It's fiance versus dad, in the battle of the steering wheel. Today: Tom and Ray help Anna settle a familial "discussion."

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 2006

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a question that has been causing a bit of a disagreement between my fiance and myself. I have a 2000 Toyota, and when he drives it and makes a turn, he turns the steering wheel all the way to the end until it hits the stop. Chris thinks it is OK to do this, but my dad always told me not to turn it until the wheel stops. Who is right here? By the way, the wedding is in two weeks! -- Anna

TOM: Is it too late to cancel the caterer?

RAY: It depends on how often he's doing this, Anna. If Chris is only doing it when he's parallel parking and trying to get the car into a tight spot, that's not a big deal. Your father is right that turning the steering wheel "all the way to lock" puts extra stress on the power-steering pump and all the rest of the steering gear. But it's not a big deal if it's done occasionally, and only when necessary.

TOM: On the other hand, if he's doing this frequently, or when it's not absolutely necessary, or just because it bothers you, Anna, it could be a sign that he's an animal. And it could carry over into other aspects of life. Soon he might insist, for instance, on wire-brushing the barbecue grill on the living-room carpet.

RAY: So when you get a chance, you might want to discreetly check the quantity and density of the hair that's growing on his back. And measure the distance between his knuckles and the floor when he walks. If it's less than 24 inches, you might be marrying the missing link, Anna. Our best wishes to you.

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