10 August 2012

"Car Talk" Rules

Perhaps this is coming from having been raised by a doting father who secretly wanted a son, but for my money Car Talk is easily the funniest radio show going. ("Car advice, tips, troubleshooting, and answers to your car questions.")

I don't know what's more hilarious,
the mechanics who field the calls—"Click and Clack" (aka The Tappet Brothers)—or their callers.  (Especially the ones who try to mimic the sounds their cars are making.) In fact, there's a handy "sounds to listen for that your car might be acting out" on their site:

Bad Bearing in Timing Belt Tensioner: woh woh woh woh
Bad Turbo: boooOOOOOOooo
Boiling Coolant: bllgh blllgggh blllllgggghh
Brake Booster Failing: hissssssssss ssss ss
Clutch Release Bearing on the Way Out: jee je je jeee
Connecting Rod that went through the Engine Block: clicketta clicketta clicketta 
Engine Knock: tuckaTHUCKtuckaTHUCKtucka
Fly Wheel: gurrEENK, gurrEENK, gurrENK 
Misfire: puhVRooPuhHoo puhVROOpuhHOO
Power Steering Pump Going: nnnghuh nnnguh
Transfer Case on the Way Out: glaghhghgghhh woongghhh
Vacuum Leak: vwishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

So I was pretty disappointed when I heard that the Tappet Brothers are retiring after 35 years on the air. But all is not lost—they'll be recycling 25 years of old shows. 

RAY:  Hey, you guys.
TOM: With Car Talk celebrating its 25th anniversary on NPR this fall (35th year overall, including our local years at WBUR)…
RAY:  …and my brother turning over the birthday odometer to 75, we’ve decided that it’s time to stop and smell the cappuccino.
TOM:  So as of October, we’re not going to be recording any more new shows.   That’s right, we’re retiring. The good news is that, despite our general incompetence, we actually remembered to hit the “record” button every week for the last 25 years.  So we have more than 1,200 programs we’re going to dig into starting this fall, and the series will continue.
RAY:  Every week, starting in October, NPR will broadcast a newly assembled Car Talk show, selected from the best material in our archives.
TOM:  Sorry, detractors, we’re still going to be on the air!
RAY:  But to our fans, don’t be sad. We’ve managed to avoid getting thrown off NPR for 25 years, given out tens of thousands of wrong answers, generated lawsuit threats from innumerable car companies, and had a hell of a lot of fun talking to you guys. 

Carry on, guys.  YEEeeEEeeEEeeEEeeEEee!  (That's my fan belt, acting up.)



  1. A neighbor "made" me listen one day...funny. Sometimes I would catch a show when driving... sad to hear they are retiring :(

  2. I'm old enough now to be able to listen to their recycled broadcasts without remembering having heard them the first time!