Aug
30

Car Trouble? Skip the Mechanic Pick Up the Phone

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Homepage

Car show signs

If you were to walk into a mechanic shop today and give them a question about a car problem that you are having, they would tell you to make an appointment to bring it in so they can look at it. And then charge you an obscene labor rate. But there is another option for car help that is free. And hilarious. And believe it or not, it is on NPR. While best known for its NPR Classical Music, you can also hear some great talk shows as well.

The nicknamed Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, host NPR Car Talk. For an hour every weekend, I, and their hugely loyal fan base that has been growing since their first broadcast in 1977, tune in to listen to callers phone in with car troubles. The brothers listen, joke, pick on each other and the callers, and then give their best advice on the car problem.

One of the most amazing things about the show is that the answers are live, and off the top of their heads. The brothers, real names Ray and Tom, do not use computers to look up the answers, and they do not get to hear the questions ahead of time. There is no planning period. They use their extensive knowledge and many, oh so many, years of experience, to come up with all of the answers organically. They will be the first ones to tell you that they are not right all of the time, but they do have a pretty good track record. And even if they did not get the answer right, they were hilarious while they were doing it.

A feature of Car Talk that I really enjoy is that it is available in podcast format. I do not always have the time to sit down on the weekends to listen to the radio for an hour. But I do have an hour in the car commuting. So I just download it and listen later in the week. They also have old car shows that I can download, listening to their back catalog. And they have the NPR car donation program as well. This allows you to donate your old car, the proceeds go to your local NPR station, and you can write it off on your taxes.

One more option for listening is NPR streaming radio. With NPR streaming radio, you can listen to any NPR station across the country, from either your phone or computer, right over a WiFi connection. This means that you can listen to Car Talk, and any of the other hundreds of talk shows via NPR streaming radio, and always have great radio at your fingertips.

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