#1122: Book This, Dad!

Original Air Date: 05.28.2011

   Best Moment

This week on Car Talk, how do you handle a slightly anal retentive dad who insists on keeping verrrry thorough car records? If you're Rebecca, you tell Dad what you really think, and then call on Click and Clack to try to broker peace. Meanwhile, Ben's got a guilty conscience over his power steering stunt that came to a smoky conclusion; Mary Beth is stumped over how to fix a broken hood latch when you can't get the hood open; and Dale is wondering how mice stuffed his entire exhaust with corn. All this, plus a quasi-automotive Puzzler with a literary heritage, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

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This Week's Puzzler

Are you ready for "The Bridge of Tom and Ray"? Find out how to make it across a bridge when your truck's weight is just a little too much. Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

When Tom left home, he noticed the odometer reading on his car was a palindrome. When he got to work, it displayed a different palindrome. How far did he drive? Find out!

Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share the new "Car Talk listener rebate program."

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My Dad taught me to use a "little book"

by Susiecarp

OK - I'm now a female @ 60+ and still write down columns of mile./date/gal/$ even with modern computer calcs -- we learned in the 50's how to do "the math" for todays digital figures on roadtrips across the country ... for financial help with my first car I would have kept a complete journal!


by Joan

I grew up with The Book and was trained to record every fuel purchase or maintenance. Every car I have owned for the last 40 years has had a BOOK. This habit has trained me to take care of a car that endures Artic winters where a problem could mean life or death. Grow up Rebecca-don't be a 27 year old mooch. My anal retentive wacko father still watches over me--yours will too.

good car records

by ustwo

car book for gas, repairs, dates, miliage, MPG, etc. You called Father a Whacko. Well, I have been keeping a book on two cars for 25 years and have updated on a spreadsheet on my PC. I then calculate miles driven and MPG and then write in in the book as well. Also, your mentioned why would someone with a Lincoln Towncar want to keep such a book. Happens that I have two cars, one of which is a 99 Lincoln Towncar. So caller's father is whacko but I am whacko plus. Great shows, I always try to listen.

Regarding Ben

by Joek81981

I think Ben's 96 Disco has bigger problems. Its an automatic right? No clutch to push while coasting. So what if the transmission wasn't getting oil when the car was shut off? What if the gears were spinning but not getting lubricated? That explains smoke coming from just under the shifter.

Favorite Moment: The end. :)

Woman Driver

by Anonymous

Sorry guys, but when a woman calls in and asks what kind of car to take on a cross-country trip, I have to say-Who gives a damn? Go take a Yugo for all I care, just don't waste my time calling in when more pertinent questions are waiting! Maybe you could have a women's only call-in show, that way I would avoid that at all costs and just listen to the good questions on your regular show!

Favorite Moment: When I changed the channel and didn't hear that woman's voice any more!

Backward gas gauge

by Vernon Benignus

1. Whe the mechanic installed the new float, it is possible that he/she got the polarity reversed? 2. By the way. I got your call-in number written down wrong. I dialed 888-277-8255. You should try that number. I thought at first it was one of your off-beat jokes. NO! Cheers.

rebecca's dad

by Anonymous

send me the book and if your dad is willing to pay for gas & maintenance for me, I will fill out the book to his satisfaction!

Girl wants to throw away Daddy's Book


When you have PROBLEMS, you need a record. That's what Daddy's Book is. If you purchase Bad Gas that ultimately damages your Car, you need clues on the problem source. Your Daddy's Book. Damage caused by Gas can be expensive. Your Dad probably keeps the receipts too. Receipts contain information, but to understand this information you need a decorder ring (Dad's Book). Receipts contain Corprate names that mean nothing to you, Station Numbers than mean nothing and so on & so forth. Like your Checkbook records, they are very helpful WHEN you have a problem. The problem may happen tomorrow or it may never happen. Do you want to fix these prpoblems at your expense? Dad's book may not be a waste of time after all.

The Book

by grtarcza

A book kept in the car can be useful if done for a purpose other than being a nit-picky moron. I track gas mileage for my '86 Accord (180K miles) as a trouble indicator. About a year ago, when highway mileage dropped from 36 to 31 while a slight loss of power, it indicated a problem, and I found a loose spark plug! I wouldn't bother with a book in a newer car, though.

Show Review - 1637

by Anonymous

I am 50 years old and am currently keeping complete records on my sixth car. I can't imagine why a person would not want to keep track of their gas milage, as well as a maintenance record. Every time I've sold a car (after the 100,000 mark) the buyer has been delighted to get the maintenance record of the car. I am glad that so many other listeners agree with me and I am very disappointed that Click and Clack derided the conscientious and responsible father.


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