Overhaulin' TV Poster Image




Cars get shined up, but this show's still dull.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Overall, the show is about surprising someone with a gift of a rehabbed car, emphasizing the value of good design and hard work. But the method entails faking a theft and tricking the owner, and the crew is mostly male and Caucasian.

Violence & scariness

Fake auto theft.

Sexy stuff

Very mild jokes -- like "that's one nice rear end!" -- when talking about a car's bumper.

Not applicable

Lots of car-related brands appear in the background and are discussed and emphasized onscreen -- Ford, 3M, Armorall, BF Goodrich, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this surprise car-renovation show is based on a somewhat iffy premise. With the permission of family members, the crew pretends to steal the featured vehicle and follows up with pranks throughout the week while they work on it. While the owners are understandably upset initially (and it's hard to watch them experience the fake theft), they're always happy to get their updated vehicles in the end. Overall, the pranksters take a gentle approach and don't milk the joke too intensely. Lots of automotive brands are featured, along with major car fetishism.

Kids say

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What's the story?

In each episode of OVERHAULIN', a team of mechanics and automotive designers collaborate to renovate a car enthusiast's vehicle without the person's knowledge. With the help of friends or family members, crew members stage a fake auto theft, bring the car back to their shop, and spend the next week redoing every aspect until the vehicle is in perfect condition. In one episode, for example, the crew went after a 1970 Mustang owned by a schoolteacher and father of three. Over the next eight days, the car was stripped down to its frame, repaired where needed, and then put back together using top-of-the line parts and given a custom paint job. Host Chris Jacobs pretended to be a detective investigating the car theft, talking to the owner on the phone several times.

Is it any good?


At 60 minutes, the episodes feel a little bit long. While viewers see a lot of work being accomplished, there's not enough variety or detail to keep it interesting, despite the camera's frequent jump cuts and the hosts' high-pitched enthusiasm. Kids with a particular interest in cars -- especially body work and design -- will find some good stuff here. But everyone else might find rehab shows with more flash or personality more to their liking.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cars. Why are some people so fascinated by cars? Do you think it's important to have a car that looks nice? What would be the coolest thing to have in your car? How much money do you think it takes to fix up these cars? Do you think some owners are disappointed that they didn't get to work on the cars themselves? Why do you think the crew pretends to steal the car, rather than just announce to the owners what they're planning to do?

TV details

Premiere date:April 13, 2004
Cast:Adrienne Janic, Chip Foose, Chris Jacobs
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Cars and trucks
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byprofessorgadget October 28, 2009

Perfect for anyone who loves how they restore cars to their former beauty

I love this show. It is very creative and educational.
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 8 year old Written bycrazy75 February 8, 2010

Perfect for all ages

I love this show. It is totally appropriate for all ages. Very educational. Very family oriented. We watch this show all the time.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byGary Dman2 April 15, 2014

Overhaulin Rocks

I think this show is one of the best reality shows on TV.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models