603 posts tagged with auto.
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Wise to replace slightly frayed seatbelt with used one from junkyard?

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
posted by Kevin S on Dec 4, 2013 - 9 answers

Advice re: overhead video monitors in a Toyota Sienna

I am interested in adding an roof-mounted video system to my 2005 Toyota Sienna. I have three kids and when we visit family it's a boring 9-hour drive. But I know nothing at all about car video systems. [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias on Nov 27, 2013 - 6 answers

How do I find the best rate to refinance my car loan?

My credit is good. My loan on my new-last-year Toyota Yaris is awful; the interest rate is absurdly high. My credit union, who issued the loan, doesn't want to help. How do I find the best rate I can get on a refinance? [more inside]
posted by drjimmy11 on Nov 25, 2013 - 17 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

Michigan Auto Insurance - Can Premium Rise b/c of Not-At-Fault Accident?

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?
posted by Juffo-Wup on Sep 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Taking action about a dangerous road/intersection

Near where I live in Boston, there is a dangerous road, and a particularly dangerous intersection. I'd like to take action to have someone take steps to remediate it. Can you recommend specific resources and data to use to make the most compelling call to action? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Sep 27, 2013 - 9 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

Is Esurance reliable?

is is there anyone who made a claim with Esurance? Do they actually pay, when you make a claim? More info inside. [more inside]
posted by WizKid on Sep 10, 2013 - 18 answers

Auto loans for not-so-great credit?

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?
posted by xingcat on Sep 2, 2013 - 11 answers

Mobile auto engine steam-clearing in the Portland OR area?

We have a car that can't be started following a serious oil leak. The mechanic in the family has requested me to find someone who will steam-clean the engine on a mobile basis. I called a bunch of places, but none of them makes house calls, except for a guy who does pressure-washing, which our mechanic says won't work—the pressure will damage the electrical components of our elderly VW Vanagon. Do you know of anyone in the Portland OR area who does mobile steam-cleaning? Or another way to degrease the engine besides towing the car to the steam-cleaning place and back?
posted by ottereroticist on Aug 30, 2013 - 4 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

Best point and shoot camera with wireless photo upload

I just broke my point and shoot camera and want to replace it with something more modern. I have a 4GB eye-if SD card that I configured to auto-upload to my online photo storage for me, but I'd like to find a camera that has this feature built in. A quick google (an 4 hours later), it doesn't seem like I can find such a camera -- is my google searching rusty, or is the camera market missing "automatic, easy picture upload" as a built in feature? I don't want to use my eye-if anymore. Any suggestions for a camera that does it all?
posted by thankyoumuchly on Jun 27, 2013 - 5 answers

Deciding to transition from car to bicycle

I'm considering selling my car and transitioning from using my car for most tasks (groceries, commuting to work, seeing friends, etc) to using mostly my bicycle for these same things. I plan to also get an "occasional" Zip car membership as well. Has anyone out there gone through this process? How was that transition for you and do you have any concrete advice for someone like me who is thinking about this pretty big shift in changing modes of transportation? [more inside]
posted by ethel on Jun 7, 2013 - 28 answers

What reason for buying a car at less than market value?

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]
posted by OrangeDisk on May 28, 2013 - 12 answers

I need an annual SF parking permit, but my car is registered in LA.

I have somehow managed to live in SF for several years without a parking permit, but I am going to need one shortly. Can I get an annual parking permit without changing my car's registration information? [more inside]
posted by ziggly on May 9, 2013 - 8 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

Give me the best hip-hop tracks to kill the subwoofer in my car.

I'm looking for hip-hop that's engineered for car systems. Heavy bass, melodic bass, brutal bass--what artists, albums or tracks sound amazing in a car with an amplified subwoofer setup? [more inside]
posted by flod on Apr 16, 2013 - 14 answers

Would like to know reason for front end mis-alignment on old rav4

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]
posted by Kevin S on Apr 11, 2013 - 8 answers

Post bail-out: Good MPG Car from 2013

There is a good chance that I will be the owner of a new car sometime soon (like the next few months or so). Looking for a good balance between fuel efficiency and inexpensive to repair (something I have not really thought about until recently, regrettably). You are not a car expert, likely, but what would you advise from what you know? Details, including what this car replaces, inside. [more inside]
posted by JoeXIII007 on Apr 11, 2013 - 24 answers

Why have I suddenly started getting electric shocks from my cars?

Every now and then, there will be a few weeks when I get electric shocks as I'm getting out of my cars. Normally they're just a little surprising, but the last few weeks I've been getting steadily stronger shocks that actually hurt / tingle for a while afterwards. What's going on? [more inside]
posted by sodium lights the horizon on Apr 11, 2013 - 12 answers

Auto insurance liability limits?

I'm evaluating my insurance coverage, and I'm confused a bit on auto insurance liability. It seems like a typical liability policy is $100k per person for bodily injury. From the tales of medical bills I've heard, it seems like a bad accident could pretty easily cause bills far exceeding that. Even if I increase it to $300k or $500k, if the actual costs are higher than that, it could pretty easily wipe out all my assets. What really happens in accident cases like that? Do they generally just settle for the insurance limits? [more inside]
posted by smackfu on Mar 28, 2013 - 7 answers

Mechanical Filter: Follow-up question: '93 del Sol won't start

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!
posted by fignewton on Feb 28, 2013 - 10 answers

Insurance Brokers in NYC

Seeking insurance broker recommendations for a new family in NYC. Co-op, Auto, and now with progeny, Life. Obviously want a person/office that we can trust, and will look out for our interests in the long haul. We live in Queens, and work in Manhattan. Bonus question: are any brokers fee-based, or do all work on commission-type arrangements?
posted by Oddly on Feb 26, 2013 - 1 answer

Can I buy a car out of state (CA) without changing my driver's license?

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]
posted by betsbillabong on Feb 26, 2013 - 6 answers

What do we need to know about window tinting?

My partner and I want to get a car window tint job. We're more concerned about quality (materials, won't bubble, etc.) than price, so what do we need to look for? One well reputed company in town is offering "basic color stable film," "high performance stable film" and "CTX ceramic," in ascending order of cost, but we don't know one from the other. One company offers LLumar and another offers 3M--how do we choose? Is quality more or less proportional to cost? Look for a lifetime warranty? Is ceramic the preferred material? Any advice would be appreciated.
posted by jroybal on Jan 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Will Carmax save my sanity or make it worse?

I'm approaching the dreaded moment that I need to buy a new (used) car. I hate the idea of negotiating with a salesperson. I love the idea of no-haggle. But I also hate the idea of getting a lemon. I've read loads of reviews of Carmax online, but they're so mixed, I don't know what to think. Can you offer insight? [more inside]
posted by Ms. Toad on Jan 23, 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

Recommend me a mechanic in Vancouver East?

I'm looking for a good mechanic around Mount Pleasant or East Vancouver. I have a 1999 toyota corolla and honestly, it's getting to the point where I know something important is going to go. [more inside]
posted by concreteforest on Jan 11, 2013 - 3 answers

Discontinued Garmin GPS unit

Is there a current production Garmin GPS unit that is equivalent to the discontinued nuvi 265WT in terms of price and features?
posted by alasdefuego on Jan 5, 2013 - 2 answers

Other party wants to give me check instead of filing insurance, is this kosher?

Person bumped into me in parking lot, wants to give me check instead of filing insurance, is this kosher? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Gunn on Dec 27, 2012 - 20 answers

What should I do to prepare for a road trip?

What should I do to prepare for driving from SF to NY this January? [more inside]
posted by Peemster on Dec 26, 2012 - 19 answers

I don't think duct tape is going to cut it this time.

After a theft, how much DIY car repair is too much? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 21, 2012 - 11 answers

Where to get a replacement end-piece for an Apple MagSafe airline adapter?

Where to get a replacement end-piece for an Apple MagSafe airline adapter? [more inside]
posted by StrawberryPie on Dec 13, 2012 - 2 answers

Auto repair question

Am I getting a fair price on 100K maintenance for my 1999 Avalon? [more inside]
posted by boognish on Dec 12, 2012 - 8 answers

What is causing my car's brake switch to break?

What could be causing my car's brake switch to break down? [more inside]
posted by Gosha_Dog on Dec 1, 2012 - 5 answers

Is there any alternative to an SUV or minivan?

Fuel efficient car for dog and future baby? [more inside]
posted by wannabecounselor on Nov 25, 2012 - 15 answers

driver's ed.

how much is it normal for my auto insurance premium to rise after an accident? [more inside]
posted by violetk on Nov 10, 2012 - 9 answers

Tips and advice for first time selling a used car?

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]
posted by Peemster on Nov 7, 2012 - 5 answers

How to get my car started?

I know very little about cars. So why won't mine start? [more inside]
posted by nurgle on Nov 4, 2012 - 12 answers

Can a second accident affect a yet-to-be-settled case?

YANML, but please help me weigh the benefits of filing a police report about a car-bike accident when a settlement is still in process from a previous accident. [more inside]
posted by nonmerci on Oct 20, 2012 - 10 answers

Wrap damage...

Car Wrap Filter: Do car wraps damage the paint underneath the wrap? [more inside]
posted by Flood on Oct 19, 2012 - 4 answers

Car problems--should I take it to a dealer or a regular repair shop?

I have a 1994 Nissan Altima. It is in great shape but has two problems. The cruise control does not work at all, and as of this morning my key does not work in the driver's side lock. [more inside]
posted by Slinga on Oct 14, 2012 - 6 answers

Fighting the (insurance) man!

Got rear-ended and am thoroughly unhappy with repair results. Any tips for negotiating with the insurance company re: how they're handling this? [more inside]
posted by kanuck on Oct 11, 2012 - 4 answers

iPad shutdown app

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?
posted by unliteral on Sep 18, 2012 - 14 answers

After a bunch of trips to mechanics, my car engine is hesitating/missing intermittently, and I would love a second opinion.

My 1998 Nissan Sentra GXE (1.6L) has been acting up for the past few weeks, in decreasing degrees of severity. After a varied set of problems and repairs, the engine now hesitates at random, more often when idling than when driving. It sounds like it's about to die completely and then returns to normal in a second. What the heck is going on? [more inside]
posted by summerteeth on Sep 14, 2012 - 12 answers

1994 nissan rough idle and loss of power, whats up? Details inside

Having idle/loss of power problems with a 1994 Nissan Sentra. Whats your diagnosis? [more inside]
posted by couchdive on Sep 11, 2012 - 13 answers

Can I return a new car?

We bought a new car last week. I want to return it... [more inside]
posted by 3dd on Sep 9, 2012 - 11 answers

Legit? Or crappy mechanic?

Should I be responsible for auto mechanic snapping my wheel studs? [more inside]
posted by el_yucateco on Aug 29, 2012 - 13 answers

I want the windows to go down...

Please help me reattach the power window switches to the inside of my car door. I need information about replacing a trim part on a Chrysler, and/or creative suggestions to mounting the switch unit. [more inside]
posted by Hoenikker on Aug 8, 2012 - 10 answers

How do I prove I'm at least as not at fault as the other guy?

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]
posted by ictow on Aug 6, 2012 - 8 answers

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