Click & Clack Talk Cars
By Tom & Ray Magliozzi
Dear Tom and Ray:
On a recent cross-country trip
(South Caroline to Nevada) with my boyfriend, we
had an air conditioning issue, which Im
hoping you can help us with. I wanted to make a
cell-phone call, so I put the windows up and
turned the AC on. We were cruising at
approximately 80 mph. At the next stop for gas,
the car was making a funny noise. Then the AC did
not work any longer. Plus, the car was smoking.
So he took it in for service the next day - and
$1000 later, we have another compressor. The man
at the repair center said you should NEVER turn
your AC on going faster than 50 mph. Everyone
Ive talked to says theyve never heard
of such a thing. So is the repairman right? We
were driving a 1998 Jeep Wagoneer. It has had AC
problems anyway - could it have been an existing
problem? Thanks! - Julie
TOM: Dont pay for it! It
wasnt your fault, Julie.
RAY: No, the timing was pure
coincidence. The air-conditioning compressor was
already on its last legs before this incident. It
just happened to kick the bucket after you used
it. You are completely blameless.
TOM: Weve heard this myth
before, about not turning on the air conditioner
at highway speeds. The purveyors of this myth
explain that, with the car going that fast, the
belt is turning at high speed. And if you then
switch on the AC, it will be "jolted"
into action at a very high speed.
RAY: This, as we say in the
garage, is bullfeathers. Heres why. When
the AC is running, it cycles on and off by itself
anyway. So its already turning itself on
and off all the time, no matter how fast
TOM: Right. So you can turn the
AC on and off whenever you want, Julie.
Youre off the hook.
By Greg Zyla
Sponsored by Curry Automotive
Tough Times for
Q: I hope all the
Toyota fans are happy, as their teams stink!
Im glad, because Im a Chevy lover and
wish Toyota had stayed in other forms of racing.
They dont belong in NASCAR, and every time
one of those Toyotas fails to qualify, Im
glad. -- Kevin P., South Carolina
A: Kevin, everyone
is free to express his or her opinions, but
Im sticking with mine, and I feel having
Toyota in NASCAR is good for the sport, not bad.
Yes, the teams are struggling, but they will get
a lot better, and I still feel they can win a
race this year. Dave Blaney has finished second
in a Busch race already, and his Cat-sponsored
Bill Davis Camry seems to be the best running
Toyota of the Cup group.
Q: I think NASCAR
should have given Mark Martin the win by doing
what was right at Daytona. If it had been Junior
(Earnhardt) ahead, he would have won it because
they would have thrown the yellow. -- B.B.,
received many letters and e-mails about
"yellow or no yellow" at Daytona. I
feel NASCAR did the right thing, letting Harvick
and Martin run for the win with the checkered
flag waving. This will be the last question we
answer on this subject, so readers, please,
dont send in any more. Its a done
deal: Harvick won; Martin finished second.
Q: Whats the
deal with all these Indy drivers running in
NASCAR? We have Juan Pablo Montoya, A.J.
Allmendinger and even Sam Hornish giving it a
try. Whats up? -- Alice L., Kentucky.
A: Alice, you
might as well add Tony Stewart to the list
(former IndyCar Series champion), along with
Scott Pruett (drove Indy many times), Paul Tracy
(hes tried, too) and Sarah Fisher (was with
Childress in a development program). I can keep
going all the way back to A.J. Foyt, Mario
Andretti and Jim Hurtibise, who all won oval
NASCAR races, and further to Paul Goldsmith (won
his first NASCAR race, a 100-mile qualifier in
1963) and well into the 50s if I needed to.
The bottom line is
that NASCAR is the biggest racing series in the
United States (if not the world). It pays the
best and gives the best exposure for sponsors. So
the question is, "Why wouldnt you want
to run in this series?"