Why do so many men step on the gas right as they turn the engine off?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

Being as you are males of the species AND you know a heck of a lot about cars, perhaps you can explain why menfolk tend to give their cars a burst of gas as they turn them off. Should I do that, or is it some sacred macho bonding ritual? Love your column!

RAY: You've hit the nail right on the head, Nancie. It's a sacred male bonding ritual with no mechanical value whatsoever.

TOM: In the early days of civilization, some fathers taught their sons that it was important to give the car a little gas as you turned it off. The theory was that this would fill up the carburetor bowl with gasoline, and make the engine easier to start next time.

RAY: This theory was dubious back then. And since a) all carburetors manufactured since the Eisenhower administration come with accelerator pumps to get the car started, and b) all modern cars are fuel injected and don't even HAVE carburetors, the theory is now under intense scrutiny by the S.A.E., the A.P.I., the N.O.W., and even the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Carbureted Products).

TOM: But if the menfolk in your clan want to perform this sacred bonding ritual, Nancie, I'd say let them. After all, it's a lot less messy than, say, animal sacrifice.

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