trained their flashlights on a car, looking for evidence that it had been driven the day before. One of the officers said, "This car's clean. It wasn't involved in a robbery." What did the officer see? Find out!

Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share life lessons that were learned a bit too late.

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Show Review - 1336

by Anonymous

its a four wrench show with Tommy on extra happy juice

Show Review - 1337

by genlin

Show Review - 1343

by Anonymous

Show Review - 1345

by memchip

It's not clear what area of Utah the caller was visiting when the incident occurred but Dugway Proving Ground is within 100 mi of Salt Lake city. Testing of an electromagnetic pulse generating device would cause the described problem if it they were within proximity. If the white knight was a researcher involved with the test he would know their car was disabled and why. The caller didn't go into detail about the type of clothing the white knight wore- could it have been a lab coat?

Show Review - 1348

by jkavery

I wonder if electromagnetic radiation (for instance from a radar) caused the car to stop near the top of the mountain in Utah? One time when I was driving past the Naval Air Station going into Key West, the engine of the Dodge Caravan rental car cut out for about a second. I blamed it on the radar - the car never had any other problems during the week-long trip.

Show Review - 1352

by happyone

Show Review - 1367

by Anonymous

Man in White

by genlin

Great story. The mysterious man in white wasn't a mystery at all to me. Your caller most likely was helped by someone who was a volunteer worker at a nearby Mormon temple. Your caller can find an online list of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) temples in Utah and see which one was closest to where their care broke down. The gentleman in white was most like traveling to or from that temple. Normally the white clothes are not worn outside the temple because workers and patrons are instructed to wear Sunday best to the Temple and change into white when the get there.

Personally & Strongly Believe is a Gurdian Angel

by Bhaskar27

It was very interesting this morning.. I was listening to Car Talk. I was thinking that I should post something on my FB wall about CarTalk and I was not sure what that would be.. So, I pulled into a gas station, pumped the gas (took approx 20 min) before I got into my car and started to listen to CarTalk... and the first caller I heard was about this Mystery Man ... I said to myself, ah! ah! i got a topic .. Anyhow, making the long story short.. I personally and strongly feel Universe Runs on certain principles, one of them being 'what you sow so shall you reap, but, many times over'. If you have sowed a seed of good, good comes back to you in abundance.. and vice-versa... One important question that could have been asked to the lady is 'what do they do for living or what are other social activities they do?' that could have provided an answer about the Mystery Man.. The couple obviously must have been very helpful and doing lot of good service to the community. I am sure many people Blessed them in their heart... So, the Universe is watching all these things and the rescue comes to you when least expect and desire the most... It could come in any form... you say 'Guardian Angel' or you can give any name you want.... They are indeed wonderful couple...

Favorite Moment: Great Show

spooky Camry

by fmfmedic

Great puzzler! I got the answer though. Wiring harness at engine. change of climate can cause intermittent disconnect at connection. Also, some fuel pump relays can fail when you hit a bump, and reset themselves in about 10 minutes. Both have happened to me.

Favorite Moment: When he was babbling on about nothing in particular while trying to think. It made no sense at all! And the brothers' comment "He's my brother, and I love him, but he's got his head up his....never mind!"

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