Frank's Vacuum Cleaner Repair

Dec 01, 2018

RAY: One morning I was on my daily constitutional, and I noticed that my neighbor Frank is in the driveway working on his car. He's got his car jacked up, and I assume that he's changing the oil.

Of course, I always make myself scarce whenever Frank is working on his car--and I did this time, too. I hid behind the bushes. After a few minutes, Frank rolls out on his creeper, bends over and picks something up off the ground. He holds it up. It's about the size of a quarter.

He has a look of disappointment on his face.

Frank stands there puzzled for a minute.

He then enters the house, and comes back a few minutes later with his vacuum cleaner. I figured he was going to vacuum out the car. But he attaches the vacuum cleaner to something under the hood and starts the vacuum up.

He then gets under the car with this little part in his hand. He does something, emerges from underneath the car, and with a satisfied grin on his face, turns off the vacuum cleaner.

The question is: what the heck did he do?



RAY: There were a plethora of hints, I think. No? Maybe not...not enough.

TOM: I didn't hear a single one.

RAY: Ahhh. Well, I'm assuming he's changing the oil or some such thing, and, in fact, that's what he was doing. But in changing the oil, he left out the drain plug gasket. You know there's a little gasket that goes between the drain plug and the pan.

And when he finished the job, what he found on the ground was the gasket, which he held up and looked at, with a disappointed look on his face.

Now, not having a clean vessel into which to drain the oil, he decided to use his wife's vacuum cleaner. So he goes into the house, hooks the vacuum cleaner hose up to the place where you pour the motor oil in, turns the vacuum cleaner on, and draws a vacuum on the entire crankcase.

TOM: Don't try this at home; you can blow yourself up.

RAY: He takes off the drain plug and the vacuum cleaner holds the oil in place

TOM: Oh, bullfeathers!

RAY: He deftly throws the gasket on there, and puts the plug in. He may have lost a little bit of oil, but certainly...certainly not the five quarts that he would have lost had he just taken the drain plug out and had it run...

Theoretically, this is possible. But it would require, of course, that the vacuum cleaner connection fit perfectly.

And it happened to fit right in perfectly. He turns the thing on, and within a couple of seconds it [MAKES SOUND "PFZZZZZ"]. That vacuum is trying to suck the life out of his engine. And when he was satisfied that he had pulled enough vacuum, he slid under there, took that drain plug off, slapped the gasket in, threw the drain plug back in, and emerged with a grin on his face...

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