Aug 16, 1997
RAY: I forget the kind of car he owns. But it could be any car.
TOM: '39 Studebacker.
RAY: No, not one of those.
TOM: 1912 Humborg.
RAY: Let's say he owned a 1983 Dodge Aries. Okay? Anyway he had the car tuned up in the fall. He brought it in for the fall tune-up. The car was running pretty well, but it was time for a tune-up.
TOM: It was like October, November, huh?
RAY: Well in New England it was like -- July. The car had been running well and he had no complaints. He asked us to do a major tune-up on the car in preparation for the harsh winter he knew was coming. In fact, we did that and charged him an outrageous price and he left grumbling a lot, but he left nevertheless.
TOM: Our motto: We may be slow, but we're expensive.
RAY: Right. We make our money the old fashioned way. So we performed this tuneup, and this is a car on which he had been accustomed to getting somewhere on the order of 25 miles per gallon. And he called up after 3, 4, 5 weeks, in the fall when the cold weather has arrived, and said, "Gee, my mileage is way down. You must have screwed up the tune-up." He said, "To save you trouble I didn't want to come all the way to your shop because it's too far away. I went to my local mechanic and had him check up on you guys. He went through the entire tune-up all over again and checked everything you did and he said it was perfect and he couldn't figure out..."
TOM: How that could be since you guys did it!
RAY: " ...why I was getting poor mileage. In fact, my mileage has dropped from 25 on the highway down to about 16."
TOM: Oh my god! What I wouldn't do to get 16 mpg.
RAY: Gee I don't know. Anything else you can tell me? He said, "One other thing, I have noticed since it's gotten cold, that my heat doesn't work so well."
TOM: Sounds like a hint to me!
RAY: Ha ha! We know what's wrong with the car. If you give us another couple hundred bucks we'll fix it. And for about twenty bucks the problem was fixed. What was it?