Join the Car Talk Community!

Little Spares, Lots of Problems

The Puzzler


RAY: We'll spare you any additional --

TOM: Pain.

RAY: Suffering.

TOM: We're going to dive right into the answer, or the new Puzzler.

RAY: The new Puzzler. You ready?

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Here it is.

TOM: What is it?

RAY: No, this is actually a pretty simple Puzzler. It has to do with spare tires.

TOM: Oh, no. Not again.

RAY: Well, in the spirit of spares here's another Puzzler. You are going on a very long trip.

TOM: You mean like 50, 60 miles?

RAY: No, no. Hundreds. You're driving up to the wilds of Canada where there are no places to stop and you're driving the Trans Canadian expressway there, whatever that's called.

TOM: The Iditarod.

RAY: No, going to Alaska and you're driving all through Ala -- anyway you're going to be driving for thousands of miles and you can't stop at all.

TOM: Take a coffee can, will ya?

RAY: And you get a flat tire.

TOM: Not again. We just had a flat tire. Yeah, OK, I got it.

RAY: And you open up the trunk and lo and behold there is a tire in there that has air in it, except it's one of those stupid little space saver spares.

TOM: Right, that you took off your kid's little toy push cart.

RAY: And it has a diameter that is significantly smaller than the diameter of the other three tires. Not the fourth tire which of course --

TOM: Is flat.

RAY: So you have to put the space saver spare someplace. You certainly don't have to put it where the flat tire came from.

TOM: Certainly not.

RAY: The question is, does it make a difference where you put the space saver?

TOM: There's three parts to this question.

RAY: I'm getting to them.

TOM: A -- is if you have a front wheel drive car --

RAY: I was getting to that. No, no. That's an exercise for the listener. I will let the listener explain whether you have a front wheel drive car --

TOM: Oh, you don't want to make it into A, B and C?

RAY: No.

TOM: All right, fine. Fine, fine! I'm not going to argue with you.

RAY: So part A.

TOM: Part A, yeah.

RAY: I forgot what part A is. You have to put it someplace. Does it make a difference where you put it?

TOM: That's A.

RAY: That's A.

TOM: What's B then?

RAY: Why and how come?

TOM: See, I was going to make it into part A, if you had a front wheel drive car where would be the best place to put the tire?

RAY: That's part B.

TOM: Part B, if you had a rear wheel drive car where would be the best place to put the tire? Part C, if you had a four wheel drive vehicle where would be the best place to put the little tire? And part D, if you had none of the above where would be the best place to.

RAY: I would go to the first rest area and swap with some guy that had --

TOM: Steal a car. That's the way out.

RAY: -- tires your size.

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ 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


Rocket Fuel