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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

What kind of car should my attorney husband buy?

Neither my husband nor I are "car people", so we have no clue what kind of cars we should be looking at for him. Details under the cut. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 17, 2014 - 56 answers

Any tips for getting a used Outback in Massachusetts?

Our mechanic has fixed our car from last week's question, but now I think we'll probably just get another used car. The Boston winters have convinced us we'd like something with good handling in ice and snow. We're not really SUV people. Because of their reputation for reliability (and ubiquity in the region), we're leaning towards a used Outback. Do you have any recommendations or tips 1) about buying a used car in MA generally, and 2) about buying a used Outback in particular? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Mar 12, 2014 - 12 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

I hate cars

Is what my tire shop did negligent? Or am I in the wrong for not being more thorough in my description of what was wrong with my car? [more inside]
posted by whistle pig on Aug 21, 2013 - 23 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

What do I need to know about buying a new car out-of-state?

I live in northern Virginia, and due to some weird circumstances, I am going to purchase (100% financed) a new car from a dealership in Missouri and drive it back home. What do I need to know? [more inside]
posted by nitsuj on May 19, 2013 - 4 answers

Do I have some sort of recourse against Ford?

I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus and it has been having performance issues that the dealer doesn't want try and fix. Should I risk aggravating the dealer and try to activate Ohio's lemon law or seek some other form of recourse? [more inside]
posted by charred husk on May 14, 2013 - 13 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

Do we need all this work? And is this a good quote?

My SO and I have a 1999 Lexus ES 300 with low miles (ca. 80K). We use it mostly on the weekend for errands. The car is in more or less good driving condition, but parking on the streets and Boston winters are taking their toll cosmetically. Dealership recommended $5100 in repairs on its recent checkup--nearly the value of the car--and we're wondering which repairs are worthwhile, which are overpriced and should be done elsewhere, and which can be skipped. [more inside]
posted by Calamity Jen on Mar 5, 2013 - 20 answers

Car Buying 101

I need a car. I'm poor. I've never bought a car before, and it's been a long time since anyone in my family has bought one. Need guidance. How do you buy a car? [more inside]
posted by royalsong on Feb 28, 2013 - 15 answers

Car-Buying Negotiations

I love my car. It is reliable, trustworthy, and it has carried me safely through at least one rather hairy situation. Best of all, it was cheap. When I touch the dashboard, I remember the thrill of the negotiation process, and even the salesman's sweaty palm as we shook hands on a price thousands of dollars lower than what my friend paid for the exact same model. [more inside]
posted by wolfdreams01 on Jan 30, 2013 - 21 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

Finding helpful car reviews that don't assume I'm a racer

What resources are available to accurately assess a car or truck's performance in specific situations? I'm interested in knowing how different makes and models stack up in stop-and-go traffic or poorly-maintained roads, and it seems every review site ignores or spends little time on situations like these. [more inside]
posted by CancerMan on Jan 18, 2013 - 7 answers

Dynamic / adaptive headlights: do they help me see where I am going and not what I'm missing?

Car-filter: how useful are dynamic / adaptive headlights (the ones that swivel when you turn)? Why do they appear to be going out of fashion? [more inside]
posted by meowzilla on Dec 23, 2012 - 5 answers

How much extra safety would a crash helmet offer a highway driver wearing a seatbelt?

How much extra safety would a crash helmet offer a highway driver wearing a seatbelt? [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 5, 2012 - 16 answers

Dashboard cam suggestions?

What type of dashboard camera should I buy for my automobile? [more inside]
posted by bamassippi on Nov 14, 2012 - 3 answers

"Buying" my car from my mom in NJ. What's the best/cheapest way to do this?

"Buying" my car from my mom in NJ. What's the best/cheapest way to do this? [more inside]
posted by carpyful on Sep 29, 2012 - 12 answers

Is leasing a Chevy Volt a great deal?

Is leasing a Chevy Volt a great deal? [more inside]
posted by evilelf on Sep 26, 2012 - 12 answers

How many dollars does it take to change an auto buyer's mind?

How much do car companies spend on advertising in the US? [more inside]
posted by taltalim on Jul 20, 2012 - 5 answers

NYC to Atlanta and back on $200 or less.

Round-trip from NYC to Atlanta, GA for under $200? On Labor Day weekend? [more inside]
posted by Urban Winter on Jul 5, 2012 - 15 answers

Bad interface design or something more?

What is the purpose of the on/off switch on my car's cruise control? [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Jun 23, 2012 - 25 answers

Car brakes "slip" while idling?

My car's brake pedal slowly depresses almost all the way to the floor while my foot is resting on it at a stoplight. It never used to do this. What's going on? [more inside]
posted by killdevil on May 27, 2012 - 30 answers

How should I go about selling my car?

How should I go about selling my car? [more inside]
posted by Leontine on Apr 16, 2012 - 10 answers

What do I do with a brand-new car?

How do you "break in" a new car? [more inside]
posted by feathermeat on Apr 9, 2012 - 22 answers

What happens if you're hit by an uninsured driver in WI?

My vehicle was damaged by a (possibly) uninstured driver in Wisconsin... What now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 29, 2012 - 7 answers

How to get the most bang for my used-car buck?

What should I look for/value in a used car when shopping on a tight budget? [more inside]
posted by gavagai on Mar 26, 2012 - 18 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

Damaged Car Door

Got in a car accident, car is damaged on the driver side door so that I can't open it or roll down the window. I need to roll down the window to swipe a parking pass to get into a garage, so what should I do? [more inside]
posted by symbollocks on Jan 10, 2012 - 22 answers

Mystery car

Can anyone identify the make and model of this car? [more inside]
posted by pjern on Sep 18, 2011 - 10 answers

What side of the turnpike should I choose?

Is there a safety difference between the car-only lane and the car/truck/bus lane on the NJ Turnpike? Any other strategic difference? [more inside]
posted by scblackman on Aug 13, 2011 - 5 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

Car accident. If the repair costs more does your insurance go up more?

Car accident. If the repair costs more does your insurance go up more? [more inside]
posted by doomtop on Jul 19, 2011 - 9 answers

What to know before buying an MG Midget?

How easy is it to own and maintain a 70's-era MG Midget? [more inside]
posted by jayder on Jul 11, 2011 - 26 answers

Alternator or battery?

Battery or Alternator? Clues inside. [more inside]
posted by daisyace on Jun 1, 2011 - 14 answers

How do automotive firmware engineers do their jobs?

Are you an automotive engineer? Do you design engine control module firmware? Do you know or love someone who does? How is that firmware actually written? [more inside]
posted by TheNewWazoo on Apr 9, 2011 - 17 answers

♫ If it's the last thing I ever do ♫

How to get some wheels & get outta this town? [more inside]
posted by distressingly thick sheets on Mar 31, 2011 - 11 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

Would you buy this used Toyota Corolla?

Would you buy this used Toyota Corolla? I've got a line on a 1997 Corolla with 150k on the engine, but the transmission was replaced five years ago (after dying at 125k) with a used transmission from JapanDirect. That transmission now has ~75k on it, in addition to whatever it had before it was installed. I'm having my mechanic look at the car this week, but have no idea if any of this is a warning sign. Is JapanDirect reliable, in your experience? Would you buy a used car with a replacement transmission?
posted by mediareport on Jan 23, 2011 - 14 answers

Death car, dumbass, or both?

Did the guy who did my oil change break my car, or is this a fluke? [more inside]
posted by Rallon on Jan 20, 2011 - 15 answers

Should I sell my car or keep it in stasis for ten months?

Should I keep my car with me and pay insurance for nearly a year of non-use, lease it, or sell it and hope to buy another one afterward? [more inside]
posted by ramenopres on Nov 3, 2010 - 10 answers

i want to replace the keyless entry system in my car

how hard is it to replace the third party keyless entry module in my car if i never done it before? [more inside]
posted by sammich on Oct 24, 2010 - 2 answers

Planning the Loving Annihilation of a 1997 Nissan Sentra in Seattle

Wanted: an extravagant (but responsible) way to get rid of my car in (or around) Seattle. [more inside]
posted by Chef Flamboyardee on Jul 19, 2010 - 21 answers

Please be safe, Zippy!

I need to store a car in Santa Barbara for two weeks. [more inside]
posted by SLC Mom on Jul 3, 2010 - 3 answers

How much further can I go in my 2004 Mazda 3 Sport GT once the gas light comes on?

How much further can I go in my 2004 Mazda 3 Sport GT once the gas light comes on? [more inside]
posted by Joseppi on Jun 22, 2010 - 22 answers

Cheap reliable car for Boston-area parents of infant?

Please help me choose a first car (and ideally a Boston-area dealer). Baby coming late August, we live in Cambridge (off-street parking), wife's new to driving. We want: baby-safe, reliable, envirofriendlyesque, comfortable, good trunk space, city-savvy. Used is fine. [more inside]
posted by waxbanks on Jun 10, 2010 - 31 answers

Should I just get another car?

What factors do you consider when thinking about getting rid of your old car and buying a new one? [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 13, 2010 - 17 answers

Ghost Riiiiiiide

My car has died. I live in New York City (Queens) and I need a car. Should I lease? Should I buy? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by orville sash on May 11, 2010 - 20 answers

Used car tips?

I'm thinking of buying a used car. Assuming that I know nothing about cars, what should I watch out for so I don't end up with a lemon?
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy on Apr 25, 2010 - 26 answers

Is $10,500 reasonable for a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta TDI?

Is $10,500 reasonable for a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta TDI? It's in very good condition and has 135,000 km. He'd be selling it certified and e-tested. The seller is asking $10,500. I countered with $9,500, and he came back with $10,000 not certified. How much does certification usually cost? Would I be wise just to go with what he's asking so everything's done?
posted by Joseppi on Apr 15, 2010 - 20 answers

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