My Car Talk newspaper column disappeared!

I’m old fashioned, I still read the paper. In my area it is The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA). Every Saturday I look forward to Ray’s Car Talk column. Yesterday it was gone and in it’s place a no-name car guy.

I wonder if any here has seen the same thing in your newspaper? Or has Ray decided to discontinue his column?

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Contact the newspaper and ask them. Maybe a web lackey here can answer for you, or you could as at the main Car Talk site.

Car Talk’s Column hasn’t been the paper here for years, online only.

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I’m fortunate in that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch runs both “Car Talk” and a column by a local guy named Dan Wiese. But the simple fact is that everything in a newspaper costs money and newspapers aren’t in great financial health these days. In the case of the Post-Dispatch, Dan’s column is under the auspices of the advertising department, while I’m sure they’re paying for “Car Talk.” Which do you suppose is more likely to get dropped?

Edit: I forgot about Bruce “Fin Man” Kunz, who writes about old cars. Sorry about that.

It still runs here in NH in the Union Leader on a weekday. I want to say a Thursday or Friday. It is syndicated, so perhaps your paper dropped it. I think it’s a good idea to contact your paper to ask, since I don’t have access to the names of the papers where it’s carried.

GlassPilot, here is a copy of the July 3, 2021 column from the Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend.


Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

3 Jul 2021


Dear Car Talk:

The left CV boot on my 2007 Honda Ridgeline is leaking. There’s a 3-inch-diameter spot of grease on the garage floor. There’s no noise coming from the front axle and no difference in the performance.

A shop quoted $870 to replace both boots and axles, and said they would not do boots only. The dealer quoted $400 per side to replace the boots and axles, $300 per side boots only. The service adviser also indicated that there would be some labor savings for doing both at the same time. I made an appointment with the dealer. On arrival, the same service adviser told me it would be $1,066 + tax and fees = $1,200. I backed out of the deal, even after speaking to the general manager and receiving a lowered price of $1,000. The truck is a spare vehicle used for only 4,000 miles per year. Is it OK to drive for a while? I would appreciate your comments. — Bill

I wouldn’t drive it for too long, Bill. The CV boot covers the CV joint, which is part of the axle. And if you keep driving it without proper lubrication, you will ruin the axle. But given how little you drive this Ridgeline, I would fix only what’s actually broken right now. While it’s fairly common to replace the axle along with a torn boot, it’s not necessary. The reason we do it is because we make more money that way.

No, actually the reason we do it is because the extra labor involved in replacing the axle, once you have the boot off, is trivial. And for people who drive 15,000 miles a year, it makes sense to preemptively replace the axle rather than have to duplicate the labor six, 12 or 18 months later. But since you’re driving 4,000 miles a year, you might not need an axle for five years. Or ever. What you want a mechanic to do is remove that outer CV joint whose boot has torn open. You want him to soak that CV joint in parts cleaner and get all the gunk out of it that he can. Then he can examine it. It’s possible that the joint is damaged now, due to driving it with the damaged boot. But if it’s not making a clackety noise on turns, it’s probably just fine.

If it looks OK, he can then put a new boot on it, and then repack the new boot with grease. And it should be as good as new. That should cost you $200-$300.

But before you go back to the dealer, look around for another shop. They were clearly playing games with you — manipulating the price and telling you there’s some efficiency to doing both sides at the same time. There’s not. They’re separate jobs.

So go to, enter your ZIP code and look for a highly recommended shop in your area. Give them a call, tell them you need one CV boot replaced, that the axle seems fine and ask them for an estimate. When you find a shop that says they’ll do that at a fair price, go there.

Got a question about cars? Write to Ray at Car Talk in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email by visiting the Car Talk website at

The Seattle Times used to run it twice a week on Friday’s and Sunday’s on the front page of the section with all the car ads, They’re now down to 2 sections in the print version with condensed versions of the content they used to have.

Thanks all for your replies, thanks Bjensky for Saturdays column. Yep, printed media is hurting these days. I grew up with newspapers, I love my smartphone for many things but I can’t read the days news on that tiny screen!

GlassPilot since you live in Norfolk (with a major military presence…) are you retired military that still has access to the military bases down there? I am retired Air Force and live on the Peninsular. Besides having Library Cards to Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg Libraries; I have a library card to Langley AFB and Fort Eustis Libraries.

The copy of the Car Talk Article I provided was copied from a database link from the Military Libraries. The app is called “PressReader” and this app, through my library membership, gives me access to over 7,000 Newspapers and Magazines. They have publication from 147 countries, in 65 languages.

For instance, they have over 220 magazines just on Automobiles and Motorcycles, from 47 countries, in 26 languages.

If you do not have access to Free Membership through your library, be it military or civilian, contact your library and see if they will get one; otherwise, Pressreader charges $30 a month membership. I suggest you try your library.

I enjoy reading the various Reader’s Digest editions: the US, the Canadian, the South Pacific, and the Indian (India) editions. In the US edition there might be a story in “All in a Day’s Work” and the US story deals with chasing “cats”, the Canadian story deal with chasing bears, the South pacific deals with chasing kangaroos, etc…

I enjoy watching Australian and New Zealand crime dramas on my Roku, since they are not using the same old tired plots, it’s not so easy to guess who is the guilty party. I also like it because I like listening to the way they talk. But when it comes to reading a South Pacific Edition of Reader’s Digest, the Aussies and Kiwis write the same way they talk…

“Dn’ stand a Buckley’s chance, cause da Ocker, yobbo, to hit the frog and toad.”

Any case, check out your library and see what else they have…

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Thanks Bjensky, I am not ex military. I live an hour south in the Outer Banks NC. The Virginian-Pilot (VP) stands in as our most local newspaper. I will check my library for access, but I do hate reading anything of length on the tiny Android screen!

I’m sure it’s another in a long line of cost cutting moves by VP. It has been shrinking for years.

Is there a web site for Ray’s columns?

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GP of OB, NC,

Last Night (Jul 5, PM), I used the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of this web page and asked the Car Talk staff if they could include Ray Magliozzi’s syndicated column “Car Talk” on the web site, and if copyrights prevent that; can older, archived columns be published much like the radio shows… I have not heard back from them yet…

If I do hear back, I’ll post it here. I do not hold out much hope; at the bottom of their page, they say, “However, due to the volume of mail, and the laziness of our staff we can’t promise a personal reply.”

Are you only using your phone to read these postings, you must have fantastic vision. I can view these postings on my phone and tablet (both Android), but I prefer to read them and the newspapers/magazines on my desktop or laptop computer (both Windows 10).

I tried doing several browser based searches using Google, Yahoo, and Bing and did not find any current listings. Of the few that did come up, they were old articles (basically “Click-Bait”), in newspapers, wanting you to try their Free-trial period. So I would say no and that you will not find it easily.

Talk to ya later… and I hope the Tropical Storm Elsa causes you no harm!

See the post directly above. I routinely read Ray’s column using this website, including the most recent about the CV boot problem. I concur w/Ray btw about the CV boot, just replace the outer boot that has failed. I’ve always replaced both outers (rather than just one side only), but I’ve never had to replace the inner boots. On the Corolla it is possible to replace the outer boots without even having to remove the axel from the transmission. I do a safety inspection every 3 years on my 28 year old Corolla, and since 21 is divisible by 3, I recently did it. The inner boots are original to the vehicle and continue remain in good condition. I’ve replaced the outer boots once, about 15 years ago, and the inspection shows both remain in good condition. The inner boots don’t have to take as much abuse as the outers. The outer have to accomodate steering, but the inners only have to accommodate up/down and lengthening/shortening. I’m guessing that’s why the inners last longer than the outer boots.

On the front page of the website are the latest column’s, with a few below. I read them on my Laptop. Miss them from the local paper’s but at least they’re still around.

@wolyrobb @glasspilot @George_San_Jose1

The newspaper I originally copied it from, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, published it on July 3, while the Home page shows a July 5 date and it had a photo, Shazam…

It all went over my head. I’ve put a notify on this posting for you and I will also include GlassPilot, in case I confused the issue with him by not acknowledging this.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to straighten me out


You’re welcome. It’s not obvious that these are the columns until you click on them but they’ve been fairly regular.

Woly, you’re right. it’s not obvious at all that these are the newspaper columns. But it’s about as good as I can get. My paper (noted in my last post) still has a car column by a “no-name” guy. He’s dry as the desert! No humor at all and often I don’t agree with him.

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The papers that used to carry the column have shrunk so much in the print version that they don’t run anything. At least we still get the columns, other automotive podcasters are trying to figure out why Car Talk’s podcasts continue to draw a larger audience than theirs. (At least for iTunes it’s been the case)

There’s a syndicated radio show called the Car Doctor which is more like if Ray did the show on his own, without the humor and joking around. But you get a sense of what he’s seeing with certain vehicles at his shop.