Car Talk Podcast

Car Talk

An Automotive and Comedy podcast
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Best Episodes of Car Talk

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#1829: The Full Chicago
Everyone knows a joke is less funny if you have to explain it. But if the joke wasn't funny in the first place, it's not really a problem. So, this week on the Best of Car Talk, Tom and Ray explain the origin of one of their favorites, a "full Chicago." In matters automotive, Caroline is concerned about her Toyota's low idle and her husband's insistence they wear bicycle helmets in the car for safety. Also, Sarah's car seems to have become a magnet for thieves and wayward trucks looking for something to hit; Bob is trying to imagine a life without power steering; Tom and Ray advise Jamie on how to fake a natural death for his Excel; and on Stump the Chumps we find out if John was triggering the Lardbutt Indicator in his wife's Golf. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1827: Porca Miseria
This week on The Best of Car Talk, one listener corrects the record on what NPR's Sylvia Poggioli really says when Tom and Ray besmirch her network by their very presence. You may share Sylvia's horror when you hear our hosts struggle to figure out why Patty's MG will only travel 2 feet at a time. Elsewhere, Wendy's broken air conditioner indicates her relationship may also be busted; Deb threw her husband's BMW into park before coming to a full stop, and doesn't know if she should be more concerned about the resulting noises from the car or her spouse; and, Steven got cheers from his kids and a dope slap from his wife after driving his Trooper across a stream. How did the car respond? All this, plus a ringing defense of PhD's and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1825: Male Moron Syndrome
This week on The Best of Car Talk, genetics suggest that men inherit intelligence from their mothers, which as Tom and Ray postulate, leaves one likely source for the "Hey guys, watch this!" gene. And to prove that point, Josh in Montana is testing the theory by trying to find the source of his truck's rattling noise by examining the under carriage—while the truck is moving. Also, Sara can't figure out how her pet chicken survived a ride under the hood of her Tahoe; John the mechanic needs to know the labor rate for evil ex-girlfriends; Cathy's Sentra is sending her to the poor house; and on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Michael fixed his father-on-law's Town Car and inherited it in the process. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1826: The Waning of Waxing
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Andy loves waxing his car, but his friends tell him he's wasting his time. Has paint technology made waxing passe, save for the mental health benefits? Elsewhere, Diane thinks her husband's claim that BMWs have a unique aroma is a bogus attempt to justify his mid-life crisis; Melissa traded her car to her ex-husband for a rifle and a skiff, but he thinks he got ripped off; and Ed's solution to a sticky shifter may give his insurance company an ulcer. Also, how one student's GPA plummeted after she listened to a single episode of Car Talk; and a new wieght loss plan that's guaranteed to work—the Geriatric Diet. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1821: The Tupperware Theory
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Barbara's husband is a burper. At the gas station, he insists on shaking the car to squeeze in a few extra drops. Will Tom and Ray help Barbara convince her husband to stop belching out wacko ideas? Elsewhere, Denise's friend is coming from Germany, with his Citroen (assuming it fits the carry-on bin), and planning to drive it from New York to Minnesota. Will he make it past the Hudson River? Also, Steve's Check Engine light comes on only when he parks at the Pentagon; Kailash's mechanic told him his Escort has "Break Squeak Syndrome," but Tom and Ray think this diagnosis has one "s" too many; and, (another) Barbara needs help retrieving the keys that fell behind her dashboard, along with the dozen or so household items she's unsuccessfully used to try to retrieve them. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1818: The Power of Carrot Cake
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Wendy is worried that her mechanic's difficulty diagnosing her noisy Golf is affecting his mental health. Is a round of baked goods therapy the cure? Meanwhile, Robin is having her own issues with guilt after forsaking her regular mechanic and taking her Corolla to the dealer for its 30,000 mile service. Also, Jonathan doesn't know whether to celebrate or fear winning the argument with his wife over speed bumps; Tina's brake problem could be her ticket to stardom in Vegas; and Scott's uncle suggested he unplug his Accord's odometer to keep its mileage down. We probably don't need to tell you this, but Scott's uncle is a used car salesman. Will Tom and Ray advise Scott on how to do this, or call the Feds? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1820: Tailpipe Diplomacy
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Chip likes his neighbors, but they insist on warming up their cars for 20 minutes every morning, and the noise and smell are driving Chip crazy. A well-placed cherry bomb might convince them to stop, but is there a more peaceful solution at hand? Elsewhere, Tom started selling cars two weeks ago, and is worried about the potential side effects. Also, Jennifer chose the worst city possible to learn how to drive a stick shift; Bill and his wife are looking for a $700 car that says "eccentric" rather than "cheapskate"; and Jeff relocated from New Orleans to a few thousand feet above sea level. His car handled the move, but his bread maker is producing hockey pucks. Can Tom and Ray put some lift into Jeff's loaves? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1816: Imprudent and Unwise
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Ray recounts a dark day in Massachusetts history—when the powers that be decided his 16-year-old son was worthy of a driver's license. Elsewhere, it's planting season on Diane's parents' farm and they'd like her husband to remove the BMW with a blown engine residing there. Also, Nirav's Wrangler's horn blared at 5 AM and now won't honk at all. Might the angry neighbor with a sledge hammer and wire cutters be responsible? Ira's Jeep had one leaky injector, but he was told nature required him to replace all six; Tim can't turn his wipers off unelss he bangs on the steering column; and Michelle's husband gave her some bogus advice about not using the parking brake. How bogus? Depends on how likely he is to beat up two puny radio hosts. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1813: You Can't Go Back
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Gloria's mechanic told her not to put her car into reverse first thing in the morning. Does Gloria need to build a circular driveway so she can follow this advice or can it be consigned to the Land of Old Wives Tales. Elsewhere, LaDell just started selling cars and already made his first mistake, bragging about a car's torque without knowing what torque is. Can Tom and Ray help him avoid future faux pas? Also, Liberty's new motto may be "Give me ball joints, or give me death"; ski bum Chris is wondering how to handle her truck which spent a cold winter abandoned in Chicago; and can Liz's truck handle her growing family of sled dogs? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1828: The Bet
You send just one of your brother's heaps to the crusher, and you never hear hear the end of it. But this week on the Best of Car Talk, Patti's mom's attempt to drive her Datsun from Houston to Boston may spare Ray from ever having to hear the phrase "sleek black beauty" again. Elsewhere, Casey's career making bagpipes may be the only way to rid his Civic of the garter snakes that have taken residence. Also, Gloria's Jetta is losing power on the highway, and her work-around might get her killed; John may have replaced the wrong "gizmachi" to try to get the raw gas smell out of his Town Car; and Maz hears birds chortling when she downshifts her Fiat. All this, plus the legendary Melissa Peterson letter, and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1823: The Family That Bondos Together
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Ike wants to spend the summer restoring an old truck with his 15-year-old son. Will this be a memorable father-son experience for all the wrong reasons? Elsewhere, Lisa's white Rabbit convertible top has gone gray, despite the use of every cleaning chemical known to humankind. Also, Nancy is worried that two-footed driving may be hereditary; Brent's Audi is leaking the most expensive oil on the planet; and the previous owner of Gary's Morris put in a positive ground. Is it really possible for wipers to run backwards? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1810: Next Stop, Yak Husbandry?
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Whitney's husband insists on waiting until the low fuel lights comes on before getting gas. Is he damaging their car, and even if he is, would curing this habit damage his psyche? Elsewhere, Tom thinks his mechanic is suffering from "Symmetry Neurosis" for insisting on replacing parts in pairs. Also, Ricardo had his car trucked from San Francisco to Boston and now its clutch is cooked; Dana loaned her Jetta to a friend and got it back with a new noise; and Howard's Lincoln is emitting a whooping noise when he gets of the car. Did he buy the extremely limited Three Stooges Curly Package? All this and more, this week on the Best of Car Talk.
#1815: The Four Door Planter
This week on The Best of Car Talk, the junkyard refused to haul away Ruth's beloved Dodge Colt. So the big question is, does it have a future as an arboretum or a terrarium? Elsewhere, Alan's relocating from Dallas to Vermont and wants to know if his Bronco needs to be outfitted with anything other than snow tires and Bronko Nagurski long underwear. Also, Nathan learned an expensive lesson about what happens when you tow a boat in 5th gear; Jeff is prepared to strap someone to the hood to help diagnose his Grand Am's "arthritic knee" noise; and on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Dana's Jetta really was suffering from schmutz on the clutch. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1814: Dad, How Could You?
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Linda is suffering acute separation anxiety, after her dad sold the family's beloved Rambler to a neighborhood teen. Can Tom and Ray help Linda get closure or suggest a few semi-legal strategies to get the car back? Elsewhere, Rita's "soon to be ex-husband" says she should always use the parking brake, and she's convinced he must be wrong because she's dumping him. Also, Mike's attempt to show off his ability to shift into third gear cost him Reverse; Gamin's Civic is making noise ever since she drove through a deep puddle; and is there enough Prozac in the world to get Christine and her mom through driving lessons? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1817: Slow Milking
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Tamsen's mechanics are replacing lots of parts on her Super Beetle (and there weren't that many to begin with), but not the part that's causing the car to vibrate. Are they genuinely clueless or just using a dairy farm technique? Elsewhere, Dennis dreamed that someone gave him a '66 Ford Fairlane. Will Drs. Magliozzi make a house call to help him interpret it? Also, Kathleen's trying to save miles on her leased car by "straightening the curves"; Johanna is moving into a teepee for the summer and is worried about her car washing away (we'd be more concerned about the teepee); and Donna's husband hijacked her new Miata, insisting he needed to drive it to "break it in properly"; and we proudly unveil the Car Talk Listener Rebate Program. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1830: Moronic Existentialism
This week on The Best of Car Talk, between Being and Nothingness is—a loose heat shield? One listener suggests Tom and Ray's baffling car advice is actually the dawning of a new line of deep philosophical thought. Elsewhere, Mary Jane hopes the guys can help save her marriage by not answering her husband's call about his Ford Fairlane; Sandy may need to be bribed to get a diagnosis for her noisy Accord; David parked his Civic in the garage for a week and now the parking brake is stuck; and Barry can't understand why his Mercedes is a bug magnet. Finally, why is Jeff's CD radio messing up his cruise control? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1819: The Power of Nothingness
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Dayton's speedometer only works occasionally. Tom's advice? Take the Zen approach, and do nothing. Might Ray consider Dayton's budget for speeding tickets while crafting his reply? Elsewhere, Missy's son is headed to college this fall and wants to take an Audi Quattro with him, to Our Fair City. Should Missy spend the summer trying to talk him out of it? Also, Scott and his father-in-law have different views on accelerating while shifting; Char's Mercedes dies if she drives for two hours with the sunroof open; and Mark wants to know if his Ford Tempo can survive hauling a trailer with all his worldly possessions from Dallas to Philadelphia. He might do better trying to get from Dallas to Fort Worth. And, in honor of Mother's Day, Elizabeth Magliozzi checks in on her boys' undershirt status. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1824: We Will Bury You
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Eric may need to channel the late Nikita Khrushchev if he wants air conditioning this summer. Meanwhile, Tama may need to clear out the Old Spice aisle to get the stink out of her Jeep so she can sell it. Also, Steve can remove his Omni's key while the car is still in drive which is pretty cool, except for that time the car ran over him; Teri's Accord is making noise in a place where there's nothing that can make noise; and Jordan's Taurus introduces a new Car Talk motto, "They don't care what we say, and we don't care what they do." All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1822: How Scientists Go Bad
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Teddi's Camry screeches when she starts it. She's developed lots of techniques that seem to avoid the noise, but is she mistaking correlation for causation? Elsewhere, John's wife says he's triggering the Lardbutt Indicator in her Golf causing the horn to blare at random times, only when he's driving it. Also, mobile dog groomer Gwen needs to decide whether to repaint or replace her company van; Wendy's looking for a car she can work on herself to help her meet guys; and can Jeff use his camping stove fuel in his Civic in an emergency? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1803: Rocks in your Saab
This week on The Best of Car Talk, can Adrienne use her Saab to deliver hundreds of pounds of rocks for her husband's birthday, or does Adrienne have rocks in her head? Elsewhere, Sarah's Taurus smells like waffles and maple syrup, so unless she spilled any IHOP leftovers down the vents, she may be shopping for a new engine or a new car. Also, Tracy and her dog both need help convincing her husband to use his brakes and abandon his "conservation of memomentum" theory; Jim's friends are trying to convince him his van wlll have an easier time starting if he turns on the lights before turning the key; Chris can spend a few hundred dollars to turn off his Mazda's EGR light or invest in official Click and Clack black tape; and Daniel Pinkwater weighs in on his Theory of Displaced Misery. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1809: Ferrariless in Seattle
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Steve needs help adjusting to a life with four cylinders and cloth seats, after his recent divorce forced him out of his Ferrari and into a Camry. Elsewhere, Deirdre's mechanic has a hair-brained scheme to weld new teeth on her Volvo's flywheel. Is it worth doing, even if it's just for laughs? Also, Connie needs help choosing the right car for her road trip to Rio de Janeiro; Daniel needs to stop replacing distributor caps, and replace his mechanic, if he wants to find out why his Sentra stops running; Piali's best response to her squeaking steering wheel may be a swear box; and is Lyle's strategy of putting a pizza box in front of the radiator a boooogus way to warm his car? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1721: Reality Often Astonishes Theory
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Cynthia is so convinced her gas mileage improves when she gets her oil changed, she bet her boss 100 bucks. If she can't win on technical grounds, might Tommy the Philosopher King be able to bail her out? Elsewhere, Linda may be on firmer scientific footing by claiming her husband's "wah-wah" pedal driving style is doing more harm than good. Also, Joyce's hood won't open, and given the overall condition of her car, an air chisel might be the right tool; Scott is looking for eco-friendly windshield washer fluid, and on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Tom and Ray helped Laurie's Pathfinder lose its nickname, "Wobble Butt". All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1723: Mama Get a Hammer, There's a Fly on Papa's Head
This week, The Best of Car Talk kicks off with some of our favorite Country song titles. Can anything top, "I'd Rather Pass a Kidney Stone Than Another Night With You"? Then it's off to Maui, where Jeff would be advised to stop bragging about the weather if he wants to find out why his brake pedal is sinking to the floor. Elsewhere, Inga is wondering which of her several mistakes caused her parked car to lurch down hill; Matt's brother talked him into a DIY timing belt change on his Acura, and a month later, the car still isn't running right; Bryan would like his vintage pickup truck to handle like a Dodge Viper; and can Stephanie's Corolla survive a cross-country trip? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1839: The Chia Pontiac
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Jake's car is growing hair on top and to make things worse, it clashes with the car's color. Did someone slip Rogaine into Jake's gas and does he need a paint job or a cream rinse to deal with it? Elsewhere, Nancy's 3-year old son gets carsick when she drives "the wiggly road", aka, The Pacific Coast Highway, but does fine when Dad''s behind the wheel. Also, Jason's car has three problems and may get three wrong answers; Mike agreed to pull his neighbor's engine, and is about to learn he's going to have to pull a lot more, too; and, Sally's dream car may be trying to kill her. All this and more this week on The Best of Car Talk.
#1738: 30 Years of Listener Retaliation
This week, Car Talk's month long 30th Anniversary Celebration/Apology continues, with an all-listener request show. We've got the Bosnian Vowel Drop, Arup Gupta, the original Melissa Peterson letter, Death Valley Dinesh, and the circumferentially challenged Daniel Pinkwater reading highlights from the BMW owner's manual. Also, Dana needs help removing a chunk of the Berlin Wall from a friend's trunk, and Christy decides it's time to 'fess up to her Dad about destroying his car 15 years ago. All this and more, on The Best of Car Talk.
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Podcast Details
Apr 15th, 2017
Latest Episode
Jan 6th, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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