#1123: A Cavalcade of Cheapskates

Jun 04, 2011
This week on Car Talk, everyone wants to be a shade tree mechanic. First, Andrew in South Carolina is wondering if a degree in Nuclear Engineering qualifies him to change the clutch on his Ford Escort, then Susan wants to know if her husband can fix the collapsing headliner in their Olds Cutlass. His qualifications? He's not just a cheapskate, he's a tall cheapskate. And, Lydia is looking for a car she can fix herself during a cross-country road trip inspired by Thelma & Louise, without the killing. Also, from the "Doesn't anyone screen these calls" department, Christina's Land Cruiser's doors are unlocking themselves on left turns, and Matt wants to know why a cold soda would melt leather seats. All this, plus the debut Puzzler from the "Semi-Putrid" series, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

Show Open Topic

Tom and Ray share haikus for Jews, and some remarkable job application faux pas.

This Week's Puzzler

Take a listen to Ray's curious description, and see if you can figure out: just what car part IS he talking about?

Last Week's Puzzler

How did the driver make it across the bridge? Listen in for the answer to the Bridge of Tom and Ray puzzler.

As Read on Car Talk


Honda leather

Your usually astute listening skills failed you on the Honda leather problem. I think you did not hear him say the Sprite hit the dark leather and ran down and stained the light leather. My conclusion is that the carbonated sugar released die from the dark leather which caused the stain...or the Sprite chemically mixed with other foreign substances that the rug rat had previously flung upon the seats. BTW - A buddy of mine & me figured that we could make easy millions (like you)by creating a parody of your show to sell to our local NPR. Alas even our parody was not as funny as your show - our conclusion is that you already are a parody of yourself. Keep up the insanity.
Favorite Moment: 
as usual - endless senseless laughter, mocking of people with problems, surprising witticisms from the mouths or grease monkeys.

Gas guage

I think that the problem with the reversed gas guage is. the leads were reversed when the new float was installed. This is a DC system and that would do it.
Favorite Moment: 

Show Review - 1644

Favorite Moment: 

It Wasn't "Sugar" on Leather Seats

Last Saturday, Matt called to complain about how a few drops of cold Sprite spilled by his son damaged the hot leather seat in his car. You guys said it must have been from the "sugar" in the Sprite. Wrong. There hasn't been sugar in Sprite for more than 20 years. Sprite and most other soda drinks in the U.S. are sweetened by a so-called super sweetener called high fructose corn syrup, a concoction made by boiling an inedible but fatty strain of corn with acids to produce a very sweet chemical. It's banned in most countries around the world where real sugar is used in sodas. But, not here, unfortunately. So, I suspect it was the high fructose corn syrup that damaged Matt's leather seats.
Favorite Moment: 

Get the Car Talk Newsletter