Welcome to the Car Talk Community

Here at Car Talk Plaza, we’ve had plenty of time to get used to the design, layout, and functionality of the new Car Talk Community. But, we remember what it was like on our first day, when we took a peek under the hood with our forum partners at Discourse. We’ve created this little summary of features, interface details, and hints and tips, to help you get used to the new Car Talk Community.

We hope it’s useful. Chime in below with your own tips, as you find your way around our new home.

With thanks,

Carolyn and Victoria


To read more, just keep scrolling down!

As new replies or new topics arrive, they will appear automatically – no need to refresh the page.


For search, your user page, or the ☰ menu, use the icon buttons at upper right.

Selecting a topic title will always take you to your next unread reply in the topic. To enter at the top or bottom instead, select the reply count or last reply date.

While reading a topic, use the timeline on the right to jump to the top, bottom, or your last read position. On smaller screens, select the progress bar at bottom right to expand it:

You can also press ? on your keyboard for a list of super-speedy keyboard shortcuts.


To insert a quote, select the text you wish to quote, then press any Reply button to open the editor. Repeat for multiple quotes.

You can always continue reading while you compose your reply, and we automatically save drafts as you write.

To notify someone about your reply, mention their name. Type @ to begin selecting a username.

To use standard Emoji, just type : to match by name, or use the traditional smileys :wink:

To generate a summary for a link, paste it on a line by itself:

Your reply can be formatted using simple HTML, BBCode, or Markdown:
This is bold.
This is bold.
This is bold.

For more formatting tips, try this [[fun 10 minute interactive tutorial: http://commonmark.org/help/tutorial/


There are action buttons at the bottom of each post:

To let someone know that you enjoyed and appreciated their post, use the like button. Share the love!

Grab a copy-pasteable link to any reply or topic via the link button.

Use the … show more button to reveal more actions. Flag to privately let the author, or our staff, know about a problem. Bookmark to find this post later on your profile page.


When someone replies to you, quotes your post, mentions your @username, or even links to your post, a number will immediately appear at the top right of the page. Select it to access your notifications.

Don’t worry about missing a reply – you’ll be emailed any notifications that arrive when you are away.


All topics less than two days old are considered new.

Any topic you’ve actively participated in (by creating it, replying to it, or reading it for an extended period) will be automatically tracked on your behalf.

You will see the new and unread number indicators next to these topics:

You can change your notifications for any topic via the notification control at the bottom, and right hand side, of each topic.

You can also set notification state per category, if you want to watch or mute every new topic in a specific category.

To change any of these settings, see your user preferences.

Community Trust

It’s great to meet you! As you participate here, over time we’ll get to know you, and your temporary new user limitations will be lifted. Keep participating, and over time you’ll gain new trust levels that include special abilities to help us manage our community together.

We believe in civilized community behavior at all times.

Enjoy your stay!

(If you need to communicate with staff members as a new user, just reply to this message.)
If you need to report a bug, do that here: Bug Reports


It appears now you can post a picture from the web using hyperlink by copying and pasting the image source into hyperlink tab. Yahoo!


This system looks a whole lot more flexible than the Vanilla was. I’m liking it a lot so far.

Your 10 minute tutorial was way too small for me to read. Why am I not seeing newer posts first? Why does the date not appear until I open the post?

The post at the top of the page was from October when I clicked on community.

Is there a way to see who’s logged in, as appeared automatically on the old Car Talk Community?

EDIT: This comment has moved to Bug Reports

I am completely confused by the new site, the listings of the posts seem to be random and not in any chronological order, I can;t tell if I want to open a post because I can’t tell if the post is recent or 2 to 4 years ago. I have read your answer to some other posters and though they are composed of familiar word, they convey no meaning to me. I think I will go away for a few months and see if it makes more sense to me when I come back.

Is there some reason I don’t have action buttons at the bottom of each post? I don’t have the ability to “like” someone’s post or edit my own it seems. Running Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 Pro.

Speaking of liking posts. In case you have not noticed Carolyn managed to have the dumb childish heart sign replaced with a thumbs up icon.

1 Like

I don’t even have that. Only have: bookmark, flag, and reply. I can also highlight and reply per the instructions.

That’s awfully strange. Did you ever see the other icons? Is there an ellipsis button (…) that allows you to expand?

Nope. What’s the easiest way to post a pic for my situation? Copy to photobucket and paste the url or can I upload an image? (maybe I cannot since I have no other buttons!) lol

What I hear – though I’ve never done and I’m posting from my phone right now – is that if you can drag it in to the box and drop it there. I know @barkydog is a practitioner of this.

I can only link it, not drag and drop…


@always_fixing I have an upload button in my lower right corner.

I don’t have that as well.

1 Like

@always_fixing; I gave you a thumbs up, can you see that? That is where the functions are.

I can now. Apparently, the issue related to using my work computer at home. Must be some security thing since I can’t see anything other than what I described, but now I can see everything with my home computer.

Is there an smartphone app for cartalk? I see some on Google play, but they don’t relate to this site.

I use html, pretty simple for picture links.
img src = “link” with a < at the beginning and a > at the end The quotes are needed. if you right click on an image and copy address or open in new window you can get the link address

My apologies, but I need help.
I don’t know how to post my questions. Please assist me.

On the “home” screen, look for a little gray-colored box at the upper right of the screen, labeled “New Topic +”.
Click on that box, and then you can start a new thread with your question(s).