#0830: The Tollbooth Fugitive

Jul 26, 2008
This week on Car Talk, Gail from PA calls to confess that she sped through a toll plaza. Tom and Ray drop a dime and call the toll officer. Is Gail headed for the slammer? Or will the state have to shut down the bridge until they get Gail's $2? Joanne wants to know if it's possible to teach her teenager to drive a stick shift without making her puke. And the guys jump head first into Bob's cattle trailer problem.

Show Open Topic

How to sing the Blues.

This Week's Puzzler

No new puzzler-- the puzzler is on vacation this week.

Last Week's Puzzler

No puzzler answer-- the puzzler is on vacation this week.

As Read on Car Talk



7 Comments

Show Review - 511

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Electric Brake Breakdown

Hi Guys, If electric cow-trailer brakes work like the air brakes on railroad cars, then they will *disengage* when energized, and engage otherwise. The principle here is that it's better for the brakes engage if the system fails: not a bad idea, really. So: if there's a little resistance anywhere in the wiring that feeds power to Paul's Pennsylvanian cow-trailer, resistance from, say, a little corrosion in the connectors, then the current flowing to the four-way flashers will drop the voltage to the brake solenoids enough for them to engage - resulting in the observed behavior. This hypothesis can be tested by seeing if the trailer wheels turn (brakes disengaged) when the wiring harness is unplugged. If they do not, then try cleaning up the wiring harness connectors! But if the wheels *do* turn when the wiring harness is disconnected, and these brakes *engage* when energized, then your advice trumps mine... And heaven help Paul and his heifers if the fuse blows on a downhill grade!
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Tips on teaching drivers how to use a manual transmission - priceless!
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whiplash duty

after learning to start in 1st gear, without using gas, let them start in 2nd gear using the gas.
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Funniest Episode Yet

This is by far one of the funniest episodes yet. I hope our tollbooth fugitive or the tollbooth man comes back in the future for stump the chumps.
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Too funny!

We'll definitely need an update on Ann's attempts to win her mechanic's heart.
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Gail getting sassy with the tollbooth guy. You tell him Gail!
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So what happened with Ann & the mechanic?

This was a repeat, right? So there must be an update!
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Electric Brakes

I loved this show. Hilarious. Anyway, regarding the question about electric brakes for the cattle trailer - all of the electric brakes that I've seen operate with a magnet that is activated by the 12v current as it is applied. The magnet actually grabs to the inside face of the spinning drum, then pushes a lever that applies the brakes. So, more current, more brakes. As for the problem of flashers activating the brakes, I would first check the ground wire on the trailer and the tow vehicle. Make the connection is clean, not rusty, and is metal to metal. If the ground is not working properly, then the current will find a way back to the tow vehicle some other way (ex. through the electric brakes) causing them to activate right along with the flashers. So, it surely could be something else, but I've had some crazy problems created by bad ground wires and connections. Hope this helps.
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