#1323: The Lard Butt Indicator

Lard-butt Detected! (Flickr/drewgstephens)

Original Air Date: 06.08.2013

   Best Moment 1:17

This week on Car Talk, why does the horn in John's wife's Golf start blowing when he drives it? John's wife thinks he's setting off the "lard butt indicator" under the driver's seat. Has VW really come up with something so sophisticated? Elsewhere, Wendy has discovered that giving up her beloved Super Beetle has done great harm to her social life. She used to be able to meet guys while working on its (many) problems. But, her new Toyota is both too reliable and too complicated. Also, Sara learns an expensive lesson in why you shouldn't let a Physics Grad student fix your fuel pump--with you and your dog stuck in the car while it's on the lift; and can Jeff safely use Coleman fuel in his Civic next time he gets stranded while camping? All this and more, this week on Car Talk.

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Lard Keester hypothesis dismissed

by Melanball

because the same phenomenon (horn beeping, alarm sounding) happens when i am driving my car and i only weigh 120 pounds. It is random and the only fix that i have found to work every time is to open the car door and shut it. Of course at highway speeds, this is not always feasible. I love my bug but it is most annoying.

Naptha Coleman Fuel

by Wyre

Though Coleman fuel has an octane rating of 50 to 55 and a flammability similar to gasoline, it has none of the additives found in modern gasoline and cannot be used as a substitute for gasoline, kerosene or diesel fuel in modern engines. Its high combustion temperature and lack of octane boosting additives like tetraethyllead will destroy engine valves, and its low octane rating would produce knocking. However, it is quite popular as a fuel for model engines, where the low octane rating is not a problem, additives are unwanted, and the clean burning, low odor and longer shelf life are considered advantages. Do not use Coleman Fuel in a car! The damage would be quite serious. It would be far better to get a 2 gallon container of gasoline, drop a small amount of fuel stabilizer into it to protect the fuel for an extended shelf life.

Dog groomer van

by Boydlee

She should have the van wrapped. It would be much less expensive and she would be able to update it as needed.

Coleman Fuel? Been There, Done That

by deemery

In 1978, I was a brand new Army 2LT with a new 'Vette. Chevette, that is. I ran out of gas and ended pouring a gallon of Coleman fuel into the tank. The car ran very roughly, but once I put regular gas back into it, the car actually ran better afterwards. The Coleman Fuel burned out some carbon in the carburetor??

Favorite Moment: Puzzle, since I'm -pretty sure- I know the answer this week.

How can 06.08.2013 be the Original Air Date?

by CosmicIntergalactic

On Call #4, Wendy (who used to drive a VW Super Beetle) said that her 1995 Toyota 4Runner was "NEW"! How can this be if the Original Air Date of this show really is 06.08.2013 ???

Best Podcast Show Ever!!!

by Coco Pazzo

The Podcast feed was only seven seconds long; BEST SHOW EVER!

Favorite Moment: when I realized it was really that brief-- not the fault of my computer or iPod!

Short iPad podcast

by Watusi44

The recording posted on the iPad was only 17 seconds long.

Favorite Moment: The intro was compelling as always.

Seems a little short on iTunes

by J Pat

On iTunes the length of this episode is 7 seconds. That seems a little short.

Favorite Moment: about 2 seconds in

#1323 the lard b**t indicator

by wood welder

Could the cause of the horn blowing only by him and not his wife be the position and pressure HE puts on the steering wheel? I drive with hand position at about "11 and 2" which would put the pressure on the steering wheel above the connection to the shaft. If his wife places her hands below the connect this could make the "short" not a factor for her but yes, for him?

Segment 10 - Coleman fuel

by unitacx

Coleman fuel is "white gas", meaning it doesn't have lead. In modern terms, it's purified gasoline, much as charcoal lighter fluid is purified kerosene. It is essentially low octane gasoline, but otherwise suitable for fueling a car in an emergency. The driver should avoid hard acceleration and try to keep the car in a lower gear to reduce engine knock.


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