Smokin' Beemer

The Puzzler

RAY: Some years ago -- this comes from Jim Warner from Barrington, Illinois. Some years ago I was putting my '71 BMW 2002 through its paces. Dougie should listen up because he has a BMW of this vintage. Now I must add...

TOM: He had the very last of its vintage you know.

RAY: Oh thank God it was the last.

TOM: Seventy six right?

RAY: Yes, yes.

TOM: Last year it was made.

RAY: Yes, indeed, yes, they threw a party after that. No -- I must add that there are many cars to which this could happen. This just happens to be the one in question, but the vast majority of cars could have this same condition applied. Are we ready?

TOM: Start again. I forgot what you said.

RAY: I was putting my '71 2002 through its paces. Translation -- driving it like a total idiot. I pulled a very hard left turn, and to my utter dismay saw a huge, billowing cloud of white smoke behind the car. After some time in the pre-cell phone era in a very rural location, I realized I had to get back to civilization somehow. So I gingerly started the car and, listening for erroneous noises, heard none. I began driving home and much to my amazement, the smoke cleared up. Are you listening?

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: The hits are all embedded.

TOM: We know that.

RAY: Deeply embedded. I lost my place. Keep laughing. I will find it. The smoke cleared up. The smoke cleared up.

TOM: The smoke cleared up.

RAY: Over time I was emboldened as the incident faded into oblivion -- that is until it happened again. The incident would repeat itself every so often until I finally discovered its cause. Other than a few routine maintenance items, such as tune-ups, adjusting the valves and the carburetor and tightening an ever-loosening fan belt and topping off the brake fluid and each oil change, I did nothing special to the car. The question is what was causing the smoke. The hints are there.

TOM: Whoo! I like it.

RAY: Pretty good, huh?

TOM: It is good.

RAY: It is pretty good.

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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