#1207: Washer Fluid Dynamics

Feb 18, 2012
This week on Car Talk, cleanliness is next to impossible for Andrew, due to his Subaru's weak rear windshield washer spray. Unfortunately for Andrew, the only thing less productive than the spray may be Tom and Ray's explanation of the cause. Elsewhere, Kate discovered a long gray hair sticking out of her Civic, and is worried she may have a UFO-- that's an Unidentified Furry Object-- living in her exhaust; Joyce is wondering why her mellow, meditation-teaching husband turns into a mix of Mario Andretti and Tony Soprano when he gets behind the wheel; and 14-year-old Matthew is about to learn a valuable Magliozzi lesson about the benefits of doing a lousy job cleaning his parents' car. All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share more jokes about marriage.

This Week's Puzzler

Should you take the con man's card bet?

Last Week's Puzzler

Which grasshopper won the race, and why?

As Read on Car Talk



14 Comments

mrs chattergee

I think she was a ringer from a previous show, just thrown in because Tommy liked her name. segment 9
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

Subaru washer fluid

The solution suggested will not work. yes, due to Bernoulli's Principle, velocity will increase at the area of narrowing. But the flow in the tubing will " normalize" past the area of narrowing. I know this because I am a medical vascular ultrasound technician and teach physics to ultrasound students at a local college. It would be better to cause narrowing right at the nozzel orfice. Maybe a tiny amount of epoxy applied sparingly with a very small tool such as a pin.
Favorite Moment: 
The laughter.
Rating: 

Regarding work-ethic advice to teenagers

Regarding your listeners, I meant to say, “Obviously there are impressionable, and some currently commendable, youth among your listeners, you might want to keep that in mind. We ADULTS know that you are better than that!”
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

Removing Mineral Deposits

A great cleanser that does not scratch, is "Bon Ami", (you may have to Google it to find a retailer that carries it) make a paste of it on a soft, damp cloth,(one good friend also uses it DRY on a dry cloth to remove hard mineral deposits and then washes as usual; she swears by her method.) Bon Ami is also great on shower doors, and old, burnt grease on pots & pans, and removing nicotine smells, all without scratching hard surfaces! (NO, I do NOT own stock with the makers, but I hope they never stop selling it!) ...Also all the advice about washing with vinegar and waxing are also excellent, ESPECIALLY if you don't wax until AFTER you get the spots off as best you can!
Favorite Moment: 
Sorry, guys! I LOVED the whole show, EXCEPT where you endeavored to spoil that 14-year-old young man's future! That type of "advice" is better shared among grown men, over a few beers, and not on national broadcasts! There are (obviously) some few impressionable youths among your listeners, you might want to keep that in mind. We ADULTS know that you are better than that!
Rating: 

Fluey Dynamics - AGAIN?

I went to MIT with these guys (Hackers Haven'73?). Shame, shame that they mis-apply the Bernoulli effect. Pinching a washer hose in the middle (aquarium clamp) will decrease, not increase emitted fluid reach. It is only if the NOZZLE cross-section area is reduced does the increased fluid speed have an effect! Call the expert I DOUBLE DARE YOU!
Favorite Moment: 
(Geek alert) - The decision(s) to architect the Defense Dept Arpanet into the Internet in a fully distributed and open way even surpasses the telephone in its effect on human beings wellbeing.
Rating: 

Similar Water Mark Issue

My jerk neighbor has a sprinkler system that waters his lawn and my car. The hard water dries leaving marks like the young caller described. I've even tried going to a professional car wash and they can't get the marks off -- like the caller, I doubt a squeegee is the magic solution. I think my solution to the pesky neighbor will be a few upside-down Car Talk™ coffee mugs over his sprinkler heads. In the mean time, does anyone know a way to get the dried marks off?
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

Frick & Frack's Spotty Advice

Sorry, guys, but the advice you gave Matthew was spotty; you got part of it right (the Chamois & the Squeegee), but the rest you offered him won't cure what plagues him and millions of us who have hard water: dried droplets leaving spots. Sometimes if you're fast enough with the chamois and/or the squeegee and can get the glass or body surfaces wiped dry you'll be able to avoid spotting caused by hard water. The best way to avoid the formation of spots though, is to add a cup or so of White Vinegar to both your bucket of wash water and especially to your bucket of rinse water.
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

Andrew needs to wax the car

Those hard water spots can go away by adding red vinegar to the car wash bucket and washing the whole thing head to toe. And once those spots are gone and the care is dry to prevent it in the future you should hand wax the car.
Favorite Moment: 
andrews advice
Rating: 

Keeping your windshield and rear window clean

I listened to Car Talk on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 and was interested to hear about the problem Andrew had keeping his rear windshield clean (#1207 Washer Fluid Dynamics) as shown on the Car Talk website. There is a product called Wiper Wiper that can solve the problem of keeping your windshield clean and free from road debris and other residue that attach to the wipers and cause a smeary windshield. Wiper Wiper cleans the wipers and can be used wet or dry. It is also easy to apply by means of a pressure sensitive strip. Check it out. The website is www.wiperwiper.com
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

getting tailgaters off your back

Great suggestion on this weeks show about using your windshield washers to get tailgaters off your back. I tried it yesterday and it worked like a charm.
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

Another Good Show

Long time listener, wanted to chime in specifically about Andrew's plight in Savannah. His spots are due to air polltion and hard water in Savannah. My wife and I lived there for several years and our cards developed them despite my best efforts too.
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

Washer fluid dymanics

Placing a clamp on the hose will increase preasure at the clamp but not at the nozzle, creating an orface. Thanks for the memories of my 1958 Ford convertible. Foot activated pump for washer, hitting people in back seat with top down. Almost as much fun as alternating flicking out cig butts and M-80's and watching your friend following you....
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

Sure let's kill a kid's good work ethic for a kid

The answer to Andrew was the worst I've ever heard. A teen caring about and wanting to do a good job should get hallelujahs!! What did he get? Made to feel like a jerk of and told never do a good job so no one will ask you to help again. Think that's funny? Try getting decent service anywhere in the US today. This was a kid. He didn't need your snide cynicism, he needed good advise. Sure it's a humor show but I'm not laughing this time. You guys blew it.
Favorite Moment: 
Rating: 

Andrew needed chemistry

Andrew, you have spots on the windshield because of minerals in your water. Baking soda will soften your wash water. Vinegar will dissolve the minerals. Using newspaper with vinegar water works great on glass.
Favorite Moment: 
Funny as usual but wife jokes and bad behavior advice today lowered the rating a bit.
Rating: 

Get the Car Talk Newsletter