VW Beetle Tire Blowout

Aug 18, 2008

RAY: This puzzle was sent in by Stephen Ceylon. Here it is:

Jerry had worked lots of summers and he had finally accumulated enough money to buy himself a brand-new 1968 Volkswagen Beetle.

It's 1968 and it was a dark and stormy September night when Jerry and his college roommate pulled the brand-new Beetle out of the dealership parking lot in Chicago on their way to college at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison. Since the car was brand new and hadn't been broken in they decided to drive the shiny new Bug on the back roads of Wisconsin, so as not to exceed the break in speed.

The roads they chose were muddy and rutted, and it was really quite an adventure. They ran out of gas, bounced from one pothole to another, and eventually had a tire blowout.

Searching for the spare, they found it under the hood where the engine should have been. And without even reading the instruction manual they carefully replaced the bad tire with the spare and then put the blown tire where the spare had been, and they continued on their muddy route looking for a service station where they could get the flat tire repaired. A few miles down the road, low and behold, they come across Helmut's German Car Repair. An oasis of European automotive expertise in rural Wisconsin!

No sooner had they pulled up the driveway, than out popped Helmut who immediately said to the driver, "You're here to get ze tire fixed? Eh?"

And Jerry said - "We are. How did you know?"

The question is, how did Helmut know?
RAY: Helmut guessed they needed a tire repaired based on the fact that the windshield washer in the Volkswagen of that era operated on the tire pressure of the spare tire.

If the tire pressure dropped down enough, the washer would stop working, and save enough air in the spare so you could use it as such. But if you had a flat and you had no air whatsoever, then you would have no windshield washer. And thus a mud splattered windshield.

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