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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

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!"

The man in white - Government Agent?

by jeepcj5

Funny and informative? Sure, if you like conspiracy theories. Why did our intrepid radio show hosts not point out the obvious? The government is out in the Utah desert testing EMP devices on unsuspecting tourists.

Favorite Moment: This sounds like Amelia from Charlotesville was hit by an Electromagnetic Pulse. The effects would be exactly the same, and it would dissapate over time. Hmmm

Love it!

by Anonymous

I'm not much of a car guy but I love tuning into your show. You guys are fricken' nuts and I love it! I'm surprised how much I smile & laugh throughout the show. Thank you guys & NPR for the education and comedic value your show offers.

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