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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 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

Filling out an insurance form given a lot of flux

What do I put on a car insurance quote form? I am moving (NJ/NY/CA), changing jobs, and going through at least 3 unique stages of driving frequency/behavior over the next few months. And it really feels like most of this isn't the insurance company's business. But clearly I need to put *something* in each field. :) Help? Here are my facts, what parts of this should be put into the form? Work 1) I've worked full time in NY for just over a year now 2) I am unemployed between now and the end of June and for most of August 3) I have a full time, residential job in NY during July 3) I'm interviewing for jobs in CA that will begin in late August/early September and have already gotten at least one offer. But I haven't made the choice yet and won't for at least another month. Location 1) I've lived in NJ for just over a year now 2) I'm buying a used car from a friend in NC (my home state) next week 3) But I'm moving to CA and the car will be parked in CA starting in July 4) I myself will be in NY for the duration of July 5) I will begin renting and driving in CA in August Driving Behavior 1) Between June 1st and June 30th, I'm doing quite a bit of inter-state driving, although not all at once. 2) I'm parking the car and not driving it at all in July 3) I'm using the car to commute in CA in August and beyond [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on May 20, 2014 - 4 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

I want to go carless. How can I make the transition as easy as possible?

For a variety of reasons, I'm thinking of selling my car and switching to a carless lifestyle. Do you have any tips on how to make the transition as painless as possible? Maybe you've made the switch yourself? I think I have a pretty good handle on this, but I'd love any advice you can give. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Feb 8, 2014 - 41 answers

Replacement for carsort.com?

Is carsort.com dead? And assuming it is, is there a not-dead alternative for finding cars by features? [more inside]
posted by Mwongozi on Jan 28, 2014 - 4 answers

Are there any new small, vegan cars out there?

Please help me find a new small, good gas-mileage, vegan car. The car cannot have any leather anywhere in its interior, and it should ideally be equal to or less than 175 inches in length. I would also like it to be no more than $30,000.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl on Jan 22, 2014 - 30 answers

What would be involved in converting an old SUV into an electric vehicle

This is just a thought experiment at this point, and probably will remain so. In the back of my mind I have the idea that when my old SUV finally gives up the ghost I might rip out the internal combustion drivetrain and convert it to an electric vehicle, possibly with a removable range-extender generator. Setting practicality aside for the moment, can you help me envision what this would involve? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Jan 2, 2014 - 11 answers

How long should I wait before refinancing my car?

How long should I wait before refinancing my car? [more inside]
posted by Evilspork on Dec 15, 2013 - 4 answers

Good Toyota shop in Los Angeles for maintenance and repairs

Recently moved to the South Bay area of Los Angeles County and I am looking for a good place to take my Toyota Corolla for any maintenance and repairs it may need. [more inside]
posted by jayder on Dec 13, 2013 - 6 answers

A good mechanic near New Orleans for a '94 4Runner?

This is a long shot, but does anybody know a good mechanic in the New Orleans area who'll work on my old 4Runner? I'm having a hard time finding one for some reason. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Nov 29, 2013 - 5 answers

How might I squeeze a little extra mpg out of my old truck?

I've become mildly obsessed with trying to improve the fuel efficiency of my old truck. I've already done all the basic things and I realize that I'm fighting physics at this point, but what else might I consider if I wanted to make a bit of a hobby out of it? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Nov 19, 2013 - 28 answers

What should I keep in my truck's toolbox?

So I have an old truck. I'd like to hear your suggestions for tools, spare parts, fluids, etc that I should keep on hand in the truck either in case something goes wrong or in case I find myself having to do something tool-related while I'm out of the house. Hit me with your best suggestions! [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Nov 5, 2013 - 20 answers

I don't know how to google for the car stereo features I'm looking for

I want to buy a new car stereo, but have no idea how to google for the features I'm looking for. What I really want is a double din stereo that has a usb port on the front where I can plug in my iphone 5 and play it through the stereo. Now comes the hard part, I want to control the iphone from the iphone. Not through the stereo interface. In otherwords, I want to use the USB port as an Aux out. [more inside]
posted by bswinburn on Oct 21, 2013 - 10 answers

What's a car for a tall dad, with two carseats and two dogs?

I'm the dad of a growing family - a two-year-old, a baby about to be born, and a wife. And two small dogs. We need a family car, and are looking for something that will accommodate: * Dogs in the back (a wagon or hatchback) * Two rear-facing carseats. * A tall (6'3") man in a front seat. [more inside]
posted by YoungAmerican on Oct 2, 2013 - 34 answers

Fix it or Sell it

Over the past month or two my car has started exhibiting several problems, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the expense and hassle of repairing it or start looking for a new car. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Sep 24, 2013 - 21 answers

I don't know how to buy a used car, but I need to buy one soon.

The family's cars all got busted around the same time. They need to be replaced. I, individually, need to buy a used car. This will be the first car I buy on my own account. I have a tight budget, and I can't afford a mistake. I don't want to buy a money sink, but I don't want to sink all my money up front, either. I don't know cars at all: How can I find a good deal? What should I avoid? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Sep 12, 2013 - 25 answers

How should I cope when sharing a car with a dangerous driver?

I've recently had occasion to take a multi-hour drive with someone who who very consistently drove in a matter that felt very dangerous to me. There was a lot of tailgating, sudden lane changing, and more than a few last-second turns. I sat quietly in the back seat. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first on Sep 5, 2013 - 24 answers

Bumper Stickers!

I want to slather the tailgate of my truck in bumper stickers. I am a science-minded, fun-loving, environmentalist, social-justice-oriented, politically-progressive dude who fancies himself a connoisseur of the pithy phrase. (So, pretty much your average MeFite.) What are some of your favorite bumper stickers that you think a chap like me would appreciate, and where can I buy them? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Aug 28, 2013 - 36 answers

Frustrating Car Question

I have a huge car financing question that is giving me a headache. I plan to travel soon so I wish to pay off the amount I owe on a car that I've financed through Toyota Financial Services. This didn't seem like it would be such a huge deal, but then I run into this gem. [more inside]
posted by ishrinkmajeans on Jul 22, 2013 - 19 answers

Bargaining chips for buying newish used car

Is purchasing a used car outright with cash a bargaining chip for negotiations? What add-ons should I turn down from the dealership? [more inside]
posted by Ms. Toad on Jun 27, 2013 - 17 answers

VW - Y/N?

Is buying a used VW (or Audi) really that bad of an idea? [more inside]
posted by Venadium on May 24, 2013 - 31 answers

12v doodad ideas

So I've finally bought a car of my own (Alfa Guilietta) and in the boot (trunk) is a 12v outlet marked "180W maximum". Can anyone come up with ideas about what to use this for? It seems relatively pointless to me. [more inside]
posted by hardcode on Apr 14, 2013 - 16 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

Weird grinding from steering column

I have a 2005 Mazda 6 with about 170,000 miles. Over the past few days it first developed a weird, low-toned clicking sound whenever I made a turn (left or right), which seemed to come from the steering column area... maybe around my feet under the car. I drove it yesterday and today, and that sound has seemed to turn in to a grinding. It's also making a similar sound whenever I press the brakes. From what I could see the power steering fluid is above-level, but the reservoir is also really dirty which makes it hard to check accurately. To complicate matters, I was at a tire shop over the weekend (thought it had a leak - someone had just let the air out) and they had taken the tire off and put it back on - not sure if they're at all related. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 9, 2013 - 19 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

Mechanic filter: 1993 Honda del Sol sometimes starting and sometime not

About six weeks I purchased a 5-speed 1993 Honda del Sol Si. Overall, I'm very pleased with the transaction. It's in great shape and runs very nicely. However, ever since a few days after I bought it, I've had a very frustrating recurring problem. [more inside]
posted by fignewton on Feb 5, 2013 - 26 answers

Booster Seat Advice Needed

It's time to switch my kids from regular car seats to booster seats and I can't figure out which to buy or what features I should be looking for. If you've gone through this, can you please share your experiences to help me make a decision? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 18, 2012 - 8 answers

How do I get the most mileage out of my manual-transmission car?

Can you help me understand, once and for all, what I need to do to get the best mileage out of my manual-transmission car? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Oct 2, 2012 - 27 answers

Bought a Toyota, how do I make it last a long time?

I recently bought a 2011 Toyota Corolla with 37,000 miles on it, it's Toyota certified. I drive about 2000 miles per month (probably more). When I'm done with college, I'm hoping to move closer to work at reduce my overall commute by 50% or more, but right now I'm stuck at 2000ish miles a month (lots of alone car time). [more inside]
posted by snow_mac on Aug 22, 2012 - 18 answers

What's wrong with my car's brakes?

My brake pedal sinks when I turn on my car. And my brake lights flicker. What could be the problem? [more inside]
posted by morning_television on Jun 12, 2012 - 15 answers

Rent a BMW 3 or equivalent in NJ

Want to rent a BMW 3 or equivalent when I am in NJ. Pick up Newark airport or any other NJ location within 60 miles of Newark Airport. I found websites that rent out exotic cars for like $2k a day. I am not looking for an exotic car. I just want something like a bmw 3 or audio a4 etc. Can anyone recommend a site or rental company? I can look up the rates but if you know them then feel free to mention it. Thanks!
posted by r2d2 on Apr 22, 2012 - 5 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

Good city car that fits 2+ car seats?

What's a good car for city living that will allow me to have 2 car seats and room for passengers? [more inside]
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats on Mar 24, 2012 - 18 answers

Car Death and Taxes

How do I stop paying vehicle excise tax in RI when I haven't lived there in years and I don't even own the car anymore? [more inside]
posted by d(-_-)b on Feb 25, 2012 - 4 answers

Do car alarms really deter theft?

Do car alarms really stop car thefts? [more inside]
posted by juniperesque on Feb 5, 2012 - 14 answers

Trouble with the car insurance claim process

Got a really weird call from a car insurance company after a minor accident. How does the car insurance system work in Australia? [more inside]
posted by vidur on Sep 27, 2011 - 10 answers

What do I need to know about buying a new car? (Australia-specific)

So, despite my historical protestations to the contrary, I have found that it is no longer to function as a decent and well-rounded human being without being the owner of a car, which I can drive to the bottle shop and eventually crash and die in. [more inside]
posted by tumid dahlia on May 8, 2011 - 27 answers

How can I figure out the value of a used car?

Seeking recommendations for resource(s) to determine the value of a used car not sold in the U.S. -- and thus not listed by Kelly Blue Book. [more inside]
posted by donpedro on Apr 4, 2011 - 3 answers

Why do speedometers go so high?

Why do car speedometers go so high? [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket on Apr 4, 2011 - 28 answers

Jalopnik alternatives?

What are some fun car blogs? [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on Feb 3, 2011 - 17 answers

Intensive driving course = stupid idea?

I have to take two weeks off work in the next two months, and thought it would be a great idea to learn to drive. I've heard of 'intensive courses', which would theorically let you pass the driving test after 40+ hours -- in more or less 7 days. But! I'm not sure this is a great idea... (more inside) [more inside]
posted by Sijeka on Jan 30, 2011 - 10 answers

Help me identify these cars!

What are the makes/models/years of the cars in this photo? [more inside]
posted by TheRoach on Jan 13, 2011 - 13 answers

Negotiating tips to help buy a used Toyota Camry?

Tips for negotiating the price of a used car, namely a used Toyota Camry, years 2007-2010? [more inside]
posted by abdulf on Dec 26, 2010 - 7 answers

Do I need to change my car's fluids before this trip? Which ones? Anything else?

Taking my car (previously mentioned here) on a cross-country road trip on Saturday. Need some more advice. [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell on Sep 1, 2010 - 21 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

I can remember lying down in the back of station wagons and pickup trucks, but what did we do in the VW?

How did kids under 2 travel in cars before car seats were the norm, particularly on long trips? My mom recalls tots in the lap and something called a 'car bed' (got any pictures?). Would little ones get lap-belted in to prevent them from falling off the seat on corner-turns?
posted by xo on Jun 23, 2010 - 56 answers

What do I need to do before driving this car?

What do I need to do before driving this car? A car (2000 Toyota Corolla, previously in good shape) sat outside (in Maryland), unused, for two years. [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell on Jun 1, 2010 - 12 answers

How to go about buying a used car in Sydney?

I need help in figuring out how to go about buying a used car in Australia. [more inside]
posted by vidur on May 30, 2010 - 12 answers

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