I've always bought new cars and driven them for 15+ years. Need a car for my teen and have no intentions to buy new. I've never bought a used car. What tips/tricks do you have for the buying process regardless of whether it's from a private party, used car lot, or from a dealership?
Transmission is not running right for the freeway. It will be OK then after stopping a few times, the ignition needs to be turned off and back on then it will be OK for a short time. Is this a mechanical problem with the transmission or can something else be causing this?
My mother lives in Olympia, WA, drives a Honda Fit, and says she needs to get her brakes checked (among whatever else). She also thinks every mechanic is out to scam her. Please give me some recommendations that I can pass on to her. [more inside]
Suggestions, please, for a smallish hybrid vehicle to replace a worn-out Civic. We're in Ontario, Canada, so choices are limited (and dealers entirely apathetic). Likely to keep the car for 10 years or so, and looking for low total cost of ownership. [more inside]
It's finally time for me to part ways with my 16-year-old car. I've picked out a new car, and had my existing car appraised for a trade-in. Unfortunately, the dealer's appraisal came in way lower than the Blue Book value, allegedly because of two warning lights (ABS and Airbag) that would affect the car's ability to be sold legally in Virginia. Is it worth investigating other options for selling my clunker, or should I just take the dealer's offer? [Details inside] [more inside]
We're taking my 2013 Jetta on a 2000 mile drive this spring and while it's a blast to drive and great on gas mileage, the seats are not butt friendly at all. [more inside]
I can get somewhat cheaper auto insurance from Allied, but have not heard of this company. Googling for reviews get mixed results. Has anyone had experience with them - customer service, paying claims, etc.?
I need to buy a sun shade for my car. I’m in New Mexico and am looking for a high quality sun shade that is well fitted to the windshield that blocks heat extremely well. [more inside]
My situation: I bought a car to replace my stolen scooter about a year ago, and just got my scooter back. Til the end of summer, I imagine I'll be riding the scoot exclusively. In lieu of selling my car and purchasing another in a few months- which I'd have to do in 8-month-rainy-season Seattle- I'd like to figure out a way to let someone use/insure/park it til then, and be legally assured that I would get the car back in the same condition I left it. More inside. [more inside]
I'm feeling frustrated with my automobile situation and don't really know where to start. The gist of it is that I can't really afford the payments and maintenance on my car, and I think I want out, but I don't know how. [more inside]
I have a 2011 Toyota Camry SE (4 cylinders). I need to replace the tires. What kind of tires should I get? I'm a bit uncertain because of the rims. [more inside]
Hi MeFi, I was on the receiving end of a car accident which occurred last week during rush-hour. I was traveling home from work on a very busy Charlestown Ave when I got had another car smash into mine. I had a bad case of whiplash and went sorta blank for a second but after I came out of the car I noticed a busted BMW behind with a driver still sitting there. The girl from the second car fled the scene. My suspicion was that she didn't have a license or didn't own the car or both. So in short, BMW (Car A) > smashes into grey vehicle with (Car B) which in turn smashes into me (Car C). My insurance adjustor is saying this is a complicated case because of how 'many impacts' I felt or heard. What the hell does this even mean? It felt like someone hit me with a hammer. He said the first party which caused the scene hasn't yet accepted responsibility and they have 30 days to do it or not. I'm sorta left broken and had two trips to ER and two MRIs taken which showed I have an upper disc injury in neck and shoulders. The back side of my car is completely damaged with me being unable to shut my trunk. It is still drivable but it looks like hell. I don't want to dish out $500 for a rental since I'm already drowning in bills. Insurance is telling me that I can't get reimbursed for the rental until someone accepts responsibility. Is this how it usually goes with insurance companies in USA? I'm flabbergasted. Should I get an attorney?
What is the deal with buying a car from a NIADA member? [more inside]
One of the rear lights on my car has gone out. I believe it's just a burnt out bulb. The problem is that I can't figure out how to change the bulb. I've inclued a few pictures to show which light I'm referring to and the backside "access" to that light. How do I fix it? [more inside]
Car Talkers of MeFi, help me solve a mystery! My 2001 Subaru Forester had a cylinder misfiring: car shook, check engine light flashed. Then it healed itself and the mechanic couldn't tell what was wrong, or that anything was wrong at all, so I brought it home. Then it started misfiring again tonight. Then it healed itself partway, but the check engine light is still on. What should I think and what should I do? Details below the fold. [more inside]
I'm in the market for a new Mazda. Invoice prices, holdbacks, dealer cash, special financing deals, and the like are all out there on the Internet. But I can't find is what bonuses Mazda offers to car dealers for hitting various monthly and yearly sales goals. How do I find out about this? [more inside]
I have a 2006 Honda Pilot with 150,000 miles. I have a problem with the headlights. [more inside]
I know very little about cars. But now I find myself needing to buy a car to replace my decrepit 1999 Chevy Prizm. I can pay cash up to a maximum of $6,000 (including all surcharges, taxes, etc.). I'd rather not get financing, as we're still paying-off my wife's car. [more inside]
Wondering if you could help with a risk-benefit analysis of lowering the amount of insurance on my car. I still owe money on it, but I could potentially pay it off and then save money on my insurance. BUT is the insurance good to have anyway? [more inside]
As per previous questions, I continue to be in the market for a used vehicle.. passed on the last two vehicles. Here's another problematic case. Mechanic found accident damage. What to do? [more inside]
Takata has recalled cars in states that it deems "high humidity," because of the deadly airbag problem. But as often noted, most of the deaths involved were in non-listed states. My state, Tennessee, is just outside the designated area, and my car (old Honda Accord) is one of the troublemakers. [more inside]
I need to know how to completely disconnect a factory-installed panic alarm on a 2002 Hyundai Sonata to keep it from drawing power on the battery. [more inside]
Found a car I like that is listed, as a certified vehicle, with a certain price on the dealer website. We negotiated a price to my liking, I had a mechanic check it out and right before I was going to sign, the sales manager said they would *add* a certification fee. I walked out. Should I reconsider? [more inside]
One of the power windows in my car has stopped rolling up. The windows are controlled by a dual switch in the center console. The driver's side works, and the passenger "down" works, but the passenger "up" switch does not. I tried replacing it with a new switch I ordered online, and was able to get the window 90% up, but then that new switch abruptly stopped working. Is this likely to be a case of a bad part, or is there something wrong with my electrical system? More details below. [more inside]
On the hunt for a very good deal on a used vehicle. Getting tired of looking. Saw a car yesterday, but it was not clean and some of the vehicle information didn't match the ad. Tell me if there are too many red flags here. [more inside]
Is a trickle charger the same as a 2 amp charger? [more inside]
YANMD. I've had all kinds of weird undiagnosable stuff going on. I'm 29 female. There is a history of auto immune disorders (asthma, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, gall bladder removals, rheumatoid arthritis, other miscellaneous stuff) on the maternal side of my family(mother and grandmother). [more inside]
As a result of a series of events, it looks like I will be driving my boyfriend's older Bronco as a daily vehicle for a while. Before I start doing this, the Bronco should be tuned up and given a once-over and determined to be mechanically sound. I don't have an existing relationship with an auto mechanic. Can you recommend one in Portland, Oregon? [more inside]
My unmarried partner and I live in Queens. He had a car when we moved in together, and the title, registration, and insurance have always been entirely in his name - I didn't even drive it. The car died this summer and we are looking to buy a used car free and clear from a friend, so car payments are thankfully not an issue. I have been thinking that maybe I should consider being more involved with the car, but I am utterly clueless about the most basic details, and don't know where to start. [more inside]
I inherited my mom's car three years ago, and since then my (old) car has been sitting in my driveway. I would like to get it out of my driveway, and if possible make a little money on it, but want to do it in the least time- or effort-intensive way. [more inside]
I'm trying to decide between leasing or buying a car. It would be anywhere from 50-100% business use. Does this make a difference? [more inside]
If all goes well, I'll have the pre-purchase inspection on this used car tomorrow, and see if I can close a deal to buy it. Then what? I need help with the order of all the paperwork and steps. Complication: I'm in MA, the owner is in CA, and the car is registered and located with the seller's relative in NH. [more inside]
I'm in the market for a used car, and I know that it's bad news when a car isn't driven regularly. I've found one that's otherwise good for me. I don't know how little driving is too little, whether the kinds of problems that result could be checked by a mechanic's pre-purchase inspection, and whether my own tough driving patterns make any difference. [more inside]
We've been paying insurance for a car we traded in to a dealer three years ago. At the time, the dealer gave us the plates for our new car and contacted our insurance agent for us. How do we get this refund? [more inside]
Mrs. Sauce and I are on an epic roadtrip in our Mazda and we just lost our air conditioner. Yelp is failing us. Can anyone recommend an honest and capable repair shop in Winnipeg?
About two weeks ago my 2002 PT Cruiser Limited suffered a head gasket failure. This is the second time it's happened on this car in recent years and I'm not having it repaired it again. About a week ago my wife and I bought a nice 2011 Toyota Corolla LE to replace that car. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with the Cruiser and how to keep its nice new tires for the Corolla. [more inside]
The current 3 year lease on my car is about to end. I have decided to purchase the car. What are the next steps? I want to be prepared when I go back to the dealership. I will be paying a $150.00 purchase option fee. Will I be negotiating the monthly payment? Will there be anything else I will have to negotiate. I also purchased a lease protection program t. The lease ends next month. The vehicle does have scratches and dings. Does the protection cover the vehicle within the lease or does it apply only when the lease ends and the vehicle is returned to the dealer. Any other insights appreciated.
I am debating getting a spare key lockbox for my car so I can stop carrying the spare keys in my wallet, as is currently my custom. Is this uniformly stupid, and I shouldn't do it? Any particular errors to avoid, or a lockbox you can recommend? [more inside]
What is the proper air conditioning refrigerant pressure for a 2004 Scion xB? Should the pressure reading be made at a specific RPM? My A/C has been slowly loosing cooling over the last couple of years, now it really only cools well when traveling above 35~ mph, not so well at all in stop-and-go situations. Does it sound like I am on the right track to recharge the system? Works pretty well at steady-state speeds...
We started having trouble with our car almost a year ago. We paid $1500 for a repair that failed, and the mechanic tried twice more without additional charges. Now, it’s failed again, but the mechanic had heart surgery and closed down the shop, and I haven’t been able to reach him. Is there anything left to do, or do we just have to accept that we’re out the money without a fix, and start over with someone new? [more inside]
I'm trying to lower my car insurance rates and the rep with my insurance company suggested I drop stacked uninsured motorist coverage because I already have health insurance. I understand how the stacked coverage works but it seems redundant to carry it if I have heath insurance coverage. Am I misunderstanding how UIM coverage works?
Contemplated new car comes in a base version with 17" wheels & 225/45 tires. But mostly because of a single feature (better seats) I'm thinking of getting a higher end version that comes with 18" 225/40's. Are the 225/40's going to be noticeable more troublesome with respect to blowouts, rim damage etc here in New England? Sales guy claims there is little or no practical difference. I know that the 225/40's should handle better but I don't really care about that.
I have to replace an 8 yr old Subaru fender. A standard color. The new piece comes primed, w/out paint. My understanding is the shop gets the color code, and attempts a match, knowing the color has faded. Question- good shop will be able to vary the mix, try a few samples on an unobtrusive spot, and we pick one? It sounds easy. What should I look for in a shop? What to be wary of? How many coats?
Couldn't Google this successfully - a recent car commercial in the US, guy is driving on a highway at night maybe. It sounds like NASA or other mission control and space noises are coming out of his radio giving the effect that he is driving a space ship. [more inside]
The car my son drives (97 Mazda 626 with the 6 cylinder engine) is throwing a P1195 OBDII code. That is a error reading from the EGR sensor, but there are a variety of things that could cause that, and Google didn't turn up any advice about whether or not that is really a critical issue to deal with. [more inside]
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]
On march 11, about two and a half weeks ago, I bought my dad's van. 2008 town and country. Thursday morning, it wouldn't start. It might be dead. The mechanic is still working on diagnosing the problem, but he's not getting compression on two cylinders. Anyway, the van had a lifetime non-transferable power train warranty, so if had broken on march 10th, Chrysler would have covered it. Is there any way to void the sale and get the warranty back? [more inside]
I recently got some very small scratches on my car. What is the best thing to do about them?? [more inside]
In a few months I will be moving across the country from Delaware to California for a year to maybe indefinitely. In which state should I buy a car and how should it be paid for? (Snowflake details below the cut.) [more inside]
Scenario: Car was hit from the back by an insured driver who took responsibility for the incident. This is noted in the police report. This incident happened 2.5 months ago. No claim was made on the insured driver. The repair is minor (re-paint). Question: Can a claim still be made since the incident happened approx 2.5months ago or is it too late? I wonder if it becomes harder to prove that the damage is because of the incident and not something that happened later (during the 2.5months). Thoughts?