Car Talk Rating Methodology

At Car Talk, we know buying a car and finding solid, reliable car parts, accessories and services for it can be overwhelming, daunting tasks. Luckily for our readers, we are an organization of car nerds. We love the entire process and are strangely obsessed with the automotive industry as a whole. So Car Talk is jumping in feet first, so you don’t have to.

Our ratings are here to steer folks towards quality products and alert them to problems or issues we have seen in our extensive research. Our ultimate goal is to take a little of the stress out of the decision making process for our readers, while also highlighting excellence with the industry for those who deserve it.

You can read about our rating levels and methodology below.

Winners! Display your award!

Golden Wrench recipients are encouraged to display their award, free of charge. All we ask is that you provide a link back to the Car Talk page where this award is displayed.

Click the image below to download:

Sample code to add image to your site:

<a href="https://www.cartalk.com"> 
  <img src="https://www.datocms-assets.com/27230/1604161824-cartalk-goldenwrench-badge.png" style="width: 200px"/> 
</a> 

Rating Levels

After we review products or services, they are assigned one of three rating levels.

RatingWhat it means
Golden Wrench
The Golden Wrench is our highest rating level and is given to products and services that received top ratings. We are very comfortable recommending these products or services. We feel that Golden Wrench products stand above the competition in their respective areas.
Silver Wrench
Silver Wrench products are good, solid alternatives. While they didn't rise to the top when compared to others, they also didn't have any red flags either. You should feel comfortable if you go with one of these options.
Flat Tire
Flat Tires are given to products which we are not recommending. These products scored the lowest during our evaluations and in our opinion, there are better options available.

Methodology

For each of the products and services we rate, our staff applies a scoring methodology that is consistent within a product or service category. These scores are then weighed and combined to get a final overall rating.

For a given product or service category, we include some or all of the following components in our scoring methodology:

  • Expert Opinion - Mechanics and other professionals in the industry may be interviewed for their input and recommendations.
  • Staff Research - This could involve reading other reviews, talking to the manufacturer, combing through material provided by the manufacturer.
  • Product Features - For each category we create a list of features that are evaluated and some features which are requirements for receiving our top rating. For example, a minimum safety rating for a car, or a minimum coverage level for an insurance provider.
  • Trusted Third Party Ratings - This includes the opinions of institutions such as the BBB, consumer reporting agencies and established publications. Consumer Reviews - We consider written user reviews that we receive and that are found on other trusted websites.