Brain Teaser March 2018 Answer

To ensure there is no explosion that catapults John onto the runway adjoining his sports car repair business, he needs to make sure he DOES NOT use a vacuum cleaner or other similar cleaning device, particularly plugged into an electrical outlet, to help him pull dirt away from and out of the spark plug holes. If one or more of the fuel intake valves just happens to be open, the vacuum cleaner will suck gas and air into the cleaner, sparking the vacuum motor and blowing John out of the building!

Dan Dessner had the closest and can be considered the winner for last months challenge. Bill Bauman and Lee Burlingame also submitted answers.

Some Funny Answers

1)  "All I can think of is that John should be sure not to smoke while he does this job. The fumes from the cylinder heads and combustion chambers could be volatile and flammable and could ignite around an open flame."


2)  I couldn’t think of any scenario that any sane person changing sparkplugs on a 914-4 would cause an explosion, so here is one answer.

He should make certain not to do the following:

  • Walk outside of his shop, so the walls would not interfere with anything (like flying bodies)
  • Turn his back to the end of the airport runway
  • Hold a stick of dynamite close to his stomach
  • Make sure to position his body perfectly in line with the end of the runway and the stick of dynamite
  • Bend forward slightly (for a better upward trajectory path – more distance)
  • Light the dynamite

3)  "I really do not have a clue, but if I were to guess I would say he shouldn't touch the battery. You know Zap Zap."


4)  "Anytime you change spark plugs you have to be sure not to knock any dirt down into the cylinder. Cleaning around the plug before you take it out is a good practice. It goes without saying that blood dripping from your knuckles is not desirable in the engine as well."