The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 15: Scuba Diver, Car Capers

Premier Date: July 27, 2004

A SCUBA diver can be sucked up by a firefighting helicopter and dumped on a forest fire.

busted

The type of pumps used in firefighting helicopters cannot continue running once in the air. As soon as the pump is shut off, any caught diver would simply drop back into the water. The pumps also do not have enough suction to suck in a person in the first place.

If you plug the tailpipe of a car with objects, the engine will be destroyed.

busted

All of the objects used were shot out immediately after the engine started up.

If a bullet is shot through the fuel tank of a car, it will explode.

busted

The gas tank did not explode.

(This myth was revisited in episode 38 and it was found to be plausible if the tank is shot with a tracer round.)

A car door can protect you from bullets in a shoot out.

busted

The car door did not stop the bullets shot at it.

A car engine will be destroyed when liquid drain cleaner is put into the fuel tank.

busted

The engine still ran.

A car engine will be destroyed when bleach is put into the fuel tank.

plausible

The engine soon died out but wasn’t ruined from the experience. The following morning, the inside of the gas tank was covered in rust.

A car engine will be destroyed when sugar is put into the fuel tank.

busted

The engine ran even better than without the sugar.

Adding mothballs to the fuel tank of a car will increase its horsepower.

plausible

The engine still started, but it soon started spluttering. When Jamie pressed the accelerator, the engine sounded more powerful.

When a car radiator is bone dry, cola can be used as a substitute for coolant.

plausible

The car ran with cola in the radiator, but it may cause damage.

When there is a leak in a car radiator, cracking an egg into the radiator will plug the hole.

plausible

The engine was started after the contents of an egg were poured in, and the leak stopped.

A piece of metal can destroy a car engine when it falls in the carburetor.

busted

A penny dropped in could be heard rattling, but the engine still ran.

Adding bleach to the oil of a car can destroy the engine.

confirmed

The engine started but it soon started smoking, and very quickly overheated. The engine was so hot, that the undercarriage started burning and Adam fried an egg on the tailpipe. The engine was ultimately ruined.