Puddle Pushover

The Puzzler

RAY: A guy writes: Whenever I went through a puddle I would lose my brakes.

TOM: Did he have to back up and pick them up?

RAY: Better than losing your shorts. He would lose his brakes. He said, "I went to one mechanic after another. Everyone said the water is getting on the linings in the back. They put new linings on. They made sure the plugs were in, where the adjustment holes where. When that didn't work, they put new pads in the front..."

TOM: He didn't buy the underwater package when he bought this car?

RAY: He bought the Cousteau package. He said, "For as long as I've owned this car, everytime I went through a puddle I'd lose my brakes. The car just didn't want to stop."

TOM: That's common.

RAY: "Then five minutes later, it was like my old 50's and 60's cars that you had to ride the brake when I got out because water had gotten in." And I said that doesn't happen to modern cars, at least not so much anymore. He said it didn't take much of a puddle to do this. So I took a drive around with him and the brakes seemed okay to me. He said, "Oh, and another thing happens once in awhile, when I go through a puddle, I also lose my steering."

TOM: And you said, "Oh -- why didn't I think of that before!"

RAY: That's exactly what I said. As soon as he said, "Oh I lose my steering, it gets very hard to steer." I knew immediately what was wrong with his car. The solution took about 5 minutes.

TOM: Not thinking about the solution, but actually implementing the solution.

RAY: Performing the solution took five minutes. The guy called back after the next rainstorm and said, "I drove through puddles all day; soaked pedestrians throughout the city by driving through big puddles. My brakes worked great."

What did we do to his car that took 5 minutes that solved this problem? The hint is: His car is a diesel.

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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