I've been going to a repair shop here in LA for a while that I found through the Car Talk fora, but have been increasingly unhappy with them. I took my girlfriend's 2002 Ford Focus in to get an estimate on replacing the mirror, and got back a quote of $175ish, $100 for the part and $75 for the labor (meaning, an hour and a quarter for them at $60 per hour). The thing is, there are third-party mirrors for about $30, and from doing the same thing on a car years ago, I remember it taking about 20 minutes with the right tools. Are they trying to rip me off? Is this a reasonable ballpark for what seems like pretty minor work (the whole assembly pops on and off)? I don't have the tools to do this now (I'd need a deeper socket), so should I buy the part and take it to them? Are dealer mirrors really that superior? (It's out of warranty by now, obviously.) Should I take it to someone else? [more inside]
I just signed up for Uber and I want to do right by the driver. A service charge is included, and the web site says "no need to tip." Is tipping really not expected? [more inside]
I'm going to be in Los Angeles from June 6 to June 11. I'll be hiring a car to get around L.A. - though we'll mostly be sticking to Central LA and Santa Monica over that weekend (7/8 June). I've been to L.A. before and done most of the touristy things - relying on both local buses and hop on/hop off tourist buses. Because I'll have a car this time, I was wondering what recommendations people have for things to see and places to go that are tricky to get to without a car. Anything within a couple of hours drive of Los Angeles. Thanks.
Recently moved to the South Bay area of Los Angeles County and I am looking for a good place to take my Toyota Corolla for any maintenance and repairs it may need. [more inside]
What is the best method for moving several furniture pieces from L.A. to Montreal? (And an add-on about getting my car there, too.) [more inside]
Why does my uncle's 1998 V6 Toyota 4-Runner misfire at highway speeds? Last month we drove from Los Angeles to Tucson and back, and at what seemed to be random points while we were driving the engine would buck repeatedly. Once it started, it would continue at all speeds, with the engine running particularly rough at low/idle RPM. We took it in to 3 different Toyota dealerships along the way, and to it's home dealership once we got back. They were all happy to service the vehicle, but none were able to fix it and two insisted they couldn't find any problems with the vehicle. [more inside]
What's the best 1-2 yr old 4WD-capable car? Best for us means: fuel economy, reliability, non-behemoth-SUV-ness, aesthetic and reasonable cost (<$25k). Also: any knowledge about Subaru Outbacks and SoCal 4WD dealers. [more inside]
How do you deal with or adapt to Car Culture? Tips on driving, things to do in/with the car, strategies to deal with traffic, autos, parking, life-on-the-road in general please. Also: any specific Southern California driving/car advice. [more inside]
Buying-a-used-Car in SoCal-filter : I'm looking for good used car dealerships in the Pomona / Inland Empire / greater LA area. Also, for good independent mechanics to examine a prospective used car. Also: Examples of dealers/mechanics to avoid and general advice. [more inside]
Real-time traffic info on GPS car navs: gimmick or gold? [more inside]
What's the best car wash in LA? In a perfect world, it'd be within 2 miles East of West of the Sepulveda corridor -- between Sherman Oaks and Culver City. I've tried the Handy J, which some internet sites recommend, but they are inconsistent.