The Empty Brake Fluid Can

The Puzzler

RAY:: Ha! We're back. You're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, and we're here to discuss cars, car repair, and, duh, the new Puzzler. Now, you may have noticed at the beginning of this Puzzler season, the paucity, the dearth, the downright nonexistence of the automotive Puzzler. None of the Puzzlers has been automotive in nature.

TOM:: Really? I hadn't noticed that, no.

RAY:: Well.

TOM:: But I believe you. I know you would never lie, nor would you obfuscate.

RAY:: I'm not so sure I believe it either, but I don't think I've had an automotive Puzzler this year. So, the first automotive Puzzler of the season.

TOM:: Of the automotive season.

RAY:: This was submitted by Jeff Matthews of He's in the army.

TOM:: .com. Oh, .gov.

RAY:: No, .mil.

TOM:: .mil!

RAY:: Mmm.

TOM:: Oh!

RAY:: Yeah. I can't read all the other stuff, because then they'd be able to triangulate on it.

TOM:: Yeah. OK.

RAY:: "Some years ago," he says, "my significant other complained that her Honda Accord would occasionally commence bucking, snorting, and choking after a stop. It would keep that up for a couple of minutes, then the problem would go away for a few weeks. I looked at the usual things, but since I was never there when it happened, and I didn't really care because it wasn't my car..."

TOM:: Right.

RAY:: I added that. Sorry, Jeff. Hope I didn't get you in trouble. "I couldn't figure it out. Then one fall," he says, "I was getting the old jalopy ready for the state safety inspection, so I jacked it up and jiggled the wheels and did all the kinds of things that you usually do, and when I let it down off the jack stands, a nearly empty can of brake fluid rolled out from under the front seat."

TOM:: Mmm.

RAY:: "I said, 'Hmm. That's interesting.' I went into the house and asked my wife one question. When she gave me the answer, I knew what was wrong with her car."

TOM:: Mmm-hmm.

RAY:: The question is: What was the question?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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