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SUV/Car Buying Help

Have a baby on the way and need a new or slightly used car or SUV. My preference is for an SUV and I would like to spend less than $17,000 in cash (after trade in, cheaper the better). We will be trading in a 2004 Saturn Ion, black, with 135,000 miles. Good gas mileage is a definite factor since we drive several hundred miles a week. Are there any great deals out there or any car shopping sites that explain my options best? Help! Thanks.
posted by Paalen on Mar 17, 2011 - 20 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

And then I send them the money. Wait, what?

I'm selling my car. I'm pretty sure that this offer to buy is a scam, but how does it work? [more inside]
posted by Sutekh on Mar 15, 2011 - 14 answers

Repair or replace 1992 Camry?

Repair or replace 1992 Camry? (with some interesting caveats) [more inside]
posted by armyman83 on Mar 14, 2011 - 12 answers

Can I set up an autoresponse script via Gmail to target a single person?

Gmail question: Is there a way to set up a script to auto-respond to an email with included attachments? I asked a guy if I could send him my resumé and cover letter so he can circulate to relevant people at a staff meeting tomorrow, but he hasn't responded and I cannot be sure I will be awake to get his response before the meeting. It seems that it would be a faux pas to send them blindly after asking for his go-ahead. If this is possible, is there a way to do it only if a specific person emails you, or will it have to be an automatic response to anyone who emails me during this period?
posted by Alcibiades. on Mar 13, 2011 - 4 answers

Car Crash = Insurance screwing me over

My beautiful car was destroyed in a crash, someone turned in front of me and it's totally their fault. But their insurance made me an offer for about half of my car's replacement value. And I'm injured too. Now they want to cut off my loaner rental car, to pressure me to settle. How can I get justice? [more inside]
posted by charlie don't surf on Feb 25, 2011 - 44 answers

Should I call the auto insurance companies?

Very minor car accident. The other party exploded with anger even though I thought he was at fault. After he took down my insurance info, he sped away without exchanging more information. That was 2 days ago. I have not heard back from either his or my insurer. Should I call the insurers myself? What should I do? [more inside]
posted by ccl6yl on Feb 20, 2011 - 35 answers

Can I go to an independent garage or is dealer service the way to go?

I'm looking to have maintenance done on a 2.5-year old Nissan (40,000 mile tune-up and addressing a little tire/front-issue that probably stems from my wife running over curbs recreationally). Is a dealer absolutely my best option? If so which one? [more inside]
posted by Mayor Curley on Feb 15, 2011 - 7 answers

car insurance. how does it work?

How and where do I get my car repaired? (or, please explain to me how car insurance works) [more inside]
posted by genmonster on Feb 15, 2011 - 8 answers

Take a picture, it'll last longer...

We bought a car from a dealer in Massachusetts, but we live in Maine and the car will be registered in Maine. When we picked up the car yesterday, the dealer asked us to do something weird. Have you ever heard of this? [more inside]
posted by anastasiav on Jan 23, 2011 - 25 answers

Seeking Safety (Repair Shop)

Safety Insurance of Massachusetts, USA - does anyone have a list of their preferred repair shops? [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jan 20, 2011 - 5 answers

Please do not feed the DVD player

How do I replace a 2005 Chrysler Town & Country's DVD player without spending obscene amounts of money? [more inside]
posted by ehamiter on Jan 7, 2011 - 7 answers

Does the spelling matter much on a car title?

Slight misspelling of bank's name on my car title - pursue fix or let it go? [more inside]
posted by amtho on Jan 5, 2011 - 12 answers

How much will it cost to paint my car?

How much will it cost to get my car painted? [more inside]
posted by arveale on Dec 16, 2010 - 7 answers

...ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss...

Leaky rims. What do I need to do to stop my car from gradually settling into the ground? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Dec 8, 2010 - 15 answers

How does probate work when a consumable or quickly depreciating asset is involved?

A relative of my husband's recently passed away, leaving him a car, among other things, in her will. The property is in the possession of a difficult and controlling aunt. What is this process like? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 19, 2010 - 8 answers

What's up with the people who keep offering to do body work on my car?

Why do these skeezy guys solicit me in public to do body work on my car? [more inside]
posted by Kylio on Oct 29, 2010 - 31 answers

Mazda3 vs Impreza

Mazda3 vs Impreza for the long term? [more inside]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe on Oct 23, 2010 - 41 answers

I want to automagically convert my video files to iTunes friendly files

I want my videos to show up in iTunes. iTunes only seems to play nice with mp4. Is there any program out there that will monitor a folder, convert the video that shows up, and add it to iTunes? I'm on a Windows 7 machine. [more inside]
posted by allthewhile on Oct 22, 2010 - 4 answers

Smallest VR / IS prime lens for Nikon?

What is the smallest Nikon (or compatible) image-stabilization lens? My search results seem to indicate it is this: Nikon 18mm - 55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX (VR) Vibration Reduction Wide Angle Autofocus Zoom Lens, which is a VR version of the kit lens on a D40. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Oct 17, 2010 - 12 answers

Little car needs a new pair of shoes...

I'm looking to change my car tyre size, and I've got some questions (more maths related than automotive related, I'd guess). [more inside]
posted by sodium lights the horizon on Sep 27, 2010 - 16 answers

How to remove the smell of Drano from my Car?

I spilled a bottle of drain cleaner in the back of my car, and I'm wondering what my next steps should be? There is a slightly chlroinated odour in the cabin, so I've been trying to drive with the windows down.
posted by matkline on Sep 22, 2010 - 13 answers

Buy or lease a car ?

Can anyone tell me if leasing a new Prius would be better then buying? [more inside]
posted by absolutshrk on Sep 21, 2010 - 17 answers

My car!!! What's wrong with my car!?

My car!!! What's wrong with my car!? [more inside]
posted by jander03 on Sep 14, 2010 - 14 answers

Cleaning the EGR port

How should I clean my EGR port? The check engine code says "inadequate flow through the EGR valve." [more inside]
posted by noonknight on Sep 9, 2010 - 3 answers

I spent $2500 on car repairs and all I got was a giant's paperweight

Is there any way I can turn a broken flywheel and clutch into some pocket money? [more inside]
posted by pluckemin on Sep 2, 2010 - 9 answers

What happens when you're moving and a car breaks down?

I'm stuck in Adair, Iowa (pop 800) with a probably unfixable car which was towing a trailer hauling all my possessions. OMG help. [more inside]
posted by zug on Sep 1, 2010 - 38 answers

What website has the most/best used car listings?

Lots of sites have listings of locally available used cars. Aside from Craigslist (which is spotty where I live), what site do you feel is most widely used and provides the best variety of listings, especially of cars being sold by a dealer (of any size)?
posted by anastasiav on Aug 23, 2010 - 5 answers

97' blazer oil issue?

My girlfriend's 97' chevy blazer sputters and looses power when under load (like going up a big hill), but once the oil is changed it runs fine. What is going on here??? [more inside]
posted by Esefa on Aug 13, 2010 - 7 answers

Experiences with California Low Cost Auto Insurance?

Does anyone have experiences with the California Low Cost Auto Insurance (CLCA) program, and/or any advice for applying? (Anonymous because the program is only for individuals dancing with the poverty line, and I'd rather not make my financial circumstances known) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 11, 2010 - 0 answers

Help me fix the A/C in my VW Golf TDI

My air conditioning suddenly conked out on my 2002 Volkswagen Golf TDI (diesel). The mechanics at the dealership are having trouble finding the cause and I'm spending a lot of money on diagnostics, with no definitive end in sight. It's hot here in Toronto - help. [more inside]
posted by analog on Aug 5, 2010 - 14 answers

Blower motor resistor or worse? Did you mean 'power motormite rotor'?

If my 2001 Honda Accord's blower motor resistor goes out, should I expect the air conditioner not to come on at all, or is there something more seriously wrong with the car than just the resistor? [more inside]
posted by tybstar on Aug 2, 2010 - 3 answers

Is my best friend/biggest client putting me in a dangerous financial situation?

My best friend is the largest client of my business. He would like me to purchase a car for his use through my company. Is this a terrible situation for me and how should I handle it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 31, 2010 - 40 answers

What is the best Roadside assistance club?

I want to join an auto club looking at AAA versus AARP. My wife and I are going on some extended driving trips this summer and the insurance company add on does very little for roadside assistance. Any suggestions with pros and cons on different clubs would be very helpful. Thanks!
posted by Upon Further Review on Jul 16, 2010 - 17 answers

I want to get my old old car REPAIRED after an accident that the adjusters will likely deem a "total loss" help!

My 1987 Toyota Camry got seriously "injured" today..advice about handling the claim? [more inside]
posted by naplesyellow on Jul 15, 2010 - 15 answers

Does red and blue make...purple?

Does changing the "temperature" setting on my car's manually controlled AC just waste energy? [more inside]
posted by razdrez on Jul 11, 2010 - 11 answers

california expired driving license

I suddenly found my California driver license had expired 5 months. Should i again take the written and driving test ?
posted by tom123 on Jul 4, 2010 - 8 answers

Something missing below headlight on 1999 Toyota Avalon

I have a 1999 Toyota Avalon. I noticed the small plastic grille below my left headlight missing and there's a dangling plug inside. I can't figure out what used to be in there. The car still runs fine. Inside the passenger-side grille is a grey plastic box, probably connected to a similar plug.
posted by boognish on Jun 27, 2010 - 4 answers

Brake maintenance and finding reputable automotive shops!

The brakes in my fairly low-milage SUV have begun to squeak when stopping at slow speeds or when the car has just been turned on. What could be the problem and how can someone who knows nothing about cars get reputable service and not be ripped off? Bonus if anyone knows of a good place for this in Santa Barbara or Ventura county! [more inside]
posted by cgomez on Jun 26, 2010 - 8 answers

What will happen if I stop making loan payments on a totaled car?

What will happen if I stop making loan payments on my totaled car? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 26, 2010 - 12 answers

'95 Maxima is loud and shakes. Can I fix this on my own? Audio inside.

Can I fix my '95 Nissan Maxima? It went from sounding a little noisy/gravelly to shaking intermittently. Oil is full but dirty. Must I see a mechanic? Engine sounds like this (15-second AAC), exhaust sounds like this (5-second AAC). Used to be very quiet. Can I fix this myself? [more inside]
posted by reeddavid on Jun 25, 2010 - 6 answers

high beams headache

My friend's car (a 2001 nissan altima) today has a problem. The high beams will not turn off. All regular lights work, but whether the car is on or off, the high beams are on. Any suggestions?
posted by glaucon on Jun 15, 2010 - 4 answers

Under pressure

I have a 2006 Scion xA with 40k miles on it. I just spent $800 replacing essentially my entire emissions system due to a pressure burst and subsequent contamination. I get regular maintenance and never attempt to overfill my tank. How do I make sure this doesn't happen again?
posted by emilyd22222 on Jun 8, 2010 - 17 answers

I scratched another person's car bumper. What happens next?

I scratched another person's car bumper. What happens next? [more inside]
posted by parakeetdog on Jun 7, 2010 - 14 answers

Good: vacation in Israel. Bad: driving in Tel Aviv. Where do I get coverage?

How does an American citizen get auto insurance in Israel for a 6 week trip? [more inside]
posted by dudeman on Jun 3, 2010 - 1 answer

Is this person uninsurable or just not trying hard enough?

Is this person uninsurable or just not trying hard enough? [more inside]
posted by pantheON on Jun 1, 2010 - 13 answers

Help me buy a sweet 4x4 truck/SUV.

I’m considering buying a used truck/SUV but I’m confused by the dizzying array of options. [more inside]
posted by fieldtrip on May 27, 2010 - 29 answers

What happened to my car battery?

Yesterday my car started fine, but today the engine wouldn't crank even once. What caused my car battery to fail so suddenly and without warning? [more inside]
posted by cosmic.osmo on May 26, 2010 - 18 answers

No Cars Go

EMERGENCY! My car is about to go kablewy (as in any day now), and I have to commute 30 miles a day to work. I can't live without a car, and seeing as hubby and I just moved, we have no savings or nest egg to fall back on. We are looking for an affordable, fuel efficient, used car around $6000ish. IYHO: Who's the best used car dealer in town? [more inside]
posted by evilcupcakes on May 23, 2010 - 9 answers

A few volts here, a few amps there, and before you know it there might be nothing left!

Does leaving my phone's car charger plugged in to the car at all times significantly drain my car's battery? [more inside]
posted by Vorteks on May 20, 2010 - 22 answers

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