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Looking for the Goldilocks of Prii

The stars have aligned and I am looking to purchase a new car in the Bay Area. I am drawn to the Toyota Prius, but am confused by all of the different options and models (all the while being distracted by other cars). I've read a lot of reviews and write-ups, but would appreciate an updated ask.me on the Prius! [more inside]
posted by sums on Sep 17, 2014 - 15 answers

Need some clever car names

What are some fictional car names that sound funny or would get someone to raise a smile? I know there are some out there; I get asked about car names sometimes and want to put some fun responses together.
posted by circular on Sep 17, 2014 - 47 answers

Keeping car battery charged over winter

Is a trickle charger the same as a 2 amp charger? [more inside]
posted by pmaxwell on Sep 15, 2014 - 4 answers

Car buying/insuring/registering/drivers licensing in North Carolina

I have never purchased a car. I got a handmedown as a teen/college student, then lived in public transportation friendly locations the last many years. I'm now in North Carolina-walk me through the steps like I'm the idiot I am. [more inside]
posted by atomicstone on Sep 15, 2014 - 14 answers

How can I get the gasoline smell out of a car?

I spilled some gasoline in a rental car. How can I clean it and get rid of the smell before I return it in a few days? [more inside]
posted by bradbane on Sep 11, 2014 - 5 answers

Portland, Oregon Auto mechanic recommendation?

As a result of a series of events, it looks like I will be driving my boyfriend's older Bronco as a daily vehicle for a while. Before I start doing this, the Bronco should be tuned up and given a once-over and determined to be mechanically sound. I don't have an existing relationship with an auto mechanic. Can you recommend one in Portland, Oregon? [more inside]
posted by Kpele on Sep 9, 2014 - 4 answers

New York City joint car ownership for a complete newbie

My unmarried partner and I live in Queens. He had a car when we moved in together, and the title, registration, and insurance have always been entirely in his name - I didn't even drive it. The car died this summer and we are looking to buy a used car free and clear from a friend, so car payments are thankfully not an issue. I have been thinking that maybe I should consider being more involved with the car, but I am utterly clueless about the most basic details, and don't know where to start. [more inside]
posted by Neely O'Hara on Sep 4, 2014 - 3 answers

Things to do around Philadelphia with a car

We live in Philadelphia and just bought a car. Help us think of things to do and places to go outside of the city! [more inside]
posted by The Michael The on Sep 3, 2014 - 20 answers

Cheap car rental Albuquerque, NM?

Going to the reservation in Albuquerque, NM for about 5 weeks. Checked online for price quotes on car rental - and the cheapest I found online was about $58 per day --which is too much across the span of 5 weeks. Will need a ride from the airport to the reservation; and for just general getting around purposes on weekends etc. Any help or advice on where or how to get a better rate? Thanks in advance for any information or help.
posted by proficiency101 on Sep 3, 2014 - 8 answers

Whether to spend a whole year's salary on a car

I make $93,000 net a year and want to buy a $95,000 car. I'm 28, and keen to enjoy life before I get tied down with family and other commitments. I'm seeking your wisdom. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 3, 2014 - 92 answers

Best car for a 'dry heat'

My boyfriend, who lives in Tempe, AZ near Phoenix, just had his 2000 Subaru Outback give up the head-gasket ghost. He's going to need another car, but neither of us know much about cars which are built to withstand heat. Please suggest cars to look at! [more inside]
posted by nat on Sep 2, 2014 - 14 answers

Should I jump start my car immediately? Or can I leave it till tomorrow?

Just went out to the family car to find it has a flat battery. Such a lovely day outside, I really don't feel like jump starting it, and I don't need it today. However, I was speaking to my father (who's overseas, I'm house sitting) and he'd prefer I do it today as car batteries shouldn't be left in an uncharged state as doing so does damage. Is this true? [more inside]
posted by tomargue on Aug 29, 2014 - 12 answers

I had a semi/car accident recently. Who would be at fault?

I'm in a tricky situation with a car accident. [more inside]
posted by Chelsaroo650 on Aug 29, 2014 - 17 answers

What is a good non-mileage based car service schedule?

I own a 2004 Mazda3 5-door. I love my car and love not having car payments and want to keep it running well as long as possible. I get oil changes fairly regularly, but I don't know what other maintenance or inspections I should be getting. [more inside]
posted by misskaz on Aug 27, 2014 - 12 answers

Advice and information about maintaining the brakes on my Jeep, please.

My 2-wheel drive 2005 Jeep Liberty needs brakes and I need some advice, please. [more inside]
posted by Cookbooks and Chaos on Aug 27, 2014 - 10 answers

Getting Rid of My Car: What's the easiest way that will make the most?

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]
posted by odayoday on Aug 26, 2014 - 19 answers

Lease or buy a car for business use?

I'm trying to decide between leasing or buying a car. It would be anywhere from 50-100% business use. Does this make a difference? [more inside]
posted by CommonSense on Aug 25, 2014 - 8 answers

Tent for the liftgate of my minivan

I want to make a tent that goes over the opened lift gate (hatchback?) of my minivan. The ones I've seen are expensive, and I have an old tent, plus a couple of old tent flies and some mesh screen. The tent acts as an extension of the van and allows in air. Could also be used as privacy space for the camping potty. So, ideas and suggestions for making it as good as possible? Have you ever made your own tent? [more inside]
posted by theora55 on Aug 20, 2014 - 3 answers

A town-owned tree fell on my car - town says they're not responsible

A large tree across the street fell on my car while I was sleeping and did a fair amount of damage. After getting two repair estimates as requested, the town's insurance company decided they have no responsibility as they didn't have prior knowledge of any problems with the tree. Is this the end of the story? [more inside]
posted by FlyByDay on Aug 10, 2014 - 11 answers

Reliable, Fuel-efficient, Low-cost

I am looking for a used car. [more inside]
posted by Scattercat on Aug 8, 2014 - 15 answers

Steps for purchasing a used car?

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]
posted by daisyace on Aug 4, 2014 - 4 answers

Can I register a car in NY and drive it into Canada right away? How?

I'm leaving NYC on Friday and driving to Canada for 12 days. I have a rental booked, but also just bought a car out of state and had it delivered to a mechanic. They did a safety inspection and some minor work that will not be completed until Friday, the same day I need to leave. The car does not have temporary out of state tags or license plates but I have an appointment with the DMV on Thursday. If possible, I'd like to drive this vehicle to Canada but am very skeptical of the timeline. [more inside]
posted by nathancaswell on Jul 30, 2014 - 6 answers

Should I buy a car with 170,000 miles on it?

Good maintenance/car history/reliability/price versus everything else [more inside]
posted by mermily on Jul 29, 2014 - 19 answers

Help a Newbie Figure Out How to Buy A Car

I'm an inexperienced driver in LA who is starting researching how to buy a car (I'm considering both new and used at this point but probably the latter is more likely; I'll definitely be going to some dealer showrooms) for the first time. I don't know much about cars and I am feeling a bit lost. [more inside]
posted by zresearch on Jul 29, 2014 - 13 answers

What kind of car is in this political advertisement?

What is the car in this political advertisement? I believe it says Chevrolet on the front, but I'm not sure. Please limit discussion to identifying the car and not the people or politics in the ad - thanks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2hSvyNHJN8
posted by Seeking Direction on Jul 27, 2014 - 7 answers

Run away from a used car that's barely been driven in years?

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]
posted by daisyace on Jul 26, 2014 - 8 answers

Oh, the problems of not opening one's mail - auto insurance edition

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]
posted by heigh-hothederryo on Jul 25, 2014 - 7 answers

What kind of car insurance do I really need?

What kind of car insurance do I really need? I feel like I'm spending too much and possibly overdoing it. I'm with Progressive now but don't have any particular loyalty. This is in Wisconsin. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Jul 24, 2014 - 12 answers

Why did my cat die?

I found my cat dead under my car and I am trying to find out why. [more inside]
posted by mermily on Jul 22, 2014 - 19 answers

Cheapest way to drive an 8x4x1' package from LA to Burningman?

I'm planning on building a Hexayurt and driving it to Burningman and back. I'm told that Hexayurts fold up into a package that's approximately 8x4x1' large. Unfortunately, my car is a 2002 Toyota Camry LE without a roof rack (and without rain gutters, so roof racks are challenging/expensive to install). What's my cheapest option that's still safe for a 1300 mile car trip? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Jul 16, 2014 - 17 answers

Very basic car battery question

The internet says positive should be reconnected first, but that's not as easy as it should be. What's the best option? [more inside]
posted by notquitemaryann on Jul 16, 2014 - 13 answers

Car safety ratings, other than crash tests?

It's time to shop for a replacement car, and I'm interested in sizing up safety. I'm aware of IIHS for crash safety stats. I'd like to evaluate from other angles, especially safety stats from actual accident reports, but possibly other points of view I haven't though of. [more inside]
posted by mattu on Jul 14, 2014 - 13 answers

I'd like to convert a car to cash with minimal hassle.

I have a car I don't use that much, and a looming home repair that needs some money thrown at it. I'd like to convert the car to cash to be thrown at the home repair. But, in the face of the home repair vortex, I'd like to avoid getting bogged down in car-sale hassles. Is it a giant hassle to sell the car privately, or am I best off selling straight to a dealership? [more inside]
posted by COBRA! on Jul 14, 2014 - 10 answers

What are some guidelines for haggling at a used car dealership?

Tomorrow I begin my very first tour of local used car dealerships, ISO a reasonably-priced Suburu wagon. I've bought and sold several vehicles via Craigslist, and done my share of haggling and getting haggled (haggled at? behaggled?), but only with individuals, not corporations. Do the same rules of etiquette apply? [more inside]
posted by t(h)om(as) on Jul 13, 2014 - 25 answers

Weary travellers seek entertainment!

Seven hours to kill in Los Angeles - how to occupy our time? Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by liquorice on Jul 13, 2014 - 18 answers

Buying a used European car for $5k or less after a car-less decade: y/n?

Used car filter: after a decade without owning a car, I'd like to get back into the game. I'd prefer to spend $5k or less. I understand this means older cars/higher miles. I find myself drawn to early 2000s VW Golfs/GTIs, late-90s BMW 300 series, '90s Saabs, early '00s Volvos. Are any of these types going to be substantially more reliable or cheaper to maintain than others? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Jul 12, 2014 - 38 answers

Boston Logan Rental Car Taxes!!

We go see my mom in Welfleet, Cape Cod once a year and usually spend the night in Boston after the flight, in which case we pick up a rental in Cambridge where it is hundreds of dollars cheaper a week due to airport taxes (or so I am told by the rental car agencies) [more inside]
posted by silsurf on Jul 10, 2014 - 17 answers

Neighbors, drunk driving, and car damage - what to do?

How to get our unemployed and non-insured neighbors to pay for car damage? Our downstairs neighbors (we split a house) are borrowing an (uninsured) car from their friend over the summer. After getting super drunk early Mon, they somehow barrelled out of the garage, hitting our car and (we think) another car parked in the street. They didn't confess to hitting our car until we approached them with evidence and long after I had already filed a hit-and-run report.... [more inside]
posted by ch3ch2oh on Jul 9, 2014 - 34 answers

How to make driving more comfortable/fun?

My boyfriend drives a lot for work, maybe a couple of hours a day, a few days a week. I'm looking for things that will make his drive more comfortable. [more inside]
posted by brynna on Jul 9, 2014 - 26 answers

No power to car stereo or starter

While installing a new car stereo in my 1999 Saturn SW2, I screwed something up, as I no longer get voltage to the orange "constant power" wire (well, sometimes a mere hundredth of a volt!) to my car stereo, and my engine won't crank either! Yet all of my other electronics (headlights, air conditioner, etc.) work fine. Is there a blown fuse preventing power from getting to the starter and the car stereo? If so, where might the fuse be? The fuses in the fuse box are all fine.
posted by Eiwalker on Jul 9, 2014 - 2 answers

are there secret ways to find a hard-to-find car part?

We need a center link for our 1994 G20 van. Our mechanic called around and couldn't find one, but said we might find one on the internet. No luck so far. Are there any secret places or techniques to find a part like this?
posted by lgyre on Jul 3, 2014 - 7 answers

Rusting Car Roof - What Are My Options?

My car roof is rusting extensively along the windshield edge. I don't know if I can get it fixed anymore as it has gotten bad rather quickly. What are my options? More inside [more inside]
posted by christiehawk on Jul 2, 2014 - 8 answers

Former epileptic getting her license back in Ontario; insurance?

My wife, clean from seizures for about two years, is getting her license back soon and I need to know if there's any pitfalls regarding insurance. [more inside]
posted by the dief on Jul 2, 2014 - 3 answers

Can I drive to a mechanic for repairs with no tax or MOT?

My car failed its MOT yesterday and, as a result of my bad time management, the tax disc has expired today. I can't tax it without it being covered by a valid MOT certificate, but I need to get it to a garage for repairs so that it can pass the MOT. Is it legal for me to drive it to the mechanic? [more inside]
posted by knapah on Jul 1, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me avoid getting ripped off buying a used Volvo wagon

I'm temporarily stranded in a pleasant but completely unfamiliar city on the east coast. Partly because used car prices seem to be much lower here than my native Seattle, I want to buy a used car while I'm here, and use it to travel west. I'm on the lookout for an early '00s Volvo wagon. Ordinarily, I'd pay to have a mechanic look over a prospective purchase, but that's just not a practical undertaking in my specific situation. So: should I just not do this? Or are there a few simple things to look for before buying a car that I could do in under, say, ten minutes, as a relative novice to car-buying and -servicing?
posted by t(h)om(as) on Jun 30, 2014 - 20 answers

How do you buy a used car?

How have you successfully bought a used car from a private owner? The last time I bought a used car was 14 years ago. Not sure how it's done anymore. [more inside]
posted by blueyellow on Jun 27, 2014 - 19 answers

Hauling stuff on a car with no roof rack

Is it possible to haul a portable dishwasher strapped on top of a Ford Taurus? [more inside]
posted by rossination on Jun 25, 2014 - 17 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

Dead Ford Van Question (wont turn over but electric is good?)

We have a low mileage 2000 Ford Econoline van which has been running well but now will not turn over. It was just running, turned it off, now it wont turn back on. We had to towed to a mechanic and they said it stated right up and could find nothing wrong, drove it home and same thing. All the electric is fine. Nothing happens when we turn the key, lights don't dim, nothing, but again, all the electric works great. A looses fuse or loose cable is what I would expect but where do we start with something like this? Thanks so much for any ideas.
posted by 1inabillionmistake on Jun 24, 2014 - 5 answers

Nannies/Caregivers/Families: how do you handle car insurance?

I'm currently applying for nannying jobs and have been informed by my car insurance company that my policy does not cover me if I am transporting a client in my car, and that they do not offer coverage for business purposes. They gave me contact information for their parent company, who might be able to help, but the parent company is not available until Monday. I'm in California, if that matters. [more inside]
posted by corey flood on Jun 21, 2014 - 1 answer

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