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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
It's time for me to get a new car. I'm leaning towards a smaller car. What should I get? [more inside]
Help me determine the optimal time to trade in my car for a new one. [more inside]
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.
How easy is it to own and maintain a 70's-era MG Midget? [more inside]
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]
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]
What factors do you consider when thinking about getting rid of your old car and buying a new one? [more inside]
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]
Does buying used through an auto-broker make sense for me? [more inside]
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]
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]
I'm looking for a new car mechanic in Melbourne, Australia and/or tips for finding a reliable one in general... [more inside]
I'm replacing the 6.5" door speakers on my 1999 Chevy S-10 (regular cab) and I have two questions. [more inside]
Is there a precursor to Moore's Law for internal combustion engines? If so, can you provide details, please?
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]
Is there any difference in performance between pre-gapped sparkplugs (such as these) and ones that you have to gap yourself? [more inside]
UsedCarFilter: Is buying used from a rental car company, specifically Enterprise, a good idea? First hand experiences appreciated. [more inside]
The key in my wife's Camry wouldn't turn until I jiggled the steering wheel. [more inside]
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.
Searching for cars by interior space? [more inside]
Did this mechanic try to "trick" me into a repair that costs more than the car is worth? [more inside]
Should I get a car part at a junkyard/salvage yard/auto recycler, and how do I go about it? [more inside]
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.
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]
Winter Driving: Subaru AWD, automatic transmission, ice, and other fun. [more inside]
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?
How to sell a non-moving car? [MI]
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]
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]
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?
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?
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?
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.
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]
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)
oh, and how long has ask metafilter been here? (pretty damn cool)