I'm looking at a new car purchase and have noticed that the "better" headlights (HID or LED) are typically only available on the highest trim level or with an options package that includes a bunch of other features that I'm a lot less interested in. What should I know about doing an aftermarket install of HID or LED headlights on a new car purchase in the US? [more inside]
I've taken my car to the mechanic what seems like an unreasonable number of times to fix an issue. Mostly, the car keeps overheating. First, they replaced the entire radiator. The next time it broke down, it was the water pump, which also necessitated a new timing belt. It's been overheating again, and came close to breaking down. I talked with a guy who knows cars, but is not a mechanic. He says if it's still having problems, it's likely the thermostat. Am I overreacting to not want this same shop to fix it? [more inside]
Yesterday it was -6°C in Montreal. I used the windshield spritzers to spray wiper fluid on my windshield. The thin layer of fluid immediately froze, rendering the windshield opaque until I could get it warmed up with the defroster. This happens regularly. It even happens after the windshield is clear of ice. I'm using regular windshield wiper fluid that' supposed to be good down to -40°. Am I doing something wrong, or is -40 a huge fib?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
2002 saab with 100,000 miles in generally good condition has a frayed driver's seat belt. To prevent further degradation, I covered the edge of the belt with duct tape. Frayed section conforms roughly in size to the concavity visible on the duct tape. Trusty mechanic quotes $175 + around $75 to install a junk yard replacement. This includes the entire assembly; trusty mechanic says they generally don't work well if you just replace the belt. A new belt and assembly is $475+ installation. I will have the opportunity to inspect the junk yard part before giving the go-ahead. Here's the question: assuming that it looks ok, am I better off from a safety stand-point with the used one of unknown history that in theory could be almost twenty years old or should I stick with my slightly frayed belt of known history (I bought the car new)? I know you are not my safety engineer! Thanks
In the state of Michigan, USA, can your auto insurance [liability+collision+comprehensive] premium be increased as a result of a collision claim for which the driver/policyholder is judged 'not at fault' by the police or court? I thought that it could, but I have a friend who is sure it cannot. Can any of you provide a definitive answer?
is is there anyone who made a claim with Esurance? Do they actually pay, when you make a claim? More info inside. [more inside]
Several years ago, I went through a foreclosure, but now I'm 100% debt-free and making great money. Who offers auto loans to someone with a credit score in the low 600s?
YANAL/YANML and you are not a clerk working at my DMV. What reason should I put on a bill of sale for buying a car for less than market value? [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]
Four new tires were installed last June; i.e., june of 2012. A month later mechanic noticed that the front control arms were rusted; they were replaced with new ones. Today brought in for miscellaneous work. Mechanic observed that each front tire was badly worn and in need of replacement. The tires had about 12,000 miles on them; the rear ones were normal. Problem was toe-in misalignment of about .1 deg left side and .075 deg right. [more inside]
A few weeks ago I asked this question. Consider this a follow-up question. I have a 1993 Honda del Sol 5-speed Si that has a "mystery" problem of sometimes starting and sometimes not starting. It's always a cold-start problem. I put the key in the ignition, switch it to ON until the check engine light goes on, the fuel pump pressurizes, and the main relay clicks, and then crank it. Sometimes it will fire up right away. Other times the engine will turn over but not ignite. Once it is started, it will start up fine for the rest of the day. It only gives me trouble when the engine has gone completely cold and has been left untouched for upwards of four hours. A new issue has developed since I first posted my question. Even after getting the car started, sometimes just a few minutes later during a sharp acceleration (approaching 4000rpms or more) the engine stalls out. I have to pull the car over and start it up again. It always starts up fine after that and will usually not stall out again. I had this issue looked at by several mechanics, most of whom hadn't the slightest clue what it was or willingness to investigate. The last mechanic I took it to said it was a faulty ignition switch and replaced it . . . but that has done no good whatsoever. Also, just FYI, the spark plugs are relatively new. Any thoughts are appreciated!
I am a Rhode Island resident. I'm in San Francisco, CA for several months, working. I've decided to buy a car from a friend here, and today I'm going over to give him the money (I've been driving it for a week or two, since he already bought a new car and we trust each other). [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]
What should I do to prepare for driving from SF to NY this January? [more inside]
Where to get a replacement end-piece for an Apple MagSafe airline adapter? [more inside]
Tips and advice for first time selling a used car? I am trying to figure out if I should fix up some cosmetic damage before selling my 2005 Honda Civic EX, as well as looking for general advice on selling on the private market. [more inside]
I watch movies when I go to bed at night. When I wake up in the morning my iPad is exhausted. I would like to have a reminder happen (that if I don't respond to) shuts down my iPad and preserves its battery. Is there a commercial or free app that does this or can I create one easily in this suggestion?
Having idle/loss of power problems with a 1994 Nissan Sentra. Whats your diagnosis? [more inside]
We bought a new car last week. I want to return it... [more inside]
On Friday morning I was in what I consider to be a no-fault fender bender, but Illinois isn't a no-fault state. The other party has already contacted my insurance; I'm not sure what I should be doing to best protect myself. Details inside. [more inside]
Safety/severity questions with a bad tie rod. [more inside]
How do I buy a car? [more inside]
My car is doing something kind of alarming, intermittently. I'd love to get some guesses as to whether I need to see a transmission specialist or not before I take it somewhere. [more inside]
How can I trick the auto-exposure setting on my film camera? [more inside]
My 1994 Volvo 850 Turbo sedan failed inspection for a tie rod, a ball joint, and front tires. I took it in and am sitting around waiting on my estimate. Just curious. How much should I expect to pay for this? Labor is $70/hr. [more inside]
Corvette body shops in the Chicago, IL, USA area? [more inside]
Is it a bad idea to slightly accelerate on a steep uphill slope to keep a car with an automatic transmission stopped? [more inside]
Keep the jeep? [more inside]
Wheres is the PCV valve on a 2004 Dodge Stratus sedan? [more inside]
Is there a relatively painless way to jump start another car using a 2000 Buick LeSabre? [more inside]
Hey! So i am about to buy my very first vehicle and am pretty excited about the whole deal. My budget is no more than 5k and I am looking to get me a used small pickup truck. It seems like my best options are either a T100, Tacoma, frontier or a b2500. Are those considered reliable used pick ups? What kind of year/mileage y'all think 5k could bring? I am thinking a 2000 with about 120000 miles. Does that seems reasonable? The truck should be very reliable and could take some abuse, I don't really care about towing much because it will be used mainly for tools. I know VERY little about cars and mechanics and wouldn't even know the first thing to look out for when looking at a potential truck... I've been told to insist on a clean title, see that the engine and transmission are in good order, and pass it by a reliable mechanic. Anything else? Thank you for your time!
Selling a car and putting down 'gift' on the bill of sale when it's not really a gift... problem? [more inside]
We want to give a car to my broke brother. How can we do this safely? [more inside]
My car was rear ended last night and it's starting to look like the guy who hit me does not have a driver's license or insurance. So I'm not really sure what my next move is. [more inside]
I know very little about car tires. Having problems finding a Blizzak-type winter tire, and retailer of same, for lady friend's older car. Advice gratefully accepted! [more inside]
I gave my '07 Honda Civic to a mechanic who said it needed a replacement of the steering rack and/or pump, which he did. Problem: aftermarket XM radio was working perfectly before it went in, antenna had intermittent short which prevented radio from getting signal at least 50% of the time when I got it back. [more inside]
As I was pulling away from the parking spot along the street this morning, my car ran over this gray light metal thing. I'm guessing that this cantaloupe-sized object fell off from the bottom of my car, but what is it and is this vital?? [more inside]
What are the mysterious, apparently non-sensical, religious-sounding words that are appearing as small white text on white background on Craigslist car+truck ads across several cities? [more inside]