The Coca-Cola Clue

Feb 15, 2022

I'll do this puzzler about my neighbor, Fred. I dug this out of the archives. Now, this was a puzzle from a long time ago and I had frankly forgotten all about it.

Fred was working on his new '78 Volare in his garage. He was putting brakes on his car. He needed brakes because he was driving one day and he heard some scraping, grinding noises coming from the front wheels and decided he needed brake pads.

So he goes to the local parts store and buys new pads. And while he's there, the salesman at the counter says geez, don't you think you should replace the calipers too? They're having a sale, two for one! So Fred buys a couple of calipers, and he comes home and he bolts them on. He's pretty savvy, knows what to do. He puts the calipers on the car, he installs them, he puts the new pads in and everything is peachy.

But of course, when you open the hydraulic system, you must bleed it. So good old Fred goes ahead and he tries to bleed it. Two days later, he calls me up. He says I can't get the pedal to come up. I've got my wife in here. She pumps the pedal, I open the bleeder, some fluid comes out, but the pedal is virtually right down on the floor. What have I done wrong?

I don't want to go over there. That's the kiss of death! You go over there, you're there for a week. So I don't go over and I offer some suggestions over the phone. He tried that and calls me back because it didn't work, and he's decided he wanted to put a new master cylinder in.  (His buddy at the parts store had a sale on master cylinders!)

So he puts the new master cylinder in, calls me back, and says it's just as bad as before maybe even worse. Didn't take my advice. So he's got new calipers, new pads and none of these parts are defective I might add. The new master cylinder, new pads, new calipers! And yet the pedal is still down on the floor.

So he does all of these things. And he still can't get the pedal up. And while I'm talking to him on the phone I have next to me a bottle of Coca-Cola or some such thing. Soda pop! Okay, and it's half-filled, or let's say it's about seven eighths full, but the covers on. And I happen to knock it over onto its side. And without going into Fred's garage, I gave him the answer to his problem. Whoo, what was wrong?

Coca-Cola was my hint.

And no, it didn't spill because the cover was on.



Do you remember last week's puzzle?

It was the puzzle about my neighbor Fred. He was having brake troubles, and I didn't know what to tell him until I accidentally tipped over my bottle of soda pop (with the cap still on).

Here's what he did wrong. When I saw the bottle tip over, I noticed that the air bubbles obviously all the air that was in the bottle wound up at the top, which is where the air always winds up. No matter what system you have.

And his bubbles are at the top but he had put the calipers on, reversed. So his bleeders were at the bottom. His bleeders are at the bottom and when he opened the bleeders what came out was more fluid.

I mean, what you're looking for is nice, clear fluid to come out that's got no foam in it.

But all the compressible air was at the top and he couldn't get it out because the bleeders are at the bottom, because he had put the calipers on wrong. And I said "Fred, reverse the calipers."

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