Join the Car Talk Community!

Drag Race Dilemma

The Puzzler


RAY: You might think that Tommy wins the race.

TOM: Why would I think that?

RAY: Because I've got the A/C on, and that's robbing power from the engine.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: And even though he has the windows open and the sun roof open, we're both playing the stereos full blast. That loss of power getting to the wheels because the air conditioner is on is going to mean the difference in the race.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: But, I have my windows closed...why? Because I'm not a knucklehead --

TOM: You've got the A/C on.

RAY: ...And I've got the A/C on. You wouldn't have the windows closed if the A/C weren't on. And more than that, here's the little piece that's missing: Most cars have built into their circuitry a throttle position switch which lets the computer shut the air conditioner off when you floor the gas pedal. So, when I floor the gas pedal, not only do I have the advantage of having the sleek aerodynamics of the closed windows, but I also have the air conditioner off, just like Tommy, who thinks he's going to win. But he loses because he's a knucklehead. So --

TOM: Well, since you've changed it.

RAY: Changed what?

TOM: You made the next traffic light be a mile away. That's not a drag race. The next traffic light is a block away, in which case I would have said it would make no difference whatsoever. There wasn't enough time for anything to make any difference. But, I'm going to give it to you anyway.

RAY: All right...anyway, do we have a winner.

TOM: Yeah, we've got a winner. It's a bogus one.

RAY: Boy, sour grapes.

TOM: I knew when you said this puzzler last week that we were going to fight. Because I knew exactly where you were going --

RAY: All right, that's it. From now on, you do the puzzler.

TOM: Our winner is Judy Wilson from Bradenton, Florida.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic


Go



Submit