Episodes
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Katherine's new job got off to a bumpy start (literally!), when she rear-ended her boss' shiny new car on her first day. Katherine has been eyeing a new car herself, but should she wait for her first performance review? Meanwhile, Elisa's parents say they'll buy her a new car if she marries her live-in boyfirend. Should she accept, or will she be opening the door to future car-motivated life events? Also, Spencer couldn't resist the urge to touch his...
Published 07/24/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, we've all been there. You're in the midst of a long drive when nature calls but doesn't provide a venue for you to answer that call. If the only urgent haircut option is a fast-food restaurant, are you obligated to buy something if you use the facility? Elsewhere, Heather took her Volvo to Helmut The Mechanic because her glove compartment was stuck. Three weeks and $3000 later, Heather now has a new fuel system and a Volvo that stalls. Did Helmut get a...
Published 07/17/21
This week on the Best of Car Talk, got a pencil neck and an empty summer calendar? Tom and Ray are here for you, with the first (and probably last) Geek Week Summer Camp. Elsewhere, Shelly thinks she's killing a small animal when she turns her Subaru's steering wheel, because of the noise it makes. Might it actually be one of the gerbils powering its engine? Also, Steve's power steering needs a wake-up call for five minutes into his morning drive; Jackie's boyfriend's starting technique may...
Published 07/10/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, after years of ranting and raving about bad drivers, Tommy makes a shocking confession. What previously unthinkable driving sin did he commit, and why? Meanwhile, Tommy's erstwhile soulmate Rob drives like a tortoise in a land of rabbits and is looking for a visual cue to keep his fellow motorists' blood pressure down. Elsewhere, Sherry loves her new Town Car but can't fit a bike rack on it. Alas, her husband isn't wild about Sherry's proposed solution—a...
Published 07/03/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Katie's roommate's pseudo-scientific explanation for getting her Civic's door stuck on a sidewalk struck her as bogus, so she's turning to two pseudo-MIT grads. Can Tom and Ray separate truth from bogosity? Elsewhere, Tim and Pam need a ruling on whether his joyride on a washboard road crushed her Saturn's engine mounts. Also, can Gene's Corolla survive 100,000 miles with a leaking fuel pump and axle seal, and a dope slap reminder to check both daily; Flo's...
Published 06/26/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Steve left a fresh turkey in his car for a week, and well, things don't smell so fresh anymore. Will any combination of soap, air freshener, and bad cologne get the stench out, or does Steve need to call Vinny the Torch? Elsewhere, Michael doesn't know if he should be worried about a couple of green spark plugs; Maggie's son has fallen in love with a hand-me-down Buick Regal that could kill him; and Linda is about to relocate from Ohio to the Virgin Islands....
Published 06/19/21
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,...
Published 06/15/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Ellen's Civic has been in three crashes, vandalized nine times, and had a tree fall on it, all of which has somehow convinced Ellen the car is cursed. If she tries to sell it, does she have to divulge these mishaps? Elsewhere, Keller's Beetle is missing its front passenger floorboard. Will a "found" street sign and a friend with an oxyacetylene torch cover the hole, without a 911 call? Also, Peter's Jeep knows when he's in a hurry, and chooses those moments...
Published 06/05/21
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;...
Published 05/29/21
Slackers of the world, unite! Ah, never mind, that's probably too much effort. But this week The Best of Car Talk pays tribute to those dedicated to avoiding the rat race. In matters automotive, Liz's husband really wants to celebrate the end of his medical residency by buying a used Porsche, but Liz is worried the repair bills will negate any salary increase he's about to receive; Julie is wondering if her Accord's electrical problems are related to the series of "encounters" (accidents)...
Published 05/22/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, is there a better Mother's Day gift than a kid helping his mom work on her car? Well, Anne might have done better with breakfast in bed. Her four-year-old son Matthew "helped" by pouring Ring Seal into her Jeep steering reservoir. Is next year's Mother's Day gift going to be a new car for Mom? Elsewhere, Bruce's tire is being attacked by air pressure goblins in the night; Ellen wants her Accord's door to stop squeaking so her new neighbors won't know how...
Published 05/15/21
You're driving down a long hill in San Francisco. Your brakes fail and there's a stop sign at the bottom. What do you do, aside from uttering every prayer in the book? This week on The Best of Car Talk, Tom and Ray offer two suggestions, one of which might actually help avoid a big hospital bill. Elsewhere, Robin loves her Tourismo, even though it needs more than $1000 worth of repairs and it's causing a family rift. Is it time for her to kiss it goodbye? Also, Alex thinks her boyfriend's...
Published 05/08/21
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Savannah wants to decorate her Plymouth Sundance with rhinestones because, well, they couldn't make it look worse, could they? Is she going to appear even more wacko by asking Tom and Ray for advice? Elsewhere, Peter may wish that the whining sound coming from his car is his mother-in-law after he finds out what it's going to cost to make it go away; over in Germany, Steve is wondering whether his Tracer can survive keeping up with the BMWs going 100 on the...
Published 05/01/21
This week on the Best of Car Talk, thanks to modern research we can decipher what your mechanic is trying to tell you through his grunts. Meanwhile, Liz can only communicate her Volvo's steering problem through song. Elsewhere, Marni wants to pay tribute to her departed dad by pouring some of his ashes into his beloved Corvette's gas tank; Su (yes, that's how she spells it) wants to use a hair dryer to straighten her dented fender; and is the whirring noise Eric is hearing the death-bed cry...
Published 04/24/21
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Laurie's Pathfinder earned the unfortunate nickname "Wobble Butt" because its rear end rocks from side to side. Can Tom and Ray calm Wobble Butt down and save it from further embarrassment? Elsewhere, Bob wants to know just how wacko his brother in law is for proposing adding duct work to improve the heat in Bob's mom's car. Also, Ellen's dad scolded her for having too many keys on her key ring; Chris got a little aggressive with his Dremel tool on his...
Published 04/17/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Chris has flowers growing in his Belvedere, after birdseed got into his fresh air vent. To make matters worse, a kid stuffed chunks of blue cheese in the vents, so the car is stinky, too. Elsewhere, good intentions go really bad when Todd buys his girlfriend a 1973 Ford LTD, on the premise it would be safe and easy to work on. The car's loud backfire has led to one dead cat, several deceased goldfish, and one very strained relationship. Also, Andy wants to...
Published 04/10/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Merriam-Webster helps answer the second most-asked question in Car Talk history: which brother is "Click" and which is "Clack." Unfortunately, they can't the answer the most-asked question: How did these jerks get on the radio in the first place? Elsewhere, Lee's mechanic told him he has a cracked "whoop tube," which may or may not refer to Lee's Town Car; a wayward binky has Marietta's driver's seat stuck in a bad spot; and traveling musician Valerie can't...
Published 04/03/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, if Art passes his AMC Concord onto his 16-year-old son, is he setting the kid on a life path of collecting junk cars? In other words, Art wants to know what Tommy's first car was. And worse, would the Concord doom his son to no social life? Elsewhere, James is about to relocate to Haiti, but needs a car with high ground clearance. His Honda Civic may not fit that description. Also, Wendy's husband is fogging up her car; Troy's VW sounds "satanic" at 1500...
Published 03/27/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Darlene loves her husband but his ignorance about cars has left her at the mercy of a mechanic she doesn't know if she can trust. Meanwhile, Susan may need to to dump her boyfriend before his "lazy shifting" croaks her Miata. Also, Richard is planning a road trip in a '64 Dodge Dart and wants to know what spare parts he should bring along--although he might do better with a spare car; Dick's van needs a new alternator every time the seasons change; and, will...
Published 03/20/21
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Jim thought he had a disaster on his hands after he left his gas cap off during a rain storm, but his pal came to the rescue by pouring mothballs into the gas tank. Can Tom and Ray give any explanation for why the mothballs got Jim's truck running? Meanwhile, Ray's got a theory about Heather's Jeep's popping noise that may win points for creativity and bogosity. Also, Patrick hopes the guys can help him design the perfect soapbox derby car; Ann needs...
Published 03/13/21
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Stella bought matching Monteros for her kids but dumped one because it spent more time in the shop than on the road. Should she be worried about the second Montero? Who better to weigh the chances there's one good brother and one evil brother than Tom and Ray? Elsewhere, Heather has taken to calling her Jeep "Clunking Matilda"; Abe has an idea to navigate traffic in Our Fair City that may get him to work faster (but with a fat lip); and can Anne risk one...
Published 03/06/21
We kick off with a proposal that could revolutionize snow measurement, if it wasn't completely bogus. Later, the bogosity continues as Tom and Ray try to explain why Anne's dashboard gauges all stopped working after she filled up her gas tank at a Shell station—twice! Also, Kay's 38 year old daughter left mom's Explorer running all night, and Kay's wondering if she needs to blow out the car's engine or the cobwebs in her daughter's brain; 14-year old Matthew's struggles to wash his parents'...
Published 02/27/21
Remember Rebecca from a few weeks ago, whose anal retentive dad insisted she keep detailed records of her gas mileage in his book? This week, Dad has his say. Topher explains the book's origins in a Datsun 510, and what it will take for Rebecca to free herself from book duty. Elsewhere, Scott may have to decide whether he wants to be right or be happy, as he and his wife disagree on how to use their truck's 4-wheel drive; Art's wife drove home from an oil change missing one small...
Published 02/20/21
You've no doubt heard Tom and Ray warn callers about the danger of wheels falling off their cars. Well, this week on The Best of Car Talk, Mike's wheel fell off—twice! Happily, he lived to tell the tale. Can Tom and Ray help prevent Strike Three? Elsewhere, Carl's daughter drove from Boston to Colorado, and swears her truck added gas along the way; Father John has decided to splurge on a Miata, and doesn't know if he'll get the best deal with his clerical collar on or off; and on Stump the...
Published 02/13/21
This week on the Best of Car Talk, how do you handle a slightly anal retentive dad who insists on keeping verrrry thorough car records? If you're Rebecca, you ignore Dad's beloved gas mileage book, tell Dad what you really think, and then call on Tom and Ray to try to get Dad to re-open his wallet. Elsewhere, should Carl try quieting his Rolls Royce by bending the door frame, or splurge for official Rolls duct tape? Also, Jane fears her mechanic may have purged her of $87 with a bogus repair;...
Published 02/06/21