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Does a potato in the tailpipe still work to kill a vehicle?

So there is a guy that comes by up the street, great loud sounding truck, loves to rev it up like at a dragstrip and backfire as he lets off the gas while in park, like 4 or 5 times before he turns it off. Say somehow a potato got stuck in his exhaust pipes, would that still cool his jets?


Don’t have the answer but with all the home video security systems around now I will pass on a experiment of this type.

Depends, mashed potato, cooked, baked?

Nothing will happen with a raw potato. It will quickly be forced out of the pipe. They tried this on Myth Buster several years ago.

In high school early 70’s the story was a raw potato larger than the pipe that trimmed it self to fit as you shoved it in. Maybe 4 potatoes and a rubber mallet? Theoretically speaking of course.


Check into the noise ordinances in your are. If the truck is too loud, he could be forced to put a legal muffler on it. This would likely require a coordinated effort with other neighbor’s complaining to the police too.

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A baking potato in the tailpipe of a 1950 or so Chevrolet didn’t kill it, but the potato shot out 50 feet or so. We picked the Chevy because it had a nice straight end on the tail pipe

No, the Chevy wasn’t ours. I don’t think the driver noticed anything.

If you try it, don’t stand behind the vehicle while he revs it. You might get beaned, and then the neighbors will start calling you “Mr. potato head”. :laughing:

The truck isn’t the problem. The owner is. Does your town have a noise abatement regulation? Perhaps that would help… IF you’re ready for the repercussions. I doubt if this clown will take anything you do lightly.

Guess I’ll just pretend I am at the dragstrip.

No. Like the others said, if the exhaust is in good condition, it just blows the 'tater out with a big boom. Fun in its own right!

I used to use this technique to find exhaust leaks, make a loud hissing noise at the leak.

I’ve done this as a kid, and yes, it will stall (not allow to start & run) a low powered car.

P.S. You need a large Idaho bake potato.

There are a lot of people who have been arrested over the past few years because they thought–mistakenly–that they could remain anonymous while carrying out acts of vandalism or terrorism.
The ubiquity of video surveillance cameras nowadays is such that anyone who thinks that he/she can fly underneath the radar could easily wind up with a surprising knock on the door from The Boys in Blue.


The police will not identify the complaint maker so that retaliation is not likely.

Is that with butter or sour cream? :grin:

Our city noise ordinance is 10:30 PM to 6:30 AM. The police would have to dispatch an officer to “catch” your neighbor in the act. Not likely. Sorry.

Very unlikely. Our police do a fine job, but yes to be on call for a possible noise violation is not expected, or warranted, bigger fish to fry so to speak, and I do not have a problem with that.

Sugar in the gas tank is an easier and more effective option. No matter what you do the problem will likely continue as any vandalism will only be a temporary stop-gap measure.

Twenty some odd years ago a guy who lived a half a block down the street from me had an early 70s Nova with a set of long tube headers on it. No mufflers, nothing. For some reason or reasons unknown to anyone he would get out there about 10 at night and start revving that engine to the limit. He would do this for 20-30 minutes at a time.
Our kids were at home and in school around that time and their bedrooms were all on the second floor. The noise at height was twice as loud compared to standing outside.

The guy would even do this when it was 20 degrees outdoors and pull this idiocy almost every night.

Complain to the city? The guy was a city councilman. He also raised dogs (usually a dozen at a time) and most of them barked incessantly.
His dogs started getting picked off with a .22 one by one so he got tired of becoming enraged on a regular basis and moved.

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…and that’s why I try not to aggravate my neighbors by putting loud pipes on my machines.

Yeah all these cameras around now take all the fun out of harmless pranks. Some guys just like to call attention to themselves though. Maybe figure out when he’s sound asleep and pull the muffler off your car and rev er up in front of his house until the lights go on. But I suspect he won’t get the hint. In my youth I had a friend that would love to pull the muffler on his motor bike just to make a lot of noise and call attention to himself. The only time I ever did it was when I was riding out in the country on gravel roads and nary a person or cow to be seen.

You don’t want butter or sour cream since it acts as a lubricant and would make it easier to blow out the potato.

Not too long ago, the muffler on my '98 Civic rusted out. It fell apart where the front pipe connects to the muffler. I removed the muffler where it broke off and used a spare piece of metal fence post to point the exhaust in the right direction so the pipe didn’t dump exhaust under the car. It’s amazing how a Civic with a high performance muffler sounds just like a Civic with no muffler.

A week or two later, I discovered I could buy an aftermarket replacement muffler on Amazon for about $50. Since it’s a bolt-on muffler that requires no welding to replace, I installed it myself. It took me about ten minutes to install.

Since we don’t have inspections here in Florida, I could have continued to drive with no muffler for as long as I wanted to. I’m glad I don’t have to.