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The Best of Car Talk


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.

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.


Cambridge, MA





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.






Car Talk Plaza, Box 3500 Harvard Square Cambridge, MA, 02238 888-227-8255


#2038: 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...


#2037: Latent Junkman Syndrome

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Joe's brother-in-law collects heaps. Why is this Joe's problem? The cars wind up in his 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...


#2036: 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...


#2035: Everybody Wins

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Julia's worried that her Dad's attempt to replace the engine in Mom's Suburban might stress their marriage. Tom and Ray think it may make their bond stronger than ever, even if the car is destroyed. Elsewhere, 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? Also, Karen's physicist husband has a bogus explanation for why her car is shaking; Kelley wants to fix her...


#2034: 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 wood shop. Also, Kara's white-water rafting company may have to do the unthinkable and switch to...


#2033: 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...


#2032: 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, Diana's van could be a new form of germ warfare; Rhadd's wild idling leaves him, Tom, and Ray all wishing our hosts were smarter; and, on Stump the Chumps we find out if Liz found her gas leak, and the perfect jumpsuit. Also, Todd's noisy truck gives Tom a chance...


#2031: 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...


#2030: Additive Placebo Syndrome

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Bob's friend swears his Passat is getting an extra mile per gallon since he disabled the daytime running lights. Is this possible, or is he working overtime to believe it's happening? Elsewhere, Harmony stands accused of smashing her sister's car by taking her foot off the brake, but swears her foot never left the pedal; Bruce's son's Town Car needs a paint job but it will cost more than the car is worth; and Gina's husband is taking the fun out of his...


#2029: A Clean Death

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Greg was surprised when his truck started running poorly, until he learned that his four-year-old son had washed the inside of the gas tank with soap. Should Greg stick his kid with the repair bill? Elsewhere, Judy can't decide if her son-in-law is brilliant or wacko for raising the hood of his Volvo after every drive; Gil's Camry may be leaving a trail of clutch fluid from Houston to Phoenix; Debra's knocking is nothing compared to the sound of two hosts...


#2028: Sorry, Dad

This week on The Best of Car Talk, did Christy destroy her dad's car 15 years ago by putting black tape over a flashing temperature light— and then continuing to drive? And is Dad ready to forgive and forget? It's one of our all-time favorite auto-familial disputes. Elsewhere, Andy got talked into replacing his front brakes to help stop a noise coming from the rear; Nancy's husband says she's risking death by keeping her air conditioning on recirculate; and should Mickey be concerned that...


#2027: The Dregs Theory

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Donna's husband warned her not to let her new Camry's gas tank fall below 1/4 full, because the dregs might damage a crucial part. Does the fact that this part no longer exists automatically throw this advice into the Land of the Booooooogus? Elsewhere, John can only keep his car from stalling by opening the hood and touching the engine. Does this fix have anything to do with the fact that John's a Catholic priest? Also, Tom is looking for a "girlfriend...


#2026: Sherlock Holmes, Eat Your Heart Out

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Stephanie's Volvo began making noise after she moved from California to Oregon. Tommy uses brilliant deductive reasoning to come up with a completely bogus explanation. Elsewhere, Karlene's mechanic diagnosed her Explorer's annoying squeak as "an annoying squeak," with no suggestions for quieting it. Can Tom and Ray do perhaps just a wee bit better? Also, Ed may need to resort to healing crystals to start his son's Taurus; Larry has a chance to take part in...


#2025: A Sympathetic Ear

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Ryan took his car in for an oil change and got talked into an engine shampoo. Will Tom and Ray reassure him that he's not a complete idiot? At least he didn't get a cream rinse. Elsewhere, Bill parked his rental car on a beach, and discovered the next morning that the tide had rolled in—to the car. He's bailed the water, but hasn't told the rental company. Also, Ray channels Frank Costanza to try to diagnose Kevin's clicking noise; Jean is suffering a run...


#2024: Faster Than the Speed of Light

This week on The Best of Car Talk, physics research suggests that Tom may in fact be Superman. You've never seen them photographed together, have you? Elsewhere, Grant's marriage counselor suggested he and his wife turn to Tom and Ray to help settle their auto-marital dispute over keeping the radio on while the car is off. Will our hosts bring peace, or will Grant's next appearance be on Divorce Court? Also, Mark decided to replace his working transmission, and has now gone through six...


#2023: Proverbial Declarification

This week on The Best of Car Talk, a quiz for the Master of Puzzler Obfuscation. Can Ray un-declarify some well-known proverbs? Elsewhere, Caroline's poor clutch technique may be destroying her relationships; Nancy boyfriend's MR2 is burning oil, which may say more about his personality than the car; and John's pickup sounds like Buddy Rich is playing drums under the hood. Also, is something really wrong with Dana's starter motor or have her parents taken action to get her to stop lounging...


#2022: Ask the Ethicist

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Mary wants to sell her Accord, but it has a leaky water pump. Does she get the work done, knock the price down, or none of the above? Can Tom and Ray put their inner mechanic aside, and guide her to a clear conscience, or do they need an outside consult? Elsewhere, Tina just learned a scary and stinky lesson about why you shouldn't drive drive down a mountain in neutral; Jerry is looking for an alternative to the "stick and ballet pose" method he's using to...


#2021: Odometer Dreans

This week on The Best of Car Talk, Bill's broken odometer fixed itself, right after Bill dreamed it was working. Will Tom and Ray have a mechanical explanation, a metaphysical explanation, or (most likely) a boooooogus explanation? Elsewhere, Toby wants her husband to get rid of her old BMW, but he's proving as immovable as the car; Sally is getting half her husband's mileage, and hopes it's not because she's buying cheap gas from Rotten Robbie; and Derek's dog would really appreciate it if...


#2020: The Waccabuc Flash

This week on The Best of Car Talk, paging Agents Mulder and Scully! Sally drove under a wire, heard a loud noise and saw a flash of light in her console. Is Waccabuc, New York the new Area 51? Elsewhere, Wyatt holds Tom and Ray responsible for the worst eight months of his life, and not because they gave him bogus car advice! It's a tale of woe and intrigue that ends with an almost cross-country escape in a VW Microbus. Also, Cynthia's kids want her to dump her beloved Subaru. Should she go...


#2019: Click & Clack & Mom

This week, Car Talk celebrates Mother's Day with a special appearance from Tom and Ray's long-suffering mom, Elizabeth. She'll spill the beans on what life was like in the Magliozzi household, and do her best to evade the question of which of her kids she liked best. She's also ready to give out advice to new moms ("You've got a long way to go, sweetheart!"); get to the real reason one caller really wants to teach his mom to drive ("Is she going to leave you a lot of money?"); and, offer a...