Official Car Talk FAQs

  1. Are you still taking calls?
  2. So, what's The Best of Car Talk?
  3. Why is there no question #3?
  4. How do I get a transcript of the show?
  5. Do you have a CD of the car tunes you play during the show?
  6. What's your theme song?
  7. Will The Best of Car Talk keep going forever?
  8. Is there really an office called Dewey, Cheetham and Howe? And does anybody work there?
  9. Where is it?
  10. I'm visiting Boston. Can I come by your office?
  11. Can I buy Car Talk junk at Car Talk Plaza?
  12. Have the guys written anything?
  13. Does Car Talk really test drive vehicles?
  14. How do they choose which vehicles to test drive?
  15. Does Ray really run a garage?
  16. Can I visit the garage?
  17. Where can I find letters read on the show?
  18. How do I send Car Talk e-mail?
  19. I e-mailed you a car question. What are the odds anyone will wake up and answer it?
  20. What is your snail mail address?

FAQ #1 : Are you still taking calls?

Nope, sorry. If you have a question you need answered, though, we recommend our Car Talk Community

There, you can find a load of helpful mechanics, who also answer questions for free. The only difference? Most of their advice is good!

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FAQ #2 : So, what's The Best of Car Talk?

The Best of Car Talk is just that… the best calls we could dredge up from nearly 30 years of calls to the show. Please note we didn’t say it was good!

Seriously, Car Talk will keep going as long as NPR wants us. Tom and Ray had a great time talking to all those terrific people from all over the country, and we're lucky to have it all on tape.

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FAQ #3 : Why is there no question 3?

We dunno... Got a question? Send it here.

FAQ #4 : How do I get a transcript of the show?

Order an album and start typing. We don't transcribe the show.

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FAQ #5: Do you have a CD of the car tunes you play during the show?

Funny you should ask! In fact, we have several, and they're some of our best sellers. You can buy them from our Shameless Commerce Division. Need a few thousand?

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FAQ #6: What's your theme song?

You can get information on our theme song, the guitar instrumental that's played during the second half, and every other conceivable tune heard during Car Talk in the Music on the Show section of the web site.

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FAQ #7: Will The Best of Car Talk keep going forever?

What? It hasn't been forever already? Bet it feels that way to our listeners!

Seriously, The Best of Car Talk will keep going as long as our long-suffering listeners want to hear more of the show. We're lucky to have recorded nearly 30 years of Car Talk shows. So, look for us to pollute the airwaves, and millions of phone and iPods, for years to come.

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FAQ #8: Is there really an office called Dewey, Cheetham and Howe? And does anybody work there? 

Please! Don't ever use the "W" word!

Yes, there is indeed a Dewey, Cheetham and Howe. It's the company that produces the radio show, in addition to the newspaper column and our lousy little web site.

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FAQ #9: Where is it?

Dewey, Cheetham and Howe, a.k.a., Car Talk Plaza, is right where we want it -- less than 100 feet away from the best cappuccinos in town.

We're right in the middle of Harvard Square in Cambridge. If you're ever in Our Fair City, go to the middle of the square, then look toward the corner of Brattle Street and JFK and you'll see DCH.

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FAQ #10: I'm visiting Boston. Can I come by your office?

Sure, visitors are always welcome. You can have your photo taken with the life-sized cutouts of Tom and Ray.

But remember, don't bother the lackeys too much. They are the only ones who do any real work around here.

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FAQ #11: Can I buy Car Talk junk at Car Talk Plaza?

Unfortunately, no.

With so many products and so few sales, we had to move the entire Shameless Commerce Division to the only state with enough room and has lax enough toxic waste laws: Colorado.

However, you can always shop online. For more info, visit our Shameless Commerce Division.

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FAQ #12: Have the guys written anything?

Yes, though we wouldn't advise using their books to guide you through a transmission change. They're much more effective as shims for unsteady tables.

Their most recent book is called Ask Click and Clack: Answers from Car Talk. It's a collection of their least-lousy columns, from Car Talk's syndicated King Features newspaper series.

Car Talk has also written a number of actually useful booklets, on a variety of auto maintenance topics. Earlier books include A Haircut in Horsetown, Other Great Car Talk Puzzlers, and their favorite rants and raves, In Our Humble Opinion.

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FAQ #13: Does Car Talk really test drive vehicles?

If by "test drive" you mean driving around with Sleepy LaBeef blaring on the stereo, dropping cigar ashes and pistachio shells on the carpeting, letting the dogs try out the leather seats and the GPS System, and knocking off as many side view mirrors as humanly possible, then the answer is, "Yes," Car Talk does test drive vehicles.

Actually we'll drive anything with a full tank of gas that starts on the first try.

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FAQ #14: How does Car Talk choose which vehicles to test drive?

Manufacturers circulate their new models through the automotive press on their own schedule. It's hard to know what we will be driving or when. And, some manufacturers are stingier than others.

We'll post a Car Talk test drive note on each new vehicle about a month after we drive it.

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FAQ #15: Does Ray still have a garage?

Ray still runs the garage, and he even shows up to work now and then!

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FAQ #16: Can I visit the garage?

If you can find it. Due to an unprecedented number of irate customers, Ray now moves his garage at least once a week.

Seriously, Ray loves visiting with fans of the show. So much so, that all the other guys at the shop keep reminding him that there are cars to fix, and customers to talk to. So, you can imagine what it would be like to have people dropping by to chat.

For this reason, we only give out directions to the garage under threat of torture. Besides — it's safer for you not to go there. You'll avoid the rocks being heaved towards the garage by irate customers.

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FAQ #17: Where can I find letters read on the show?

Right here.

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FAQ #18: How do I send Car Talk e-mail?

Via our lousy web site. We've even set up specific e-mail links, so your puzzler suggestions, car questions and hate mail goes right to us.

Someone in the office reads all the e-mail that comes in to Car Talk Plaza. Who, we don't know. But someone must do it.

Ray reads a lot of the mail. The hate mail is a personal favorite. It's easy to imagine people hating Car Talk. What we don't get is why people keep listening!

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FAQ #19: I e-mailed you a car question. What are the odds anyone will wake up and answer it? 

About the same odds as Pamela Anderson Lee falling for Ray. Okay, better than that.

For the approximately 1 in 1,000 of you who gets a question answered in the newspaper column.... Trust us, you'll hear about it. Friends and relatives will e-mail and call, questioning your judgment in writing Car Talk for advice.

The good news is you can browse through over 1,500 car questions from our weekly newspaper column. The chances are actually very good that we've already addressed your conundrum.

Finally, there are several lackeys at Car Talk Plaza who read the incoming e-mail. If you have an easy question to answer, there's a chance you'll get a personal reply.

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FAQ #20: What is your snail mail address?

To send cash, the deed to your chateau in France or other valuables, please use the following address: Car Talk Plaza, Box 3500 Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02238.

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