My husband likes to drive with the windows open instead...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1997

Dear Tom and Ray:

My husband likes to drive with the windows open instead of using the air
conditioner. He claims the outside fresh air keeps him from getting sleepy.
We are about to go on a trip, and I would like your opinion on this, since
the noise from the outside air really gets to me. What's your advice? --

TOM: Separate cars.

RAY: This is one of the truly age-old husband-wife disputes. It can be
traced back to around the same time wives started complaining that their
husbands never helped out around the cave.

TOM: It's a tough one, Irene. I feel the same way that your husband feels.
That stiff, varying breeze of fresh air on my face keeps me awake, too. And
it does a much better job than the air conditioner. But my wife hates it.
And just like you, it's not the temperature or the breeze so much as the

RAY: And as far as I know, no one's ever come up with a good, practical
solution to this problem. I mean, we can suggest several impractical

TOM: You can buy a limo with the glass window between the front and back
seats. Then he can stay up front with both windows open and you can sit in
the back with the air conditioner, mini bar, television and maybe a

RAY: Or you can go to your local farm-supply outlet and buy a cattle prod.
That ought to keep him awake, huh?

TOM: I think the only reasonable solution is to compromise. You can share
the driving responsibilities, and when he's driving, the window can be open
or partially open. When you're driving, the window stays closed.

RAY: Or if you don't drive, Irene, drive with the windows closed, but stop
every so often and get some fresh air. Or let him drive for a while with
the windows open before closing them again.

TOM: I know that's not perfect, but until someone comes up with a better
solution, that's the best we can do.

RAY: Do you have a better idea for Irene? Write to us in care of this
paper, or e-mail us by visiting our web site at

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