Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

The Car Pros radio show

This syndicated radio show is–I think–fairly new in the NY metro area, where it is broadcast on Saturday afternoons on the local CBS affiliate. I listened to it last week, and it appeared to be mostly commercials for NY/NJ/CT dealerships, plus a few call-ins related to car problems. During my brief listening to it, I wasn’t impressed.

So, today, I decided to listen for a longer period of time, and to do some actual time-keeping during the show. Initially, I came up with a ratio of ~80% commercials (both dealerships and various car “accessories”) and ~20% actual car-related advice/call-ins. However, if one analyzes the advice and the call-ins more than superficially, then the actual ratio is more like 90/10.

For instance, in between dealership commercials, two of the guys on the show began talking about springtime being a good time for waxing and detailing your car. Okay…fair enough…but then they launched into a discussion of why ONLY Meguiar’s products should be used!

One of the call-ins (about maintenance) included the advice to be sure to use a specific brand of snake oil every time that you change your oil.

A woman called in for advice regarding which 3-row SUV she should buy, and she was told about the advantages of the Buick Enclave. Okay…fair enough…it is a good vehicle, but then she was told to be sure to go to the show’s website in order to see their list of dealerships that she should visit, and which salesman she should see at each of those dealerships!

One of the callers stated that he doesn’t have any car problems, and he was calling just to let everyone know that the 2017 Nissan Titan is the best truck ever.

I know that–unlike PBS–a commercial radio station has to pay the bills, but–IMHO–this program is beyond ridiculous. The chance of hearing any objective car maintenance/repair advice is…nill.


So you think a PBS radio station DOSEN’T have to pay it;s bills?

1 Like

One of the grocers at the local supermarket says he listens to Carpros all the time

He told me about it quite awhile ago, so I think it’s been around for awhile

I’ve never listened, though, and from what VDCdriver just said, I probably never will

I wonder if anybody expected that act that followed Elvis at The Louisiana Hayride in 54’ would be even better?

Or… how about the group that followed the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 64’?

The real pros, Tom & Ray, set the bar pretty high. What else could result other than a disappointment? :wink:


Len Frank and John Retsek had the best car show ever (The Car Show) on KPFK (Pacifica, Los Angeles). They tried to go national briefly. They took no government money and had no ads. It wasn’t the same after Len died, all too young.

After Car Talk went national, an occasional caller would disparage Tom & Ray, but Len & John never went for it, said T & R were knowledgeable but the show was different because the audience was different.

Well for stations to get to use the syndications, they have to pay, so with 90% commercials they wouldn’t have to pay much to fill the air time. Just like Big Bird. Actually we had the best car talk show in Minneapolis/St. Paul with Paul Brand (sp). He knew a lot about cars and would often have local shop owners filling int he blanks on electronics, troubleshooting, etc. About two plus hours on Saturday afternoon, after gardening and home improvement shows that were also very good. Then the whole media ownership thing blew up and bye bye good local shows-mostly. Turned into mostly a sports station.

I’m so happy I had decent shows to listen to while commuting though. I would go nuts if I had to listen for two hours or more of the junk that’s on now.

Many of the car shows on TV shill products during the show. I’m thinking it Truck U at the moment, but there are others. A lot of their time is devoted to product endorsements.

We have had it in LA for a while on CBS affiliate KNX 1070 some time on Saturdays and I agree that it is a ridiculous show. Anybody who calls in with a car problem gets sold a specific brand of something or gets sent to “XYZ” dealership to buy a new car.

There was another AM station that had a car repair show that actually would address car problems, not sure what it was called. It only had ads in between. Not entertaining like cartalk but at least had some car repair advice. Show is gone. I guess real shows don’t make money any more.

We get that radio show here in the San Francisco area, I think it is the same one, two guys talking mostly about new cars, right? Folks call in and ask which new car is best for such and such. I listen to it when hauling my bicycle on the back of my Corolla to the mt bike park for my Saturday morning trail ride sometimes. Not a program I would go out of my way to listen to, but when the news is the last thing I want to hear, it is sort of entertaining option. The main guy is certainly a personable sort, and has a certain kind of offbeat sense of humor. I agree that it seems to be mostly a long advertisement, but an entertaining advertisement at least.

Hmmm…well no matter how high the dose might be–of course they have to pay their bills.

The difference is that PBS only needs to meet its operating costs, and doesn’t have to be able to pay dividends to stockholders in the parent company, hence much different needs in terms of financing. Yes, the beggathons on PBS can be annoying, but I find them to be much more honest–and much more tolerable–than the poorly-disguised commercials that make up the bulk of Car Pros.


After hearing that amiable host interview the manager of Huntington Toyota for the third time in one hour, and hearing–for the third time–that it is just the most wonderful car dealership on the planet, I started to find the show…not so entertaining.

Just to clarify, Is this the show you folks are talking about? The main guy’s name is Jerry?

I listen to this guy’s podcast from time to time, on the air in certain markets or you can stream the show online

That’s the one.
IMHO, it is about as close to worthless as is a late-night infomercial on TV.


They talk a lot about carefully vetting dealers to add them to their list of Car Pro certified dealers. It quickly becomes apparent that the vetting process consists of one question: “Did they send a check for advertising?” We have two BMW dealers here in the Sacramento metro area. One has a 40 year reputation for excellence and the other has a 20 year reputation that is not so good. Guess which one got Car Pro certified?


That totally confirms my observations and my theories regarding that show.

Honestly, it is very much like an infomercial on late-night TV. Yes, there is a tiny bit of decent car repair advice, but there is so little of it that I won’t waste any more of my time listening to that ridiculous radio program.

It’s a show that’s more about which car to own than it is about how to fix one. I’ve listened a few times when the only other choices (for talk radio) were infomercials on ‘how to make money in the stock market using our guaranteed method’ and ‘call right now and get a free bottle of our highest quality supplements but the quantities are limited’.

It’s not a show for mechanics or anyone who wants information from a mechanic.

I will grant you that this is correct, but when their car purchasing advice is coupled with a directive to go to the show’s website in order to see which car dealers and which car salesmen have their stamp of approval, it is just so obvious that the entire show is an exercise in lining the pockets of the hosts, and that the real purpose is NOT to really help the folks who are calling and/or listening-in.

On a somewhat similar note, that same station runs a financial advice program on Sunday mornings. While the host does manage to include several “plugs” for his own advisory firm, those mentions are few and far between.

The financial guy’s program is–IMHO–something on the order of 97% objective advice/3% self-serving mentions of his advisory firm. By contrast–with Car Pros, if we add up the minutes for the obvious commercials for dealerships and manufacturers, plus the ads for car accessories, plus the “plugs” for their website, plus the call-ins that appear to be shill jobs, the ratio is essentially flipped in the other direction, with–maybe–5% of the show being objective advice, and the other 95% being outright commercials or poorly-disguised commercials.

I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of the show but based on what VDCdriver has stated I’m glad I haven’t. On the chance that it might possibly pop up sometime in my area I’ve heard enough to know that I should avoid it like the plague.

That same methodogy is used on many TV shows about cars and motorcycles.
American Chopper for one. Note that every bike build revolves around a product (Snap-On for instance) which makes the 1 hour show nothing but a 1 hour infomercial. The company (SO) has gotten themselves 1 hour of prime time visibility for the cost of a bike build. Not to mention the reruns .

Or the Fast & Loud show regarding Dale Earnhardt Jr.s and his alleged 1956 Chevy Nomad. The car was painted up in green and silver. So who is Dale Jr.s NASCAR sponsor? None other than identical green and silver Mountain Dew.
For what it’s worth the paint on that car was sprayed over a LOT of rust. A year or so later that car was still sitting in the F & L garage after allegedly being “delivered” to Dale Jr. in North Carolina.

The entire world has become nothing but marketing schemes.