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Bloody Brakes

The Puzzler


RAY: What had happened was the following:

TOM: Boy, this is good.

RAY: John rebuilt both calipers. In other words, he took them--I can only imagine--put them on his dining room table, took them all apart, installed the new kits that he had--flawlessly, I might add--and reinstalled them. But in doing so, he put the left one on the right and the right one on the left, and by making that mistake, the bleeder--that is, the little valve you open to let air escape from the system--was at the bottom of each caliper, because he had flipped them around, and not at the top where, what?

TOM: The air goes.

RAY: The air is. If you take a liquid that has air in it too, and you flip it upside down, no matter what you do, the air always goes to the top.

TOM: You can try this out with a bottle of orange soda.

RAY: You can.

TOM: Which we do every week here.

RAY: And no matter how much bleeding you do, there is so much air, which is compressible, trapped in the system, that you cannot get a brake pedal no matter how many master cylinders you put in. What this fellow noticed is the same thing that we noticed with poor Jim Pritchard, after he bought 18 gallons of brake fluid from us and replaced the master cylinder four or five times, that the calipers needed to be put in the right place and then the thing bled just like that.

TOM: Bingo!

RAY: Who's our winner this week?

TOM: The winners. It says David and Kay Mowry, husband and wife, mother and son, daughter and father--I don't know. But David and Kay Mowry from Riverside, California.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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