#1532: The Alex Manifesto

Aug 08, 2015
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Tommy’s 16-year old son Alex explains why it’s in the entire family’s best interests for him to own his own car. We may need your help deciding whether Alex is full of wisdom, or something we can’t say on a family show. Elsewhere, Nancy and her boyfriend are about to buy their first car together. He wants a vintage MG, but she’s the one who’ll have to keep it running, unless they find one with a sidecar for a mechanic. Also, Marc learns two valuable lessons. First, never buy an old Peugeot. Second, never pay your mechanic before he finishes the job; and is Heather’s plan to play a practical joke on her brother’s car too realistic? All this and more this week on The Best of Car Talk.

Show Open Topic

The Alex Manifesto: Why one 16-year old needs his own car.

This Week's Puzzler

The Skeptical Brother: How did the man prove he witnessed a major odometer event?

Last Week's Puzzler

The Tale of the Traveling Salesman: Why did the salesman always get put on the second floor of the motel?


Check the other side!

OK, short & sweet. Caller #8, I think. The guy with the multiple electrical problems that all happened at the same time - check the grounds! Remember, that electricity always travels in circles - that's why they call them "circuits". Yup, the fuses are all there, all OK, all conducting - but that means NOTHING if there's an interruption in the other half of the circle. Car manufacturers often pay very little attention to that other half - things are casually grounded to body members which may or may not be connected to anything else. Yeah, it all works great when the car is new - but as things get dirtier - and rustier - and dirtier - entire assemblies can become disconnected from the car as a whole - or more specifically - from the negative terminal of the battery, which is the source of all Grounding Goodness. Multiple electrical items failing at the same time - CHECK THE GROUNDS! Yeah, I know this isn't exactly a review - but couldn't find anyplace else to write it.
Favorite Moment: 

Get the Car Talk Newsletter