Summary: 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.
This week on Car Talk, Wendy's Honda was fogging up, but only when her husband was in the car with her. Tom and Ray postulated that hubby's breathing was causing the problem, and suggested Wendy experiment by having him breathe through a snorkel, out an open window. Now Wendy's back for Stump the Chumps with a full report on the Great Snorkel Experiment. Elsewhere, Adrienne found the perfect birthday present for her husband--700 pounds of rocks! Can her Saab handle the 300-mile trip, or does she need to transport one rock at a time? Also, Steve's DIY brake repair has resulted in his truck taking out two car ports; Matt's CRV is not putting out heat, which is a big problem, since Matt is in Anchorage; and, Rain got a rude Welcome Home from her Acura, after leaving it parked for three months: mold, and a thriving ant colony. All this, plus a tale of a very smart car radio, and lots more, this week, on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, Kathy is "helping" her son build his Pinewood Derby race car, and is looking for a few design tips. Can two MIT grads-- one of whom failed Physics twice-- lead her to Victory Row, or is this Cub Scout Den Mother barking up the wrong radio show? Elsewhere, Sophie thinks her Saab is laughing at her, and not just because it's delighted by her French accent; Ainsley's husband won't let her take her Honda to the car wash because he's worried it'll melt the Epoxy that's holding the car together; and Richard won Employee of the Month by driving 95 mph to deliver his boss' passport to the airport. But, will he be forced to sell his plaque to fix the problems that have plagued his Jeep ever since? And, our Historic, Folkloric Question of the Week comes from Julie: why do we drive on the right, if we're a former British colony? All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, Steve moved to Chicago for a job and a girlfriend. He lost both. But what's confusing him is why he didn't lose his ride, as well. His Acura was the only car that didn't get towed from a parking lot during a party. Did the parking deities take pity on him? Elsewhere, Chuck decided to cut his air conditioner belt because it was smoking, and now may find himself on the FBI's Most Wanted list; and Heidi may find out why her Check Engine light is blinking, if she can make it through a few Magliozzi detours into Kirchoff's laws, MIT admissions, and the U.S. Army. Also, the final chapter of the Suzy Saga. She made it home to Carlsbad, but did she manage to make it across Mexico in her Vanagon? Did she even make it TO Mexico in her Vanagon? All this and lots more, this week, on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, Tracy's husband has a brilliant (his word) approach to reducing brake wear--by stomping on them at the last possible second. Tracy thinks he's nuts and so does their dog-- he's afraid to get in the car. Elsewhere, Red was ready to live the dream in the '75 Pontiac he bought off a front lawn. Alas, his maiden voyage was cut short when the carpet burst into flames! Also, Wendy's Honda fogs up whenever her husband (and only her husband) rides in it; Linnea's Jetta has a squealing problem when she backs up; and could Peter's faulty cooling fan relax an entire nation, by introducing the Mandatory Meditative Minute? All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, Dana's Jetta is shaking violently in 1st Gear. Could the culprit be the dreaded (and highly technical) "schmutz on the clutch?" Meanwhile, in Dallas, Dr. Paul's life has been a Country-Western song: he totaled his car, his wife left him, and his dog died. Can Tom and Ray help him choose a new ride that will help him find a new love---and a new dog? Also, Science Museum educator Seniz needs a lesson from the space shuttle to understand the noise her Civic is making; Mark has discovered a new driving technique with the double bonus of being more efficient and making his wife thinks he's completely nuts; and on Stump the Chumps, did one answer solve three problems for Ed and his Jeep? All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, what could make a Fiat's gas mileage increase exponentially over a few days? A holiday miracle, or might it be the same earthly reason said Fiat's mileage then decreases by the same amount? And, does it have anything to do with those guys laughing their butts off in the corner? Meanwhile, Rachel may need a miracle to keep her Camry's engine from jumping into the passenger seat, though opening her wallet might work just as well. Also, Delena's decided that 6 years is long enough to live with her Civic's oil leak; Darren is convinced his wife is subconsciously trying to kill his Land Rover; and, Rich wants to know if he can convert his Cavalier into a convertible. Sure, as long as he doesn't want to ever drive it again! And, Ray finally asks Tom the question that's been on everyone's minds for 25 years: What are you doing here? All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, Suzy's drive across Mexico is off to a rocky start. She hasn't even crossed the border, and her Vanagon is already making a new noise that could foreshadow the Death of a Transmission. Will Tom and Ray counsel her to turn back, or just to go shopping for a good pair of noise-canceling headphones? Elsewhere, Patricia's Subaru is having troubles starting, and exacerbating the problem is a large buffalo grazing between her and her car; and Katie's right leg is showing its displeasure with her new Volvo by going numb when she drives it. Also, does Neil's son's decision to play the double bass mean Neil's on a one-way street to Minivan Land, and is Kelly's boyfriend nuts for insisting on warming up his truck for 10 minutes in 50 degree weather? All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, nothing says, "I love you" better than… four new Michelins? Patty is dismayed by her boyfriend's plan to give her tires this Christmas. Can Tom and Ray help her convince him to think a wee bit more romantically? Meanwhile, in Our Fair City, Peter's friend showed his devotion by climbing into Peter's trunk when it wouldn't close. He succeeded in closing it, and when they realized he had the only key, spent the next several hours inside. Said friend is a Graduate Student at MIT. (Why are we not surprised?) Also, Ed's worried his radiator might blow bubbles, after he misdirected a bottle of wiper fluid; Laura may need to find out if a transmission is in the alimony agreement with her ex-husband/ex-mechanic; and we learn what happens when a clutch-wrecker tries to change his ways. All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, "Alternator? We don't need no stinkin' alternator!" Suzy is about to embark on a drive across Mexico in her Vanagon. Will Tom and Ray have any advice on how to prepare, aside from a pre-trip screening of Treasure of the Sierra Madre? Elsewhere, Michael stands to inherit his father-in-law's Lincoln, if he can figure out why it's stalling; Henry needs to know if he can still rely on his coat-hanger wielding, shade-tree mechanic pal Sammy, after a brake job failed to make Henry's Colt stop pulsing; and on Stump the Chumps, did Erica spring for a new transmission or a bungee cord to keep her Forester from popping out of gear? And, car dealers once again battle it out with members of Congress for the dubious title of Least Honest Profession. All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, Diana has a new boyfriend, and a Stanza that's begun chewing up brake pads at an alarming rate. What are the chances these two facts are not a coincidence? Oh, maybe 100%? Elsewhere, Nan's trying to figure out how to get her new husband to share his garage with her Accord, and why the Accord won't start after it's parked in said garage. Any guesses on which question Tom and Ray might have an answer for? Also, Bob's got an exposed airbag in his Sonata and, as a result, a family that's embarrassed to be seen in the car with him. His proposed solution? Duct tape, of course! And, did Ben make a big mistake by giving into the lure of the Jaguar Fatale? All this, plus the truth about lying in Italy, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, John thinks his employee Steve is a great guy. However, Steve may have destroyed the clutch on the company truck, after only a few hours of driving. Enter Tom and Ray, prepared to stage a driving intervention with Steve, and maybe handle his employee performance review at the same time. Elsewhere, Faith just relocated from Maine to Alaska because she was longing for snow. Her Subaru seems displeased with the move, though, as it's begun making an alarming noise. Also, Susan swears that changing gears on her Saturn is like shifting through a bowl of Cream of Wheat, but her boyfriend swears she's crazy; and, speaking crazy, would you drive across country in a Ford Focus, with a boyfriend, three dogs, and two cats? Shelly's planning on trying, unless Tom and Ray can come up with a better plan--and there may only be a million or so better plans. All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, do birds aim their droppings? Ross in Seattle traded his green Acura for a white one, and suddenly he's scraping heaps of avian deposits off his roof. Elsewhere, Jenny's Sebring has a water retention problem in the driver's door, which is giving her mechanics a good laugh; Selene's about to kill her budding Hollywood career, and terrify her cat, by imitating the noises her Cadillac is making; and Dan has survived four years of driving in New York City, without Reverse. Has he earned a huge repair bill, on top of his spot in the Parallel Parking Hall of Fame? And, we know it's the season to be thankful, but why is a colonectal surgeon grateful to Tom and Ray for boosting his business? All that, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, how many thousands of dollars can one hour of lousy car advice pump into an ailing economy? Well, when that hour starts with a Saab owner who's going to be transmission shopping, we may be able to match the Gross Domestic Product of Guinea Bissau. Or better. Things take a turn for the bearish, though, when Jacob scores a free do-over on his timing belt replacement-- and when Lee's Lincoln turns out to need a new "Whoop Tube." (How do you figure costs of replacing an imaginary part?) Happily, Laura brings us back on track. She loves her Camry so much, she can't wait to dump it and get something more suited to her growing dog. Elsewhere, Joanne is trying to teach her teenage kids to drive a stick without causing daily whiplash outbreaks; and, on Stump the Chumps, did Tom and Ray help save Mark's socks from being soaked by transmission fluid? All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week on Car Talk, Linda has no problems driving her Forester. But when she's hauling her grandkids in her daughter's minivan, she can't take off from a stop without the car sounding like she's drag racing. Can Tom and Ray help her, before the kids tattle on her? Elsewhere, Charlotte and her husband decided to liven up their lives by adopting four little kids. And to make things more exciting, they're thinking a beater car in the backyard might make a good playhouse for the tykes. Also, Travis can't even look at his Land Cruiser without it overheating; Tammie thinks her Buick is having territorial issues, because it growls when anyone walks near it; and Peter needs to retrieve an escaped hamster from his Acura's dashboard, before it becomes a permanent, or decaying, resident. All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.
This week's Car Talk features our favorite road trip story, ever. It stars Dave and his girlfriend; travels from Alaska to Bemidji, Minnesota; and the featured cast includes an overheating Chevy Cavalier, a crescent wrench with no sockets, an old campfire grill, and-- yes-- a zit on Dave's forehead. As for the plot, well, you'll just have to hear for yourself. Elsewhere, Ann thinks her Buick's radio is trying to "Gaslight" her into thinking she has a hearing problem; Jed's learning why taking his Chevy Suburban to Budapest may not have been such a great idea after all; and, Alana's Civic is spitting gas back at her. Also, Tommy provides a great lesson in how NOT to start a car that's been sitting untouched for four years--that is, unless you're a big fan of billowing black smoke. All this, and lots more, this week on Car Talk.