Car Talk was presented in the form of a call-in radio show: listeners called in with questions related to motor vehicle maintenance and repair. Most of the advice sought was diagnostic, with callers describing symptoms and demonstrating sounds of an ailing vehicle while the Magliozzis make an attempt at identifying the malfunction. While the hosts peppered their call-in sessions with jokes directed at both the caller and at themselves, the Magliozzis were usually able to arrive at a diagnosis and give helpful advice. However, when they are stumped, they attempt anyway with an answer they claim is “unencumbered by the thought process”, the official motto of the show. 
Edited reruns are carried on XM Satellite Radio via both the Public Radio and NPR Now channels.
The Car Talk theme music is “Dawggy Mountain Breakdown” by bluegrass artist David Grisman.