150 posts tagged with automotive.
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How long should insurance take to finalize an auto damage estimate?

I was hit by another driver, who sped off and likely won't be caught (no plate). I have coverage for this but it took nearly three weeks for my insurance company to approve the estimate from the shop. The first adjuster assigned to the claim wasn't local to the area and tried to do everything by phone/email and the company wasn't particularly communicative about the process. Is this run-of-the-mill feet-dragging for insurance companies or does mine suck? [more inside]
posted by DyRE on May 26, 2016 - 9 answers

For a car newbie, are swap meets useful?

I'm a really new automotive DIYer. I'm interested in all the auto swap meets that will happen this spring/summer. Should I go, or will it all go over my head? [more inside]
posted by methroach on Apr 22, 2016 - 6 answers

mrfishit.exe on my car's computer?

An odd error message appeared on the navigation screen in my 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe yesterday that said something about not connecting to mrfish.exe. It was a small message and the systems all seemed to be working, and the message vanished when I restarted the car nor has it yet reappeared. [more inside]
posted by Jamesonian on Mar 25, 2016 - 4 answers

Enlighten me on HID / Xenon Headlights in California

Are HID / Xenon headlights legal in california and if so what are the restrictions? [more inside]
posted by nurgle on Mar 7, 2016 - 2 answers

New Car Smell: Only Great in Theory

I just got a new car! Hooray! The new car smell was exciting at first, but now it's giving me a headache. What can I do to get rid of it? [more inside]
posted by yasaman on Mar 7, 2016 - 11 answers

Detail My Ride . . . Difficulty Level: NYC

Can anyone in the NYC area recommend an auto detailing shop that can manage light paint correction and scratch repair work? [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Jan 29, 2016 - 3 answers

Pros & cons of replacing an older automobile engine vs remanufacturing

If I'm going to fix an older car with a broken engine, what are the pros and cons of (a) trying to get replacement engine vs (b) having the engine remanufactured? [more inside]
posted by wildblueyonder on Jan 26, 2016 - 29 answers

Possible to warp/bend screw in two post car lift?

This is what I'm talking about, but MUCH older. It uses a motor to belt drive a 10ft vertical screw, which in turn chain drives another screw on the other side. A ~2600lb car was left on a lift like this , raised to the top for the better part of a year. Can this damage the lift-screw? [more inside]
posted by shenkerism on Oct 18, 2015 - 5 answers

Help for 2000 Toyota Solara convertible: top goes down, won't go up

2000 Toyota Solara convertible, treated very well, the one previous owner was my mom. And of course the actual day I got this car the automatic top stopped working -- but only one way, putting it back up. (The top can still be pulled up manually but it is very heavy and I am but one small person.) Automatic top still works great putting the top down. I'm looking for resources and my Google-fu is weak. [more inside]
posted by fiercecupcake on Sep 18, 2015 - 5 answers

What headlights can I buy in the US that will fit a 2006 Toyota Voxy?

Some friends of mine are visiting the USA from Guyana. In Guyana they drive a 2006 Toyota Voxy. This car is not sold in the US. They want to buy brighter-than-stock headlights for it while they're here in the US, to take back to Guyana with them. But because the car isn't sold here, they can't find any information on which headlights might be compatible. [more inside]
posted by Vorteks on Jul 29, 2015 - 8 answers

Is it time to put my '99 Honda Civic to pasture?

'99 Civic Four-Door. 101k miles. $2k in repairs over the past year. Now needs new O2 sensors and brake lines, coming to $850 or so. Should I stay or should I go? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by HeroZero on Jul 22, 2015 - 22 answers

Urgent search for a blind spot mirror with "lane-change corner" line

Hoping to find a convex blind spot mirror like this, with a "corner line", indicating whether the car behind you is far enough away for safe lane-changing. Google and Autozone etc. have plenty of convex blind spot mirrors, but none with the all-important line. What is the name of this feature/do you recognize this product? [more inside]
posted by warm_planet on Jul 11, 2015 - 11 answers

Why has my car's radiator cracked 3 times in 3 years?

The radiator on my 2009 Honda Civic has cracked yet again. Why does this keep happening? [more inside]
posted by matkline on Apr 10, 2015 - 5 answers

Snow tire information overload - what should I buy?

I have a 1999 Ford E150 van with iffy tires. I want to get some snow tires but the variables are driving me nuts. [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on Feb 11, 2015 - 18 answers

Gauging the reliability of a Japanese Imported yet European make of car

Hello, I am thinking of importing a car from Japan to Canada. To import to Canada, the vehicles must be 15 years old, but usually have very low mileage. I have done this before with Japanese models with great results. Now I am thinking of importing either a 2000 Alfa Romeo 156, or a 2000 BMW 3 series Wagon. Both have relatively low mileage of around 75K... [more inside]
posted by cascando on Feb 9, 2015 - 8 answers

How do you COMPLETELY disconnect a car's factory-installed panic alarm?

I need to know how to completely disconnect a factory-installed panic alarm on a 2002 Hyundai Sonata to keep it from drawing power on the battery. [more inside]
posted by LillyBird on Oct 26, 2014 - 12 answers

How would George Jetson buy a car?

What are currently the most relevant blogs / websites / articles / experts on the future of automotive retail? [more inside]
posted by eau79 on Oct 11, 2014 - 1 answer

Temperature gauge fluctuations in a 2006 Scion TC?

Recently replaced the thermostat on my 2006 Scion TC, now the heat gauge is fluctuating again within the first 15 minutes of my commute, after which is settles. Am I going crazy? Is my car going to explode? [more inside]
posted by picklesthezombie on Sep 24, 2014 - 9 answers

What is this bolt that fell off the bottom of my '99 Honda Civic?

Driving home from work, my '99 Honda Civic suddenly got louder and, in addition, stared making a tinkling noise. I parked to look underneath and saw that there was a bolt dangling from the middle of the car. It's about 9 inches long, still has a nut on it, and was attached at the other end to a rubbery, possibly oval-shaped gasket sort of thing. Any ideas on a) what this is and b) how much I can reasonably expect to pay to get it fixed? [more inside]
posted by HeroZero on Jun 25, 2014 - 5 answers

What is the correct A/C refrigerant pressure for '04 Scion xB?

What is the proper air conditioning refrigerant pressure for a 2004 Scion xB? Should the pressure reading be made at a specific RPM? My A/C has been slowly loosing cooling over the last couple of years, now it really only cools well when traveling above 35~ mph, not so well at all in stop-and-go situations. Does it sound like I am on the right track to recharge the system? Works pretty well at steady-state speeds...
posted by Exchequer on May 31, 2014 - 6 answers

How do I know if the car dealer "really" cancelled my buyer's agreement?

Made a few mistakes in signing under pressure on a car purchase. Never had possession of the vehicle and was due to finalize payment the following day. In the meantime, I realized that the dealer did not give me my copy of the purchasing agreement and began to worry that the verbal assurances they gave me about the car's certification and warranty were not on the contract. The next morning (today), I return to the dealer, request my copy and confirm my fears. I demanded that they cancel the contract, which they did, but now I am wondering if it is "really" cancelled. [more inside]
posted by Gray Skies on May 19, 2014 - 8 answers

How to quickly get rid of some old gas?

I have one of those cherry red gasoline jugs that I use to store gas for my lawnmower. Usually I just re-use the gas from year to year, but I know that's bad (OLD GAS!), and I'm trying to take better care of my mower and do things like use new gas and change the oil and, you know, stuff, so I'd like to get rid of it and get some new gas... [more inside]
posted by kbanas on May 9, 2014 - 12 answers

Cheap car! Expensive scrape?

My no longer able to drive grandparents recently gave me a great deal on their low mileage car. However, they got into a few scrapes before parting with it... [more inside]
posted by heliostatic on Oct 31, 2013 - 10 answers

Vinyl separated from car roof. How to fix?

Hi everyone. I have an old 1992 Toyota Camry. The interior vinyl has separated from the car roof, as you can see in these pictures. How do I fix this? Any suggestions very much appreciated.
posted by Alaska Jack on Aug 31, 2013 - 8 answers

How much of a danger is this oil leak?

I found out last night that my car is leaking oil onto my exhaust system. (That certainly explains the hot oil smell I've been smelling.) The guy at the lube shop said I should only use the car for short-distance driving until I can get it fixed, lest the exhaust get hot enough to cause the oil to catch on fire. Complication: I was planning taking a 45-mile trip this evening (and a 45-mile trip back afterward). I would hate to have to cancel. How big of a risk is this, really? [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet on Aug 23, 2013 - 18 answers

Repair old car, or buy new car?

I have a 2000 Saturn LS1 which I have been driving for a decade with basically no problems; it has 120,000 miles on it. On the way to a camping trip this weekend the car broke down and the damage is apparently quite serious. Repairs to the car would cost less than buying a new car, but would I be throwing good money after bad if I repaired it? [more inside]
posted by Kiablokirk on Jul 29, 2013 - 11 answers

Leaky something-or-other on Saturn radiator.

My poor, bedraggled 1996 Saturn is losing coolant. I can see where it's losing it from! I have no idea what it is or how to fix it. [more inside]
posted by curious nu on Jun 11, 2013 - 13 answers

I would like to have a collection of Dan Neil's fascinating auto reviews

Dan Neil wrote for the Raleigh News and Observer years ago (the 90s?), turning automobile review columns into art both surreal and life-affirming. I loved it, even though I hate cars. I want to buy a book of some of his reviews from that era, but I don't think it exists. Any ideas on how I could get some of his writings from that era? [more inside]
posted by amtho on Jun 5, 2013 - 3 answers

mini cooper warning light question

Any mini cooper owners have any experience with the warning light that looks like a mini on stilts? [more inside]
posted by fingers_of_fire on Feb 9, 2013 - 5 answers

Fuel injection huh?

Mechanic-filter: AAA just fixed my car and I don't understand how. Explain it to me like I'm 5 years old. [more inside]
posted by jabes on Oct 1, 2012 - 14 answers

I've been reading about locksmith scams

I bought a new 2012 Toyota Corolla LE. I received 2 Master keys (Smart keys with buttons) and a valet key (starts the car, but doesn't open the trunk). The dealership wants crazy $ to make more keys. They're equipped with an immobilizer, so only those keys can be used to start the car. I want a spare that will open the doors in case I lock myself out, either for a Hide-A-Key under the car or my wallet. Will a $3 duplicate from a hardware store accomplish this? If not, is there a cheap way to go about it?
posted by anonymous on Sep 14, 2012 - 13 answers

I never liked those screws anyway!

I torqued off the heads off of the screws that fix one of my car's rotors to the hub assembly, and I had to reassemble it and leave for work before I could extract the broken remainders and find replacements. Now that I'm thinking about it, it seems like they only serve to hold the rotor in place when the wheel isn't there. Do I need to replace them?
posted by pullayup on Jun 14, 2012 - 25 answers

Do cars really go 10,000 miles between oil changes these days?

We bought our first new car of the millennium back in March, and it came with free oil changes for life. Since it hit 5000 miles this week, my wife stopped by the dealership for an oil change / tire rotation. They are telling her that the car (2011 Corolla) only needs an oil change every 10,000 miles because they are using synthetic oil. I religiously change the oil in my cars every 5000 miles, and the idea of going 10,000 miles makes me nervous. Should it make me nervous?
posted by COD on May 23, 2012 - 27 answers

How were car emblems designed?

My focus is mainly on the chrome badges that labeled models of the 1940sā€“ā€™70s, as celebrated at Chromeography. Who was generally responsible for designing the emblem? Were they from inside the car company? Did they have lettering experience or were they more often car designers who were handed the job because there was no one better available? Has the situation changed much since then? [more inside]
posted by Typographica on May 23, 2012 - 1 answer

Looks like you need a costly car repair...not!

How do car dealer customer reps in the repair shop get paid? Salary? Commission? Both? [more inside]
posted by teg4rvn on May 2, 2012 - 8 answers

Disappearing power steering fault on a Toyota aygo

Power steering failure, AA guy said it was the alternator, dealership (where it's under warranty) claim they can find nothing wrong with the alternator or any aspect of the power steering. Warranty expires next month. What now. [more inside]
posted by cilantro on May 2, 2012 - 14 answers

Wheels on the box go round and round

What do I need to know to buy all-new wheels for my 2006 Scion xB? [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon on Feb 1, 2012 - 4 answers

Collection of questions concerning creatively capturing cars with a camera?

I am a novice photographer who would like to improve my skills at photographing vintage cars primarily outdoors in natural light. I am looking to replace my old Nikon D50 and 18-55mm lens with a Nikon D3300. What would be the must-have lenses, filters and accessories for my task? Also best camera settings? Also interested in tricks for getting compelling images. Close up? High angle? Low angle? Just experiment? [more inside]
posted by punkfloyd on Jan 24, 2012 - 17 answers

How to become a mechanic? With SA?

How does a person become a mechanic, ideally, and is this line of work compatible with social anxiety? [more inside]
posted by MrFish on Jan 16, 2012 - 27 answers

What does 4WD feel like

What does four-wheel drive "feel" like? How would I know that it's on and operational? [more inside]
posted by foxy_hedgehog on Jan 15, 2012 - 20 answers

Shop says car engine seized, with no warning signs. Need advice.

Catastrophefilter. Auto shop just called, say Subaru has seized engine. Baffling, because no warning signs. ~$5,000 for new one. Options? [more inside]
posted by Alaska Jack on Nov 28, 2011 - 27 answers

Trying to find new-type winter tires to fit older car

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]
posted by Alaska Jack on Nov 11, 2011 - 13 answers

Mass transit.

I'm spending nearly $400/month on automotive-related expenses for a car I don't enjoy driving. That's about 25% of my monthly income, and when it really comes down to it, I think I'd rather be saving that money for something better, like travel. Or education. Or Scotch. Lots and lots of Scotch. [more inside]
posted by bhayes82 on Nov 7, 2011 - 34 answers

My SUV Stereo is Haunted

Why does the factory stereo in my 2002 Ford Escape (AM/FM stero, 4 speaker, six disk changer) randomly change stations and randomly change or eject CD's? [more inside]
posted by imjustsaying on Aug 16, 2011 - 3 answers

Stay stuck dammit.

In search of clearcoat or other substance that will allow vinyl wall stickers to survive the elements of Canadian spring/summer/fall. [more inside]
posted by 256 on Aug 10, 2011 - 1 answer

Be still, Aztek, be still!

My sister's new-to-her 2003 Aztek shudders sometimes. [more inside]
posted by galadriel on Aug 9, 2011 - 12 answers

Why would the A/C make my car accelerate rough?

Why does my car's air conditioner cause it to hesitate when accelerating? [more inside]
posted by breakin' the law on Jul 30, 2011 - 9 answers

Help me help my Honda.

Just had to replace the rotors on my Honda Accord. Again. Help. [more inside]
posted by googly on Jul 28, 2011 - 15 answers

I need to find the best tire store in Northern Virginia.

I need to find the best tire store in Northern Virginia. My '04 Tiburon has a wheel that's been leaking air for months and after failures by three different tire shops I'm at my wit's end. [more inside]
posted by Jamesonian on Jul 24, 2011 - 11 answers

How can I get a title for a junkyard car?

How can I get a title to a previously owned car that was sold to a junkyard? [more inside]
posted by Elminster of Labor on Jun 7, 2011 - 4 answers

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