What is the most non-accusatory or neutral way to bring up body damage/scratches that likely occurred during a repair, when you are friends with the mechanic and he was already giving you a discount? [more inside]
I tried to jump start my car with two different cars on the other end. What's my next move? [more inside]
I had my transmission diagnosed as needing a rebuild and they quoted about $2800 in the northern Virginia area. The shop is well reviewed and recommended by another shop that I trust so I'm not concerned that I'm being scammed, but I'm having trouble weighing out whether I should just start looking at a new to me car or if we should have the transmission rebuilt. [more inside]
There is too much advice online. What's the best way to remove a small dent from my car? [more inside]
So some wonderful individual in a parking lot has christened my new car with its first scrape. Photo here. Is it sufficiently serious/deep that I should get it repainted immediately to avoid rusting issues? And if so, is it at all feasible to attempt a patch job myself? The internet at large is inconclusive on both counts.
Bought a car, and it didn't pass inspection, and it may need an expensive repair. What to do? [more inside]
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]
Took our Subaru to the transmission shop recommended by the local Subaru mechanic. That was in October. It's still there, and we are at the end of our rope. [more inside]
I was in an accident in a common mid-90s sports car. Summary: Body work, broken front axle. Because of the age and damage, the insurance will likely declare the car "totaled". My insurance will likely have to pay for repairs to the other car involved. I have liability only insurance, so they're not going to pay me anything regardless. No one was injured. Does my insurance need to care about my car, if it is liability only insurance, besides assessing for "fault"? One of my family members would like to repair the car. Assuming (he has done this kind of thing before, parts are plentiful, and time is not an issue) that he can make it safely drivable again, what do I need to do to make it legally drivable again? Is there anything I can do now to make it easier to get the car on the road in the future? I'm in northern Virginia.
My car has an air bag that is subject to the big air bag recall. Will a faulty passenger side air bag sensor cause my dealer not to replace my (presumably) faulty driver's side air bag? [more inside]
I had some work done on my car today. It's a 1994 Nissan Altima. I had a belt and pulley replaced, the engine gasket replaced, and the plugs and wires replaced. The oil was changed as well. Oil had leaked through the gasket and gotten on the engine, which they cleaned off. I drove 10 miles with no problems. [more inside]
My SO and I are planning on moving to another country in 2 years. We suspect it will be easier to not take any cars with us. We currently have 2 cars, but one seems to be auditioning to join the choir invisible. [more inside]
My 2-wheel drive 2005 Jeep Liberty needs brakes and I need some advice, please. [more inside]
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...
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]
We recent got a new-to-us used car. Other than following the manufacturer's scheduled maintenance, what should we do to maintain and maximize the life of the car? Examples inside. [more inside]
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]
My wife and I have a rather old Lexus with low miles. On each of the last two times we took it out, the car shuddered a couple of times (like driving over a bump) and then lost all engine power, conking out in the middle of the road. There was no sound involved--just that little shudder, and then no power. Each time, we had to push it to the shoulder. Each time, the car would start up again with no problem--but would not stay on. Some more details inside--any ideas what's up? [more inside]
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?
I hit a large, well camoflaged and unmarked "pothole" in a nearby town in MA. It was impossible to see. It ripped the oil pan out of my car and cost me $700 (towing, repair and rental car). I was not driving recklessly. Is it worth the trouble of getting in touch with the town and asking them to reimburse me? [more inside]
My car has been slow to start in the mornings for a year or two now. I've been ignoring it since mechanics couldn't seem to figure it out and it always eventually started. But this morning it was so slow to start that the battery died and I had to have it jump started, so I'm hoping someone here might be able to shed some light on it. [more inside]
The "tappets" or hydraulic lifters in my ten-year-old Hyundai Elantra have started making noise. tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap. [more inside]
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.
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]
I drive a 2004 Hyundai Elantra GLS. I don't know what happened but the muffler stopped working. Basically, my car started making more and more noise over a several weeks and I procrastinated taking it in, and then one day a couple of weeks ago it's like the muffler stopped working entirely. My car is now quite loud. My question is any idea what happened and how much it will cost to get it fixed?
Recently my car (2008 Vauxhall Zafira) has started making a metallic rattling sound when (a) the engine is turning over at very low revs (i.e. when starting the engine) and (b) when going over bumps. When the engine is idling, or when driving along on a smooth road, the noise disappears. I can recreate the noise by grabbing hold of the exhaust pipe at the back of the car and wiggling it from side to side, so I assume that the noise is due to some bit of metal coming loose and banging around. I'm quite keen to fix this myself; can anybody suggest a more specific first troubleshooting step than "crawl underneath the car when it's cool and try to find the loose part"? I have no way of raising the car up, but I reckon if I park it with one side on the curb I can get underneath and take a look. If successful, I will update this thread with my findings :-)
How do I go about getting a car to go to work? [more inside]
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]
I have a two-car garage with a LiftMaster automatic garage door opener that is misbehaving and it's driving me crazy. It seems to be randomly just opening the door long after it is closed and I can't figure out why. I've seen the other questions about garage door openers but was hoping for some advice specific to my situation. [more inside]
I've been on a cross country road trip for over 35 days, originally departing from Los Angeles. While driving back home, I got caught in a rain/thunderstorm in Louisiana and rear-ended the car in front of me. I only have liability insurance, so the other party is taken care of but I have to take care of my own busted car. I'm wondering if it's worth getting it fixed up or just getting a new car once I get back home. [more inside]
Am I getting a fair price on 100K maintenance for my 1999 Avalon? [more inside]
Car inspection time in Philadelphia! Help us not get screwed over. [more inside]
I know very little about cars. So why won't mine start? [more inside]
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]
Somebody has decided to remove most of my door handle in an attempt to get into my car, or in a fit of rage, or something. Will getting it repaired through my insurance make my rates go up? Should I try and fix it myself? [more inside]
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]
Safety/severity questions with a bad tie rod. [more inside]
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]
My brake pedal sinks when I turn on my car. And my brake lights flicker. What could be the problem? [more inside]
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]
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]
2012 Beetle-filter - I just got one and I'm looking for ways to make it MORE retro looking. [more inside]
Rattling muffler/exhaust? [more inside]
Considering buying an old pickup truck (Hilux), and teaching myself how to maintain/repair it. Where to begin?
Considering buying an old pickup truck (Hilux), and teaching myself how to maintain/repair it. Where to begin? [more inside]
I have a question about car problems and the best course of action. On Tuesday my car made a thump/shuttering noise while driving and now Firestone says I need around $600 worth of repairs. 2004 Hyundai Elantra with around 56,000 miles. [more inside]
Car accident. If the repair costs more does your insurance go up more? [more inside]
I have some questions about my car/car repair, specifically about having driven without a cap on my break fluid and my cabin and engine filters. 2004 Hyundai Elantra. [more inside]
Fix it or replace it Filter. My car Stacy, a 1997 Chevy Malibu, is having issues again. Lots of issues. I'm trying to decide if we should get couples therapy at the mechanic or DTMFA. Hope me hivemind in deciding. [more inside]
our 2006 honda civic EX sedan (automatic) is having occasional problems shifting into reverse. we're taking it in to be fixed, but i want to try and read up on this beforehand. fascinating details inside. [more inside]
Check engine light came on this morning. Auto repair guy is giving me a very large estimate and an offer to just buy the car off my hands. I know next-to-nothing about cars, so can't tell if he's robbing me or not. People who know cars, help me figure this out? [more inside]