NPR: Car Talk Podcast

NPR: Car Talk Podcast

United States

America's funniest auto mechanics take calls from weary car owners all over the country, and crack wise while they diagnose Dodges and dismiss Diahatsus. You don't have to know anything about cars to love this one hour weekly laugh fest.

Episodes

#1650: The Snort Track  

This week on the Best of Car Talk, can Ray grant one listener's Christmas wish by snorting less? And why can't Bob stop laughing about his Geo's starting problem? Elsewhere, Alan's Lincoln is starting to sound eerily like his mother; Karen's Caravan's dashboard is telling her she's always going 120 miles per hour on an empty gas tank; Steph wants to tempt the Blowout Gods by removing his Miata's spare tire so he'll have more trunk space; and Ariel is thinking of buying her first car and is wondering what level of protection she needs to bring to the dealer. Will a Rottweiler do or a big guy named Bruno? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1649: If You Suck a Sock  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Bob is worried his car may have a permanent case of athlete's foot (or worse) after a sock got sucked into the engine. Find out how the sucking transpired and whether Tom and Ray can stop laughing long enough to ease Bob's fears. Elsewhere, Patty's Accord began mooing at her. Is her best option to try milking it? Also, Elizabeth came home from Thanksgiving to discover her Volvo's windows permanently fogged; Marlene got talked into buying an electric anti-rust device for her new car; and Mike may re-think his desire for a "heavy duty" clutch after he hears Tom and Ray's tale of the customer known as Mr. Heavy Duty and his enlarged left foot. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1648: The Black Hole of Auto Metaphysics  

This week on the Best of Car Talk, one listener postulates that a non-essential repair on an old car creates a parallel universe where everything else starts to break. Sorry, but for proof, you may have to tune to the Sci-Fi Channel. Elsewhere in the land of semi-wacko theories, Mark was told he could use rice to clean a carburetor, and Joyce's boyfriend insists on leaving his Taurus' trunk open overnight to keep it dry. Also, can Stephanie blame her mom for killing her Subaru's clutch, and is Mike's snowblower really not starting because it's too cold? And, John's mechanic ran into the age-old dilemma: Is it better to admit stupidity or gaslight the customer? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1647: The Shrink-Wrapped Land Rover  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Mike and his sons are about to embark on a two-year around the world sailing voyage, but the vintage Land Rover Mike's been restoring won't be much use at sea. Should he sell it or will late-night TV provide the perfect storage solution? Elsewhere, Lisa's wondering how much restitution she's entitled to for allowing her husband to buy a used Corvette; Charlotte's daughter spent $300 on a truck and may have overpaid; and Arnie's Accord's harmonic balancers won't stay balanced. Also, Tom and Ray may need to consult Junk & Wagnalls' encyclopedia to diagnose Sandy's hum. All this and more, this week on the Best of Car Talk.

#1646: Tanya the Trainer  

This week, The Best of Car Talk kicks off with the tale of one man's descent to Dante's supplemental Circle of Hell, the local health club, where he is at the merciless hands of his personal trainer, Tanya. Then we're off to Virginia, where Shelia's Maxima smells like someone burned her dry cleaning. Elsewhere, Ethan's preparing to sell his truck, which was struck by lightning. Should he advertise it as "pre-disastered" or keep quiet? Also, from the don't-try-this-at- home department, Marty's dad got their vintage car started by sucking gas through the exhaust with a shop vac, and he still has his eyebrows! All this and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1645: The Bionic Bug  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Rita's VW won't start after being flooded during a hurricane. Does it have a future on the road, or just as a saltwater aquarium? Elsewhere, Bob discovered an unusual feature in his BMW as a result of his father-in-law being locked in the car for a half-hour; Dan's neighbor is convinced Dan's Acura has oil problems based only on the racket it makes when Dan drives home; and Chuck thinks his wife's parking brake technique is too quiet. Also, on Stump the Chumps, Tommy faces the Great Cathy/Kathy Challenge! All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1644: Mayonnaise on My Dipstick  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Tim doesn't know if he should be worried about the substance on his Fury's dipstick, or if he should just make a tuna salad sandwich with it. Elsewhere, Tonia likes her next door neighbor but is less fond of the noxious chemicals he uses on his car; Larry wants to convince his wife it's okay to buy a used car from a rental company but a tale from Ray's past may change his mind; and Dara is having trouble selling a car that used to belong to the fire chief. Should she forget about selling the car and just advertise its spotlight? All this, plus the great Cathy/Kathy challenge, and more this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1643: Dave From Bemidji  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, gather round for the greatest road trip story ever told. Dave and his girlfriend drove from Alaska to Minnesota in an overheating Chevy Cavalier with an old campfire grill jammed into the catalytic converter, a crescent wrench with no sockets, and one big zit on Dave's forehead. In more mundane matters, Patrice's VW bus won't start, John Mark's backseat passengers are getting their feet soaked when he makes a turn, and Alana's gas tank is spitting fuel back out after she fills it. Also, how should Rich wake up a Buick that's been napping for four years, and is the threat of fire enough to convince Jim that replacing his tailpipe might count as a "necessary repair"? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1642: Leah, We're Here For You  

This week on the Best of Car Talk, Click and Clack answer the desperate plea of a depressed college student. Leah is contemplating the meaning of life and writes to Car Talk seeking answers. (Clearly more competent talk show hosts were busy!) Can Tom and Ray set her straight and help poor Leah find happiness? Meanwhile Hope's massive mutt has taken to riding on top of her pickup, and Paul's daughters are annoyed at his selective hearing. Will they hate dear old dad even more if he follows Click and Clack's advice? All that and more, in this week's automotively therapeutic episode of The Best of Car Talk.

#1641: Sue, the Stinko Driver  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Sue's boyfriend is afraid to get in the car with her due to her long history of accidents, near misses, and traffic violations. Sue insists she's a safe driver, so a full-scale Car Talk intervention may be necessary. Elsewhere, Robin thinks her VW's steering problem calls for an exorcist, but Tom and Ray say an arsonist may be more helpful; Joe may need to choose between a bungee cord and a 2x4 if he doesn't want to spring for a new transmission; and can Randy just keep adding a quart of oil to her Civic and live her life? Depends on whether her life involves driving the car! All this, plus more than you ever wanted to know about the hazards of adding urine to a radiator. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1640: Desperate Times, Desperate Fluids  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Andy's car overheated in the desert. With no water on hand, his girlfriend convinced him to use the only liquid available. We're bordering on TMI here, so we'll just say that Andy is now worried about said liquid's acid causing corrosion. Elsewhere, Judy and her Volvo just moved from Los Angeles to Chicago. What does she need to do to winterize her car, and herself? Also, Christian's clutch problems are threatening his career in pizza delivery; Magica's husband dropped a razor blade in the airbag compartment and thinks it's not a big deal; and should Louella risk her safety and sanity by teaching her teenage daughters how to drive stick shift? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1639: Fell Off Truck  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Matt's bad day got a little worse when his Volvo fell off the tow truck that was hauling it from an accident. Will Tom and Ray's vast experience dropping cars help Matt figure out if his is still safe to drive? Elsewhere, should Jackie go braless when washing her car? We're talking about the car's bra here, not Jackie's. Also, Peter thinks he has a theremin player living in his car; Barb's smart-aleck son may actually be smarter than she thinks; and on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Victoria bought cars for her three sons and opted for a career in flower arranging over business school. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1638: Bernsteining the Clutch  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Leonard Bernstein is immortalized in automotive lore for a shifting technique he handed down to his son. Elsewhere, Adla got a rude welcome to Boston when someone stole the battery from her Civic; Jennifer made an ill-advised bet on steering wheels with her know-it-all 18-year-old nephew; Esther's low coolant light and buzzer might be trying to send her a subtle signal about the state of her cooling system; and is John's Thunderbird suffering from Radio Frequency Interference or Dying Transmission Syndrome? All this and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1637: Latent Junkman Syndrome  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Joe's brother-in-law collects heaps. This wouldn't be a problem, except the cars wind up in Joe's backyard. And to make things even more complicated, Joe's brother-in-law owns the house. Can Tom and Ray untangle this family mess? Elsewhere, Sherry thinks her temperature gauge is going through menopause; Roseanna borrowed her friend's Subaru for the summer and fears she may be responsible for its new noise; and Klaus may need to learn how to drive his car with the engine off. All this, plus some fun things to say on elevators, and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1636: Magliozzi's Ignoramus Principle  

Move over Heisenberg! This week on the Best of Car Talk, one listener's new theory on Tom and Ray's ability to alter reality. Elsewhere, Anthony thinks his cheapo tires are making noise. His solution? Swap them with his wife's tires. Will Tom and Ray have a suggestion that won't land Anthony in divorce court? Also, Crash's Mazda is making him live up to his nickname by wandering all over the road; Kimberly is tired of having to whack her Subaru's starter; Dora has become a reluctant member of the Alternator of the week club; and does a cleaner car lead to a bigger mechanic's bill? All this, plus some words to live by and lots more, this week on The Best of car Talk.

#1635: Carson DeLake  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Tim's Dodge Dart rolled into a lake and went for a full dive. The car has been retrieved, but will it ever run again and not smell like fish? Elsewhere, Stu's girlfriend Carla accidentally added engine oil to his beloved ZX's power steering. So why are Tom and Ray asking Carla if she wants to dump Stu? Also, Julia fears her parents' marriage won't survive Dad's attempt to rebuild Mom's Suburban's engine; Karen's physicist husband has a bogus explanation for why her car is shaking; and on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Ed needed healing crystals to get his son's Taurus to start. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1634: Con the Mechanic  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Nancy doesn't fully trust her mechanic so she's throwing around car jargon to bluff him into thinking she knows more than she does. But, her vocabulary has run dry. Will the official Click and Clack Thesaurus come to her rescue? Elsewhere, Greg's truck's wiring has become lunch for critters and the only way to save it may require giving up his beloved garage woodshop. Also, Kara's white-water rafting company may have to do the unthinkable and switch to automatic transmissions for their trucks; and on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Tom and Ray knocked their heads together well enough to diagnose Debra's truck's knocking sound. All this and more this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1633: A Big, Beautiful Piece of. Junk  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, should Jason dump his beloved Camaro? It needs a new engine and completed its mission to help him find a girlfriend. Elsewhere, Shelly has the happiest dog in the world as her Explorer is spewing dog food from the vents; Oscar needs to decide whether to fix his wife's brakes or buy more life insurance for her; and should Barbara attempt her 6-month road trip in a VW Camper Van if she expects it to last more than 6 days? Also, from the land of Wacko theories, Teresa's husband thinks he has a better to chance to survive a collision if he's not wearing a seat belt; and our on-call chemist Jim Davis weighs in on Ray's hungry water theory. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1632: The Hungry Water Theory  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, distilled water may be too hungry for John to use it in his radiator. Will Ray's explanation of the hungry water theory help clarify things, or as usual, only further obfuscate matters? Elsewhere, Linda's husband proudly claimed to have "fixed" her Volvo—by chopping off its roof. Now is it safe for use as anything other than a planter? Also, Kunal wants to give his horn testosterone treatments; Diana's van could be a new form of germ warfare; and on Stump the Chumps we find out if Liz found her gas leak, and the perfect jumpsuit. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

#1631: Tickling the Electrons  

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Dennis' friend told him the best way to charge a low car battery is by turning on all the accessories. Does this earn immediate entry into the Wacko Theory Hall of Fame? Elsewhere, Julieta's boyfriend is blaming her driveway for his Camry's starting problem, which can only be cured by the correct curse words; Molly would like a little less cowbell in her Altima; and Gail explodes the myth that women don't play practical jokes. Also, how did a rental car's exhaust suck in Mike's daughter's shirt? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.

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