Car Talk should go away

I’m a long-time listener of Car Talk and loved learning about mechanics (and physics, and math, and geography, and relationships!) while having a good laugh.

That said, why is this show still on the air? Even before Tom Magliozzi passed away, they started producing “Best of” shows, for which they apparently have enough material to continue until 2020. These might be great for a podcast or a less prominent radio hour slot, but if I’m getting advice about cars, I want it to be relevant to today! When they go on and on about how great the Honda Odyssey is, will that still be true in 2018?

Plus, there’s the argument that Ira Glass put forth when they stopped producing new shows: keeping this show on the air, popular as it is, means less time and space for whatever the new “Car Talk” might be.

I agree. Most of the cars they talk about in the reruns aren’t even on the road in any significant numbers anymore either. And Ray sounds so lame and forlorn doing his ads and commentary by himself, for the reruns. There’s a reason neither of them had much of a solo career; they belonged together!

It was great, but stop filling up prime time with it. Let those of us who wish to download it to enjoy our fits of nostalgia.

I wasn’t aware it was still being broadcast, but I listen to it on podcasts. No matter how much of a bad mood I’m in, listening to an episode makes me feel better.

Granted, much of the advice isn’t applicable to today’s cars, but a whole lot still is. Even if the proposed solution may not apply, the troubleshooting process and advice still holds for many things.

I liked picking up info about troubleshooting, guessing diagnoses myself, and all that stuff. But I think the heart of the show, and the reason that so many people love it, is just that the dialogue is funny. I would bet that the vast majority of the audience isn’t really listening for auto repair ideas and information in quite the same way that people may be listening to The Splendid Table for ideas on cooking and food. It’s a comedy show, with the call-in car questions and such as the scaffolding on which the jokes are hung. It’s still funny. But at some point, yeah, it needs to be retired.

Potential “next Car Talk” replacements aside, I don’t envy the person who takes it off the schedule, or the show that replaces it, no matter how great that show might be. Lots of people will be upset.

WNYC recently swapped out Car Talk and swapped in The New Yorker Radio Hour, hosted by David Remnick. I have listened to a couple - interesting.

I had assumed it was rolling out broadly.

My understanding is that there’s no true nationwide schedule…I think the local affiliates have pretty broad latitude to play whatever they want to pay for at almost any time they want to schedule it (maybe within some parameters)? I’m sure that the eventual death of Car Talk will happen slowly as individual stations rotate it out of the lineup. It might stick around a lot of places forever, though, as I would bet old reruns are a bit cheaper than a lot of new programs. Maybe not, but if they are, I doubt “popular and cheap” is going anywhere soon.

I catch car talk on the radio in my car on the weekend around here. I don’t think the point of the show is to actually increase the general knowledge of the public regarding how cars work. The point of the show is to entertain the listener. I have found the interplay between the two brothers and those who call in often very funny and enjoyable. They’re entertainers. You gonna actually go out and fiddle with your car because of something they actually said on the show?

Love it, but agree.

Just upload the episodes to the internet and let people listen to it when they like. Let another show go on the air.

Why not? They were actual mechanics, with many years of experience.

I would miss Car Talk, but it’s not as it it will vanish utterly without NPR reruns.

Caller: “I’m trying to get a gas cap for an '85 Yugo…”

Tom: “Sounds like a fair trade to me!”

Top 10 on my list of radio jokes.

And for all their self deprecation about their skills and intelligence, they were both MIT grads.

And I have the tape of their speech at graduation some years back.
But it is time to take the show off the air. All I can do when I listen to it is to appreciate the editing involved to make it sound like it is real. There has got to be better things to fill the time with. They’ll always live on the web.

Car Talk rules. If you think it should go away then you can go get stuffed.

Also, my understanding is that the post-retirement shows weren’t “best of” shows, but rather new shows they assembled out of calls they didn’t use on old shows. Apparently they would record way more than an hours’ worth of calls per week and only use the very best ones. So it’s sort of more of a “worst of” maybe!

I haven’t tuned in lately, but the earlier post-retirement shows I heard I thought were actually pretty great. I think the show really went downhill when cars started going all electronic and diagnosing them ceased to be particularly compelling radio (I also don’t think they were ever all that good at diagnosing electronic stuff) hence the shift to more car shopping and relationship stuff in the later years. But with the “new” shows with old calls I’ve heard, it’s been back to carburetors and breaker point ignitions and the various quirky-ass foreign cars NPR listeners used to drive back in the day. Good stuff!