A routine towing assignment lands Mater in Tokyo, where he is challenged to a drift-style race against a nefarious gang leader and his posse of ninjas. With the help of his friend, “Dragon” Lightning McQueen, and some special modifications, Mater attempts to drift to victory and become “Tow-ke-O Mater, King of all Drifters.
Mater is a private investigator working on an open-and-shut case of counterfeit tires when Tia rolls back into his life. She hires Mater to find her sister, Mia, who's been car-napped. Mater searches for clues and closes in on a major crime scene. Lieutenant Lightning McQueen arrives just in time to help bring the criminals to justice.
A tow service leads Mater to Propwash Junction, a town of planes. Amazed by all these flying machines, Mater gets interested in learning how to fly when he sees Skipper's Flight School, which has a sign that says they could teach anyone. After learning how to fly, he learns himself to fly backwards and amazes a group of stunt planes known as the Falcon Hawks. Since one of them has sprained their wing during practice for a stunt show, they ask Mater to take place of the injured plane. He accepts and becomes the stunt planes' new member. Lightning McQueen, also a stunt plane, helps Mater at one point when he is in trouble.
Accidentally gaining the ability to travel in time, Mater travels back to 1909 in the middle of a desert, where he meets Stanley, the founder of Radiator Springs, who works as a travelling radiator caps salesman. With the realization, that if Stanley goes away there would be no Radiator Springs, Mater brings McQueen from the future, and Stanley sells him a radiator cap. Mater then suggests Stanley to settle there and build a town where he could serve broken cars, and Stanley accepts. Jumping a few years forward, Stanley shows Mater and McQueen the expanding town, when Mater takes a note of a broken Model T, which turns out to be Lizzie. Lizzie's seemingly falling in love with McQueen makes Mater panic again about Radiator Springs' future, but it turns out that Lizzie had her eye on Stanley. Introduced to each other by McQueen, he and Mater make another time jump, where they attend Stanley and Lizzie's wedding, before returning to the present. There, Lizzie thanks McQueen for introducing her and Stanley.
When Lightning McQueen gets the hiccups, everyone in Radiator Springs thinks they have the cure.
Red's peaceful morning routine is interrupted by a pesky visitor.
Guido discovers he has a hidden talent as a street corner sign spinner.
Radiator Springs celebrates a Founders' Day honoring the late Stanley when a gang of Baja racers descend on the town and challenge Lightning McQueen to a race.