RAY: Here's the answer. The drive shaft had broken, more precisely a U-joint broke - that was the gunshot sound. And now the transmission was no longer connected to the wheels. The drive shaft was dragging on the ground before it finally fell out.
So what did I do that was so wrong? I put the transmission in park and then got out of the van to look. Well with no drive shaft Park doesn't lock the wheels and the van started to roll down the hill.
TOM: You bet.
RAY: Because Park is in the transmission, and if the transmission is disconnected from the wheels, now the back wheels are free to go any place they want. So, do we have a winner?
TOM: Yes we have a winner. The winner this week is Cindy Cartwright from Wellston, Oklahoma, and for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Cindy's going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com, with which she can have her choice of useless Car Talk products.
RAY: Congratulations, Cindy!
[ Car Talk Puzzler ]