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Paid for a car repair that failed, but mechanic is gone after surgery

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]
posted by daisyace on May 28, 2014 - 10 answers

How can I vet a 1989 Chinook long-distance?

There is a 1989 Chinook for sale in Sacramento, CA. I live a few hours away, cannot make the drive up unless I'm going to purchase, and do not have the knowledge necessary to actually understand whether the vehicle bits or the RV bits are in acceptable condition. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Oct 23, 2013 - 5 answers

The ins and outs of having a car stolen in Chicago

Our car was stolen. Police here seem to shrug it off. Is there anything else I should or could be doing, or just take it as a rather abrupt lesson in the transience of possessions? [more inside]
posted by sixtyten on Sep 26, 2013 - 16 answers

Swapped cars + accident = insurance confusion?

I temporarily swapped cars with my parents. While my mother was driving it alone, another driver sideswiped her and damaged the vehicle. How does the insurance get handled? Obviously, the driver-at-fault's insurance should pay for the repairs. But do we contact my insurance company, my parent's insurance company, or only the other driver's insurance company? [more inside]
posted by doomtop on Jul 8, 2013 - 9 answers

Talk me out of buying a salvage title Honda Insight

There is a mechanic in a city nearby who restores and sells (and maintains) first-generation Honda Insights. Most of the cars his shop produces have a salvage title. He offers exclusive repair and maintenance service to purchasers. I've done a lot of reading and talking to people about this car—a trusted coworker owns one of his restorations—and I'm pretty much convinced that I want what seems to be one of the most over-engineered, fuel-efficient, cool little cars ever made. So what am I missing? [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Apr 28, 2013 - 19 answers

A smaller car with great gas mileage?

It's time for me to get a new car. I'm leaning towards a smaller car. What should I get? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 21, 2013 - 55 answers

When to trade in my car for a new one?

Help me determine the optimal time to trade in my car for a new one. [more inside]
posted by jalexc on Jan 30, 2012 - 7 answers

Rolling in My Hooptie

Help me decide how to finance my vehicle purchases. I need to get two cars for my family. Could be new, could be used. I want both of these cars to have very high safety ratings. Everything else doesn't really matter. I could pay cash for two new cars, but that just seems stupid to do on a depreciating asset. Is the best course of action to find two used, yet reasonably new cars and pay cash? What if we like having new cars? Should we just lease two new vehicles? I have read that the best course of action is to buy a used car and drive it into the ground. That's great, but what if I leave the country again in 5 years. And do I really want to be driving around in a Hooptie in ten years. How do I approach the whole buy new / used, lease issue.
posted by jasondigitized on Aug 10, 2011 - 16 answers

What to know before buying an MG Midget?

How easy is it to own and maintain a 70's-era MG Midget? [more inside]
posted by jayder on Jul 11, 2011 - 26 answers

How do automotive firmware engineers do their jobs?

Are you an automotive engineer? Do you design engine control module firmware? Do you know or love someone who does? How is that firmware actually written? [more inside]
posted by TheNewWazoo on Apr 9, 2011 - 17 answers

Help me diagnose my 1979 Ford Pickup.

I have a 1979 Ford F100, which once belonged to my father. Since he passed away, it's served as a backup vehicle for an array of relatives, and now it's my turn. Yesterday, I got into the truck and turned the key, and I heard a single "clunk" (not a click-click-click), as if something started moving and then froze up. I tried again, with the same result. The next time, I got a kind of whirring sound, like something spinning free. It's a continuous whirring, rather than a series of attempts to catch. Lights and radio work fine. Jumping it didn't help. I didn't try to roll it off, because I'm loathe to leave it at the bottom of the hill in my slighty sketchy neighborhood; I'll probably try that this weekend, when I can get some help. The battery is relatively new. It started easily up until yesterday. [more inside]
posted by steambadger on Mar 15, 2011 - 10 answers

Should I just get another car?

What factors do you consider when thinking about getting rid of your old car and buying a new one? [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 13, 2010 - 17 answers

Older car, cold weather?

My car's getting older, and I have recently moved to a new place with no garage. I'm worried about it starting in cold weather. More details inside! [more inside]
posted by Richat on Dec 11, 2009 - 13 answers

Auto-broker, good or bad idea?

Does buying used through an auto-broker make sense for me? [more inside]
posted by furtive on Oct 31, 2009 - 3 answers

Can bank charge off auto loan with totaled car despite continued payments?

Car was totaled, bank that gave auto loan charged off the loan account because the collateral is gone despite us continuing with full and on time payments. What are our options? [more inside]
posted by Nickel on Oct 11, 2009 - 4 answers

Where can I donate a car to be used for auto repair training?

I'm looking for a charity that will take a non-operational car, use it to train people in auto repair by fixing it, then sell it or give it to someone that needs a car. This is in the SF bay area. [more inside]
posted by EatenByAGrue on Jul 14, 2009 - 3 answers

Finding a new car mechanic

I'm looking for a new car mechanic in Melbourne, Australia and/or tips for finding a reliable one in general... [more inside]
posted by Silentgoldfish on Mar 26, 2009 - 4 answers

What does the inside of my car door look like?

I'm replacing the 6.5" door speakers on my 1999 Chevy S-10 (regular cab) and I have two questions. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Feb 13, 2009 - 5 answers

Ford's Law?

Is there a precursor to Moore's Law for internal combustion engines? If so, can you provide details, please?
posted by Exchequer on Apr 24, 2008 - 7 answers

I got the blues, baby

1. Is blue antifreeze special? 2. If the coolant reservoir is half-full, can I keep driving until I can get what I need? [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 25, 2008 - 12 answers

Pre-gapped sparkplugs

Is there any difference in performance between pre-gapped sparkplugs (such as these) and ones that you have to gap yourself? [more inside]
posted by Aanidaani on Jan 14, 2008 - 7 answers

Should I buy a used rental car?

UsedCarFilter: Is buying used from a rental car company, specifically Enterprise, a good idea? First hand experiences appreciated. [more inside]
posted by Cogito on Sep 14, 2007 - 26 answers

Key wouldn't turn in ignition.

The key in my wife's Camry wouldn't turn until I jiggled the steering wheel. [more inside]
posted by codswallop on Aug 16, 2007 - 20 answers

My baby (car) has a secret (compartment)

My hatchback car (Honda Fit) doesn't have a separately-locking trunk or glovebox. Can I add a lock-box or secret compartment somewhere inside the car for stashing a few items, for those times I must turn over my keys (parking garage, valet)? Ideally I'd only be securing/concealing 3 deck-of-cards-sized items: iPod, GPS, EZPass. There are no official Honda accessories that do this, nor can I find any Fit-fanatic mods that have addressed it.
posted by xo on Aug 1, 2007 - 4 answers

What cars are big on the inside?

Searching for cars by interior space? [more inside]
posted by Marky on Jan 2, 2007 - 11 answers

I'm sick of La Place, LA.

Did this mechanic try to "trick" me into a repair that costs more than the car is worth? [more inside]
posted by hootch on Nov 2, 2006 - 9 answers

Guidance for buying an auto part at a junkyard

Should I get a car part at a junkyard/salvage yard/auto recycler, and how do I go about it? [more inside]
posted by matildaben on Sep 5, 2006 - 18 answers

Should I buy a new car in Washington or Oregon?

I'm thinking about buying a new car in the next year. I live in Seattle, Washington, where the sales tax is about 8.8%, but I visit Oregon frequently, where there is no sales tax. Would there be any drawbacks to buying the car in Oregon to avoid the sales tax? I would still register and insure it in Washington.
posted by matildaben on Mar 17, 2006 - 18 answers

What kind of car is the safest to drive?

What kind of car is the safest to drive? There are lots of studies on which cars are best in a crash, but I suspect that some cars crash less often than others, so I am interested in statistics that take the rate of accidents as well as crashworthiness into account. [more inside]
posted by procrastination on Dec 27, 2005 - 24 answers

Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving: Subaru AWD, automatic transmission, ice, and other fun. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish on Dec 2, 2005 - 19 answers

How Dangerous Is It to Drive With Earphones?

How dangerous is it to drive with earphones? I drive a noisy, noisy little car with a crappy stereo, and the tempation to just listen to my flash mp3 player with some Koss isolating earbuds is pretty strong, yet I don't want to endanger others or die in a fiery wreck. But at some point, with the car as noisy as it is, what's the difference?
posted by anonymous on Jan 31, 2005 - 26 answers

How to sell a non-moving car?

How to sell a non-moving car? [MI]
posted by defcom1 on Jan 31, 2005 - 10 answers

DIY auto repair guidance?

I want to fix a couple of things on my car. However, looking under the hood causes to me to collapse with the vapors, forcing me to go purse shopping for an hour to mitigate the effects. Does anyone have an online walkthrough-to-fixin-up-your-car for guys like me? (Details inside.) [more inside]
posted by billybunny on Jan 6, 2005 - 28 answers

Toyota engine issues

CarFilter: My wife's old Toyota (1996 Tercell) is having an odd problem. I know very little about engines, and Google has turned up a variety of possible answers [mi] [more inside]
posted by sixdifferentways on Dec 16, 2004 - 15 answers

Did I ruin my brakes?

AutoFilter: In a moment of terrible mental absence this morning, I drove about half a block in second gear with the hand brake engaged. While the right rear wheel smoked and the brake glowed visibly red, there seem to be no other consequences an hour after the fact. Does this merit a call to the mechanic to check it out if other malfunctions haven't arisen?
posted by Verdant on Dec 16, 2004 - 19 answers

Driving to Mexico

Driving to Mexico. I read that when driving into Mexico as a tourist one must post a cash bond, or provide a credit card to ensure that the vehicle is not sold inside Mexico. Does anyone have experience doing this, and is there a way around it? How much will the deposit/credit charge be?
posted by NorthCoastCafe on Nov 23, 2004 - 10 answers

Why is my gear stick/stick shift wobbling and stuck in 2nd gear?

I was stop and go driving for about an hour today (hanging flyers for my job; the car's a manual transmission '95 Saturn) and after I finished I was heading back to the store when I hear a pop and my stick shift is just wobbling around. I still have to hold the clutch to start the car but it is stuck in second gear so I can get it going but only drive 10-15mph. What in the hell just happened?
posted by untuckedshirts on Jul 9, 2004 - 11 answers

Best family vehicle for $4K?

My hardworking but strapped bro. needs to buy a family vehicle for about $4k. Reliability is really important, and it has to carry him, spouse, and four kids (ages 3-13). I know about the online reliabilty ratings but wanted to get your insight about how to find the best vehicle, and what your experiences have been. It'll mostly be used about town, with occasional 60+ mile trips to relatives. Thanks.
posted by mecran01 on Jan 13, 2004 - 15 answers

Shipping a Car Across Country

Has anyone ever shipped a car, enclosed, cross country? I am researching quotes for my boss and I wondered if anyone had any personal experience or problems that I should watch out for. [more inside]
posted by sugarfish on Jan 12, 2004 - 9 answers

Should I Buy This Karman Ghia?

I've just moved out to san fran and feel like i need a convertible. found a sweet little Karman Ghia for 5 grand. Has anybody had any experience with these good/bad/ugly?

oh, and how long has ask metafilter been here? (pretty damn cool)
posted by NGnerd on Dec 10, 2003 - 14 answers

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