#1107: Genius and Bogus Effluent

Original Air Date: 02.12.2011

   Best Moment

This week on Car Talk, "The Male Competence/Incompetence Syndrome" - we finally have the key to understanding Tom and Ray's simultaneous brilliance and stupidity! Meanwhile, Bridget is concerned about the noise her Saturn is making, but she's downright terrified by the guys' efforts to imitate it. And Pam in Virginia has got a Volvo that's blowing more smoke than her husband. Also, Tom and Ray are called to account by Father Bryan, for naming his beloved Yugo the worst of the century. And we find out how many engineers it takes to change a lightbulb. All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

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This Week's Puzzler

Three randomly chosen numbers are written down, and you try to choose the largest. Can you make your odds any better than 1 in 3? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

What's the one measured distance on a car that hasn't changed in 75 years? Find out!

Show Open Topic

The male competence / incompetence syndrome.

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Show Review - 1484

by catlbob

Isn't show 201108, the one on currently, the current show? Do you meant the shocking show, or some other meaning for current?


by billy ariks

Every week I listen to these guys and I always learn something useful along with the great one-on-one banter. This week was no exception.

Favorite Moment: All of it.

shifting with clutch

by jimsir1

Don't think wither parent will go to a driving instructor... Their habits are what they are. Whilst listening and driving, i stopped at red light in my 200 Dodge Dakota manual, and proceeded to go on green, starting in second, and shifted through 3,4 to fifth gear without touching the clutch and not hearing any grinding. Wonder if either parent can do that? LOL.

my solution for

by betuska

the guy from Twin Peaks with the Subaru who complained of a burning smell when he drove the car...we had a similar problem and no one could find it for three years - they checked the transmission, brakes, etc...and eventually it was discerned that the head gaskets were leaking...after fixing it, voila, the smell was gone! now as I walk down the street, I am very aware of cars emitting the same smell as they pass, and i pray for them - my repair cost $1900 at the Sub dealer

You guys are old enough to remember

by catlbob

I was surprised at you lousy answer to Denise, the Episcopal Priest from Maryland, about her '99 Altima. You two are more than old enough to recall when cars did not come with trip odometers. To calculate mileage, you write down the total miles when you fill up, drive, then subtract that number from the odometer reading when empty! You don't need no stinkin' trip odometer, if you have one, use it as you wish, In her case, seh's writing down mileage numbers all the time anyway. BTW, the guy from Twin Peaks CA with the Subaru that smells like buring rubber after a long uphill drive should be back on Stump the Chumps.

Favorite Moment: Get real.

That last review was for show #201108

by catlbob

Isn't that the current show, or does current mean the show befor the one that's on the air?

About One Caller Gears

by Anonymous

The answer for the Gal, with Her Husband & 15 year old, and the dispute about working the clutch & transmission, of HER Car, stunk. If there will be error, that should go the the side of prematurely wearing out the part that was meant to be worn out any way. The transmission should not ware out. If it is well maintained, per auto manual instructions, it should last as long as the car it was installed in. That is, unless some ham handed chuckle nut gets at it, barking the dogs, all while saying, never mind those horrible gerrrrrrinding noises. 'taint nothin' to it. Properly shifted, a transmission shouldn't make much more noise that drawing a knife through a stick of warm butter. As I heard it, the She notes that She shifts through neutral, and makes the effort to match the engine speed to the gear being selected, & the car's speed. At that, She's closer to a professional, running a heavy duty rig, floating shifts through the Eaton Fuller 15 speed. (Commercial driver; Yers Truely.) So, as I conclude, I say, clutches are made to wear out. Transmissions are not made to be broken. That is all Carry on.

Favorite Moment: ... when We say it, Car Talk is brought to you by ... (NPR)

how many elec-bikes can be made from one elec-car?

by socialvaccine1

cruising NO HANDS, into town, on the bus, down the alley, u-turn, stop chat [NO WORRIES!], chase a bad guy, NO PEDDALING -no sweating/aching or "maroonment". How many 10 mile e-bike BATTERIES can be made from 1# 100 mile e-car? remember, you can lift a heavy bike, but you can't push any car -far

Favorite Moment: empty...

Changing the light bulb

by CaseyCar

The amusing story about the engineers puzzling over whether to twist two wires together to turn the light bulb on had an interesting ending that I dont understand. To me, this problem was a no-brainer, and I have a degree in Physics. This is NOT like the squirrel on the wire, where the squirrel can hop along the wire because he is not grounded, but when he crosses over to a second wire becomes barbecue squirrel. In the light bulb example, there are two wires, and if you grabbed one in one hand and the other in the other hand to twist them together, it would be like defib paddles, you would get zapped with full house current and the current would be flowing from arm to arm, across the chest and through your heart. So, how did this neighbor dude turn that light on? If he did it with one hand, that one hand would likely get burned if he could hold on long enough to get the wires twisted. Or if he was really careful, he could grab one wire, contact it to the other, then twist. But I would think that move would take practice. So, I need more explanation!

Favorite Moment: Light bulb story.

Love u guys! Ya keep my husband on his toes

by Frostys1stkid

My husband has been working on cars since he was 15 yrs and thinks he knows everything about cars! He is actually very good and almost always comes up with the same answer u guys do! He rebuilt his 1st engine by age 17 and he taught this Bostonian transplant to Houston, TX, how to work on and rebuild engines and transmissions. We love your show and thanks for ya wonderful Boston accents (I have never lost mine) and Boston humor, yaz warm my heart & lift my sports every week!

Favorite Moment: Catalytic converter heating underside of Twin Peaks man's car

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