#1305: The Great Snorkel Experiment

Feb 02, 2013
This week on Car Talk, Wendy's Honda was fogging up, but only when her husband was in the car with her. Tom and Ray postulated that hubby's breathing was causing the problem, and suggested Wendy experiment by having him breathe through a snorkel, out an open window. Now Wendy's back for Stump the Chumps with a full report on the Great Snorkel Experiment. Elsewhere, Adrienne found the perfect birthday present for her husband--700 pounds of rocks! Can her Saab handle the 300-mile trip, or does she need to transport one rock at a time? Also, Steve's DIY brake repair has resulted in his truck taking out two car ports; Matt's CRV is not putting out heat, which is a big problem, since Matt is in Anchorage; and, Rain got a rude Welcome Home from her Acura, after leaving it parked for three months: mold, and a thriving ant colony. All this, plus a tale of a very smart car radio, and lots more, this week, on Car Talk.

Show Open Topic

This car radio knows two morons.

This Week's Puzzler

What curious dashboard clue tipped David off?

Last Week's Puzzler

What did the company sell that it could not demonstrate in its building?

As Read on Car Talk


Dirty windshields are a fog hazard

The snorkel advice misses the root of the problem which is a windshield. This is a common problem and also extremely dangerous, especially for nighttime driving. A clean windshield is unlikely to fog up in normal conditions. However, a dirty windshield fogs up quickly and repeatedly until it is cleaned. Interior automotive glass gets contaminated especially quickly because there's so much stuff in the air to contaminate it. Anything you ever smell inside your car (new car smell, old car smell, exhaust fumes, McDonalds, Starbucks, bad breath) is also coating itself on the glass, and it doesn't take much of it to ruin the surface and make it prone to fogging up. Making things worse, ordinary Windex tends to smear dirt around more than pick it up. To thoroughly clean the glass you need a harsher cleanser. Try this: take a bottle of glass cleaner (ammonia + surfactant), add 10% rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) and 5% nail polish remover (acetone). On a warm day in the shade with the doors open, wear gloves, hold your breath, spray the solution on a crumpled newspaper and use that to clean the glass thoroughly. Repeat several times until the glass squeaks when you rub it. Getting the glass clean will definitely keep Wendy's windshield from fogging up, no matter how moist her husband's breath is.
Favorite Moment: 

All Great Except Subaru Advice

Hilarious in many respects but the Impreza issue had come up before and I never wrote in - the odd noise is the likely an after-market turbo wastegate 'enhancement'. There is nothing wrong other than the car was owned by a teen racer.
Favorite Moment: 
The Anchorage dude's heating problem.

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