Cell Phone Circuitry

The Puzzler

RAY: This is the first automotive puzzler of the new puzzler season.

One day last summer, I got a frantic call at the shop from a woman, who explained that she was about to leave on a cross-country trip. She was worried because something very strange was going on. I said, "Why don't you just come on in." She seemed to be a little bit out of sorts.

Here's what was happening. When she plugged her cell phone into the cigarette lighter to recharge it, she noticed that the phone wasn't getting charged up. The little charging light didn't come on. Stranger still, the warning lights, including the battery and oil lights, lit up on her dashboard. She happened to be driving a Saab, but there are a lot of cars to which this could happen. She was worried that there was something wrong with her car, and that her cell phone wasn't going to get charged because of what was wrong.

TOM: And so when the car breaks down, which it was inevitably going to do, she wouldn't be able to make a call because her cell phone wasn't going to be charged. Of all the weird coincidences!

RAY: I took her cell phone and walked outside the garage. I made a call. I called the shop. One of the guys answered the phone, and I told him what was wrong with the car. A minute later, she drove away.

What did Ray tell the guy who answered the phone?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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