Potatoe in the muffler... Kaboom?

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Potatoe in the muffler... Kaboom?

Postby dalilamahammer on September 15th, 2008, 7:07 am 

I was watching tv or a movie can't really remember what but I saw something that caught my interest and intriged me.

in what ever I was watching, a guy puts a potatoe in the exaust pipe of someones cars and when they come to start it, it blows up. So can this really happen or is a just a myth, and if it is true why does it happen?

Postby Nick on September 15th, 2008, 8:31 am 

The basic idea is that it stops/restricts the gas getting out of the exhaust. This makes the pressure increase until it pushes out the potato or blows up the exhaust or whatever. Never seen it work in real life. Probably the potato burns up first (exhausts are pretty hot) and just makes a mess. The chances that it actually blows up the exhaust is probably fairly slim but I would expect the potato to get pushed out.

Postby DrCloud on September 15th, 2008, 10:32 am 

I think what happens first is that the engine just dies, or won't even start.

"Explosions" have probably been related to the potato's getting blown out the pipe, rather than the exhaust sytem's blowing up. (Although, given the types of people who might try this and the cars they'd probably try it on, and rust, well...) HPH

Postby Heron on September 15th, 2008, 7:52 pm 

The car will just flood out, or maybe even back fire through the intake.
If they turn the car over long enough trying to start it the potato might blow out.
However,if the exhaust system has thinned it will rupture first.
Last edited by Heron on September 16th, 2008, 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Postby DarrenLO on September 16th, 2008, 1:59 pm 

I probably shouldn't be telling on myself, but a potato can rupture a muffler. I had a particularly unpleasant landlord at one time, and I noticed that her muffler was rusty, so I decided to test the old wives tale. I think you have to use a big, firm potato and push it in as far as you can. If her muffler had not been rusted, I have no idea what the result would have been; I am not much of a car guy;-)


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