Join the Car Talk Community!

Re-FUSING to Fix the Brakes

The Puzzler


RAY: The car -- I don't remember exactly the year of the car, but it was an old Pontiac T1000, which was also a Chevette. This car has an electric choke, which has a fuse. When the fuse blew, the choke wouldn't open. The car ran lousy. Got what? Lousy mileage, dieseled when he shut it off. It ran lousy. Because the thing was racing all the time because the choke was partially closed...

TOM: No vacuum to the booster.

RAY: No, he had an automatic transmission card, and he was working against the throttle every time he was riding the car in stop and go traffic.

TOM: Boiling the fluid!

RAY: Look back at page seven of the Puzzler. He was in stop and go traffic.

TOM: I remember that.

RAY: Riding that brake. But it was dieseling riding with one foot on the gas pedal and one foot on the brake. Every time he went to slow down, he had to step extra hard on the pedal. The brakes got overheated; the brake fluid boiled. He lost his brakes.

TOM: Whoo.

RAY: Of course when he towed it in and everything cooled off, the brakes came back.

TOM: The brakes were fine.

RAY: My guy pulls it in and says there is nothing wrong with the brakes. But after running it for awhile, he realizes that the choke ain't opening. The thing is racing at 2500 rpm. He puts a fuse in. Bingo. It's fixed. I mean was that the most stellar of the Puzzlers?

TOM: Of the first season.

RAY: Was that the best one of the season so far?

TOM: It was the best one of the season, but it was a little bit arcane. I mean...

RAY: Well, it was arcane.

TOM: An electric choke with a fuse. A T1000 of which there were only six sold.

RAY: Well, no, there were many cars that had chokes with fuses. I just happen to pick this one.

TOM: Now if we happen to have a winner here...

RAY: We do have a winner.

TOM: Wait a minute. My God we do.

RAY: Crusty who?

TOM: The winner this week is Dale Gadd, G-a-d-d from Corona, California.

[ 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