Snap-On Scanner Scenario
RAY: Here's the answer. Now we all know that when a tire loses its air it gets smaller. And if your car had a device that could measure how much the car was tilting, it could in fact tell you if it was tilting towards the right front, it could tell you in fact that it was the right front tire that was low. Unfortunately, it doesn't have such a device.
But when a tire loses air pressure and its diameter gets smaller, when the car is going down the road, in order for that tire to keep up with all the others and not get left behind, it has to turn faster. And your car does have something that is constantly monitoring the speed of all the wheels and comparing them to one another. And what most modern cars have is --
RAY: Antilock brakes. And there's a sensor at every wheel that's reading how fast each of the wheels is going on average. So, if it notes that the right front wheel is going a heck of a lot faster than the other wheels, it can either assume that you're making a lot of left hand turns or driving around a circle...or that your right front tire is going flat. Who's our winner?
TOM: The winner is Jean Sager from Wessington, South Dakota. Congratulations Jean!
[ Car Talk Puzzler ]