#1208: The Elvis Idle

Feb 25, 2012
This week on Car Talk, the Elvis Idle meets the Mechanic's Shrug, as Tom and Ray try to diagnose a Nissan's intermittent stutter. Meanwhile, strange things are happening in Waccabuc, New York, where Sally heard a loud electrical charge and saw a flash of bright light while driving under a power line. Also, Brad's got a Hydrological and Meteorological crisis, with water appearing in his Civic's spare tire well; Jack's horn went from sounding like James Earl Jones to Pee Wee Herman overnight; and Melissa's decision to use her Jeep's heater as a clothes dryer may have expensive consequences. All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

Show Open Topic

"We take your bags and send them in all directions," and other great, terribly mistranslated signs from foreign countries.

This Week's Puzzler

Why was the large crowbar essential to the wood-cutting operation?

Last Week's Puzzler

Which grasshopper won the race... and why?

As Read on Car Talk


Fantastic Show! Absolutely Hilarious

The show has gotten a bit repetitive lately. They kept giving the same advice over and over again. This show was ANYTHING but repetitive, and totally hilarious. The callers were natural comedians and their problems even stumped Click & Clack.
Favorite Moment: 
The 1st caller from Evanston was a riot from beginning to end.

Loud Pop & Flach

The situation had nothing to do with power lines. I think there was a short circuit in the Phone Charger which flashed and simultaneously made the Loud Pop on the Radio. Since a car is a conducting shell, electromagnetic energy from the power-line will not effect the inside of the car
Favorite Moment: 

twilight zone

I work for the power company, When you get a short or fault on the power lines. You get a large flash and the same noise she talked about. She was in the right place at the right time.
Favorite Moment: 

Waccabuc enters the twilight zone

The loud sound, bright light, and wires hanging over the road all suggest too much slack in the high voltage conductors. The slack allows the conductors to slap together creating large, bright, white and blue flashes of light. The flashes will be accompanied by extremely loud buzzing. Yes, it is dangerous. Call the utility.
Favorite Moment: 
I always love your show!

Bright electrical light

The power lines were touching, causing intermittent arcs of very bright light. The sound that comes with this condition can be loud and frightening. The electrical discharge creates ozone, with is acrid and irritating to the nose and eyes. What usually happens is that the power transformer blows up. This is a deadly, dangerous situation, and should be reported to the local electrical utility. One more thing: I prefer that you use my correct name, "Gnut," just as it was spelled in the 1940 story, "Farewell to the Master," by H. E. Bates.
Favorite Moment: 
When your show ended.

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