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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

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

Magnetic combo spare key lockbox on your car: bad idea?

I am debating getting a spare key lockbox for my car so I can stop carrying the spare keys in my wallet, as is currently my custom. Is this uniformly stupid, and I shouldn't do it? Any particular errors to avoid, or a lockbox you can recommend? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Jun 2, 2014 - 9 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

Paid for a car repair that failed, but mechanic is gone after surgery

We started having trouble with our car almost a year ago. We paid $1500 for a repair that failed, and the mechanic tried twice more without additional charges. Now, it’s failed again, but the mechanic had heart surgery and closed down the shop, and I haven’t been able to reach him. Is there anything left to do, or do we just have to accept that we’re out the money without a fix, and start over with someone new? [more inside]
posted by daisyace on May 28, 2014 - 10 answers

Do I need stacked uninsured motorist coverage?

I'm trying to lower my car insurance rates and the rep with my insurance company suggested I drop stacked uninsured motorist coverage because I already have health insurance. I understand how the stacked coverage works but it seems redundant to carry it if I have heath insurance coverage. Am I misunderstanding how UIM coverage works?
posted by photoslob on May 16, 2014 - 4 answers

Recent car commercial - guy driving hears NASA or other space talk?

Couldn't Google this successfully - a recent car commercial in the US, guy is driving on a highway at night maybe. It sounds like NASA or other mission control and space noises are coming out of his radio giving the effect that he is driving a space ship. [more inside]
posted by cda on Apr 14, 2014 - 3 answers

$175 to replace a driver's side rear-view mirror?

I've been going to a repair shop here in LA for a while that I found through the Car Talk fora, but have been increasingly unhappy with them. I took my girlfriend's 2002 Ford Focus in to get an estimate on replacing the mirror, and got back a quote of $175ish, $100 for the part and $75 for the labor (meaning, an hour and a quarter for them at $60 per hour). The thing is, there are third-party mirrors for about $30, and from doing the same thing on a car years ago, I remember it taking about 20 minutes with the right tools. Are they trying to rip me off? Is this a reasonable ballpark for what seems like pretty minor work (the whole assembly pops on and off)? I don't have the tools to do this now (I'd need a deeper socket), so should I buy the part and take it to them? Are dealer mirrors really that superior? (It's out of warranty by now, obviously.) Should I take it to someone else? [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Apr 1, 2014 - 19 answers

Van warranty dilemma

On march 11, about two and a half weeks ago, I bought my dad's van. 2008 town and country. Thursday morning, it wouldn't start. It might be dead. The mechanic is still working on diagnosing the problem, but he's not getting compression on two cylinders. Anyway, the van had a lifetime non-transferable power train warranty, so if had broken on march 10th, Chrysler would have covered it. Is there any way to void the sale and get the warranty back? [more inside]
posted by artychoke on Mar 28, 2014 - 5 answers

What to do about small scratches on car?

I recently got some very small scratches on my car. What is the best thing to do about them?? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on Mar 26, 2014 - 9 answers

Moving cross-country, will need car--but when and where?

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]
posted by serelliya on Mar 24, 2014 - 11 answers

Reliable auto mechanic in Columbia, SC?

I have a relative who attends USC and lives around the St. Andrews area in Columbia, SC. He has a Toyota that's having some issues. Are there any auto repair places either near the university or around St. Andrews that you could recommend?
posted by inkyroom on Feb 14, 2014 - 3 answers

Risks of long-term borrowing a car from a friend?

I have a sudden need for a car for the next several months. An awesome friend has offered to lend me his. What could go wrong? [more inside]
posted by catesbie on Feb 1, 2014 - 22 answers

What do I need to know about filing a car insurance claim?

In November I purchased a 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon. Two days ago it was hit in the middle of the night. They drove off at the time, but came back the next morning and gave their insurance information. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Dec 12, 2013 - 7 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 scared should I be of a loose tie rod?

Safety/severity questions with a bad tie rod. [more inside]
posted by wanderingchord on Aug 4, 2012 - 11 answers

What do I use in my '95 Camry as power steering fluid?

My '95 Toyota Camry uses Dexron II transmission fluid as power steering fluid, but nobody sells Dexron II anymore... [more inside]
posted by Mercaptan on Jul 30, 2012 - 8 answers

Baby, you can drive my car, but I have to find one first.

How do I buy a car? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jul 27, 2012 - 29 answers

My car is doing a thing (and I would like it to stop)

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]
posted by restless_nomad on Jul 24, 2012 - 12 answers

Buying a car should really be as simple as Amazon

How exactly does one buy a car (first timer's edition)? [more inside]
posted by fishmasta on Jul 20, 2012 - 7 answers

Is the dealership scamming me?

Bought my used 01 Toyota Camry from a dealership over a year and a half ago. Today they inspected the brakes and told me all pads need to be replaced + new brake fluid + powersteering fluid flush + resurfacing the rotors, and new battery. I have been taking this vehicle to same dealership for routine oil changes which include multi-point inspections, and only the battery was an issue in the past. Am I wrong to think that after just over a year and a half I shouldn't need so much work done- should I complain and write a letter, or is this to be expected with a used vehicle? [more inside]
posted by biograd08 on Jul 14, 2012 - 20 answers

How can I obtain UK car insurance (just for a couple of weeks) with a US license

How can I obtain UK car insurance (just for a couple of weeks) with a US license while traveling. [more inside]
posted by zeoslap on Jul 3, 2012 - 18 answers

Creamed me in his mom's minivan!

Corvette body shops in the Chicago, IL, USA area? [more inside]
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere on Jun 27, 2012 - 13 answers

Am I going to kill my car by keeping it stopped?

Is it a bad idea to slightly accelerate on a steep uphill slope to keep a car with an automatic transmission stopped? [more inside]
posted by saeculorum on Jun 16, 2012 - 24 answers

do not buy your beer in the hood

The door on my crappy car got bent. It no longer makes a tight seal, and it is supposed to rain heavily for the next few days. Can I bend it back? [more inside]
posted by k8oglyph on Mar 13, 2012 - 7 answers

When to trade in my car for a new one?

Help me determine the optimal time to trade in my car for a new one. [more inside]
posted by jalexc on Jan 30, 2012 - 7 answers

How do I get my traction control fixed?

How do I convince the dealer to fix my car? Lonnnng explanation inside [more inside]
posted by clarkstonian on Jan 24, 2012 - 17 answers

Car accident and uninsured, complicated situation. What to do?

Got in a car accident two years; car rental, uninsured. Complicated situation, car rental company wants $35K from me. What to do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 14, 2012 - 27 answers

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