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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will my GPS cigarette lighter adapter work overseas?

I am going to Ireland. Yay! We forgot to request a GPS with our car rental so I'm bringing mine from home (USA) in case they don't have any when we get there. Unfortunately, my GPS no longer holds a charge and has to be plugged in to work. Will my US cigarette lighter adapter work in an Irish car?
posted by elizeh on Jun 15, 2014 - 6 answers

Please help me buy my first car! Snowflakey details inside.

I am, unfortunately, in the market for a (used) car. I know nothing about cars. I need a car for upcoming PhD research travel to inaccessible places, but, being a PhD student, have very little money. I need help figuring out: a cheap but reliable car model, a price bracket to spend that will have me driving something that won't literally fall apart on the road, what my deal-breakers should be, and a game plan on where and how to actually purchase a used car. Help? [more inside]
posted by ClaireBear on Jun 9, 2014 - 29 answers

Toot toot beep beep

We will soon be owning and insuring a car in NJ, but are confused about how much coverage we should be getting. How much coverage do we need? [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 6, 2014 - 8 answers

Reduced highway mpg in a 1-year-old car. What gives?

2013 Subaru Crosstrek XV got 32-33 highway mpg last year. Now it gets 28. [more inside]
posted by nicodine on Jun 2, 2014 - 20 answers

How do I know if the car dealer "really" cancelled my buyer's agreement?

Made a few mistakes in signing under pressure on a car purchase. Never had possession of the vehicle and was due to finalize payment the following day. In the meantime, I realized that the dealer did not give me my copy of the purchasing agreement and began to worry that the verbal assurances they gave me about the car's certification and warranty were not on the contract. The next morning (today), I return to the dealer, request my copy and confirm my fears. I demanded that they cancel the contract, which they did, but now I am wondering if it is "really" cancelled. [more inside]
posted by Gray Skies on May 19, 2014 - 8 answers

Can I let my 2 year-old sleep in the back during a 10 hour long drive?

My wife and I want to go on a trip to Luxembourg. Its a 10 hour drive, and we want to do it during nighttime. However we have a 2,5 year old and we're wondering if we can let her sleep in the back in the car-seat for the entire ride? Will we do permanent damage to her body if we let her sleep in the carseat? Usually we just take a break if we go on long rides, and we've never considered her sleeping during a really long ride.
posted by madcow20 on May 15, 2014 - 16 answers

Best portable sucker windshield phone holding thing

I travel a fair amount for work and have discovered that most car-based GPS are crap compared to Google Maps and Waze. So I end up using my cell phone frequently for navigation. I'm looking for the best portable way to attach a phone holder to a rental car. Characteristics I'm looking for: * It needs to be something (like a sucker) that doesn't require installation to a car I don't own. * Should be portable and light - fold up or otherwise easily packable * Should fit Galazy phone, ideally fit multiple phones (I'm due for an upgrade and might change carriers.
posted by canine epigram on May 13, 2014 - 15 answers

What should I be doing to extend the life of my car to the year 2056?

What should I be doing to extend the life of my car to the year 2056? Seriously, I was gifted a 15 year old car with 110k on it. It is in great shape and I drive less than 5k a year (I work at home). What I am looking for are pointers to keep the car in good shape for a long time given the infrequent use. [more inside]
posted by lampshade on Apr 24, 2014 - 18 answers

What kind of car did I see today?

I saw a sporty compact type of car today with a logo I didn't recognize. It looked like an angular "m" inside of an oval shape. I would describe it as a cross between a batman symbol and an infinity logo. The body style was a sleek, aggressive, sporty design - not cheap, but not too high end. If I guessed, I would have thought it was a like a Scion Tc or Mazda 3. At first I thought it might be a Tesla. I can't recall if it was a coupe or sedan. Any ideas?
posted by roaring beast on Mar 26, 2014 - 20 answers

Final pre-purchase car questions!

Continuing my car questions (1, 2, 3). We’re buying a gently used Forester. Two questions I need to resolve before picking up the car: should I finance any part of the purchase (can pay all cash), and should I pay to extend the bumper-to-bumper warranty to seven years? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Mar 26, 2014 - 14 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

Traveling with a 4-month-old

We're planning to take our son to visit his grandparents for 4-5 days. He will be 4 months old. It's a 6 hour drive away. He's never spent the night away from home and the longest he's ever been in the car is 1 hour. What steps can we take to maximize our chances of a fun (and not especially sleepless) visit? [more inside]
posted by Cygnet on Mar 21, 2014 - 11 answers

Is there *really* no tipping with Uber?

I just signed up for Uber and I want to do right by the driver. A service charge is included, and the web site says "no need to tip." Is tipping really not expected? [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Mar 4, 2014 - 22 answers

I need a new car - Versa Note vs Fit? Or nissan reliability in general?

I need a super reliable car! [more inside]
posted by seraph9 on Feb 27, 2014 - 30 answers

What mini SUV/crossover/van has the best balance of comfort and size?

I'm looking to purchase a mini SUV/crossover/van that has a much more comfortable ride than my current 2008 Honda Fit, while still (hopefully) retaining some of the Fit's diminutive-ness. [more inside]
posted by argyle dreams on Feb 9, 2014 - 16 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

How do I install an auxiliary port in my car?

I drive an '09 Nissan Versa hatchback (base model). I'm sick of burning CD's and listening to the same songs, listening to songs from my phone echoed by the cup holder, and there's far too much feedback with an FM transmitter for my iPod. What I am looking to do is simply buy a stock Nissan Versa stereo with an auxiliary plug-in. Is/are there any additional components I would need aside from the new stock stereo itself? I plan on recruiting a technologically savvy friend who can install it for me. And in case anyone is curious, I'd like to stick with a stock stereo as I'd intend to leave it in even when selling or trading in.
posted by HiphopAnonymous on Jan 12, 2014 - 12 answers

Things to do in Denver when it's cold?

Besides skiing, of course. I think myself and Ms Jo will be in Denver area for 4 days or so within the next two weeks. We may ski one day, but prefer just being out of doors and walking and hiking. Is this too crazy given the season? I would love to go to a hot springs but the closest one looks kinda cheesy/expensive. We will have a car. I like beer. Suggestions for activities and accommodations are welcome. Basically, I am looking for a non-ski reason to go Denver area this month for 3 or 4 days. If the answer is to come back later (during brew fest and better hiking weather, so be it).
posted by J0 on Jan 3, 2014 - 15 answers

Involved in accident, at-fault party's insurance couldn't pay for all

Involved in a four-car accident, at-fault party's insurance couldn't cover all the property damages. Now what? [more inside]
posted by Carius on Jan 3, 2014 - 10 answers

Will the Prius C "fit" my needs?

I've driven a 2008 Honda Fit Sport for the last 5 years, right up until it got totaled in a collision last week. One of my top choices on paper is the 2013 Toyota Prius C 2, and another is the 2013 Fit Sport. I'll be test driving a Prius C tomorrow, but in the meantime I want to hear from anyone who has experience with both cars. One specific question is: How roomy is the back seat in the Prius C as compared to the fit? [more inside]
posted by jepler on Dec 30, 2013 - 14 answers

Hybrid shopping

Are there any Prius C owners out there? Will I like having a Prius C? I'm considering buying a 2013 Prius C Three or Four in the next few weeks. I test drove one the other day and really liked it. I'm going to do another test drive on the highway to see how it feels. My goal is to make a purchase that last week of December. [more inside]
posted by Cat Pie Hurts on Dec 17, 2013 - 8 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

Does it inconvenience anybody to call AAA assistance on a holiday?

A friend mentioned they were not to call AAA today about their car problems because it's a holiday and they don't want to inconvenience anybody. Would this really inconvenience people?
posted by circular on Nov 28, 2013 - 15 answers

Front license plate blues

Is there a way I can get my front license plate on my 97 Honda Civic without using a power drill or going to a mechanic and having him take the bumper off/drill it on? [more inside]
posted by discopolo on Nov 25, 2013 - 17 answers

Car-appy paint job

We have a 97 Jeep Cherokee, which has two flaws (according to my wife, who is the primary driver). One is the paint job, which is typical for a car of this age- many little scratches and dings from rocks and such, and the other is the headliner (the ceiling fabric), which is descending. We can't afford (nor is the car worth imho), a new paint job, and the headliner issue just makes me shake my...head. Anyway, I was hoping to DIY one or both of these things while I have access to the car between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by PlantGoddess on Nov 24, 2013 - 15 answers

How long for a spider to starve

How long will a spider, trapped in a car, take to die? [more inside]
posted by Cannon Fodder on Nov 1, 2013 - 9 answers

Cheap car! Expensive scrape?

My no longer able to drive grandparents recently gave me a great deal on their low mileage car. However, they got into a few scrapes before parting with it... [more inside]
posted by heliostatic on Oct 31, 2013 - 10 answers

Can you figure out why my car is slow to start in the mornings?

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]
posted by JDHarper on Oct 28, 2013 - 17 answers

Girlfriend stranded...

Ok, so my SO has the 2003 Jeep Renegade, and evidently this afternoon it started "spewing water and then quit working" To me this says water pump...and I am inclined to have it towed to a place (about 8 miles) that has done car work for us in the past. [more inside]
posted by PlantGoddess on Oct 22, 2013 - 19 answers

How do I get air freshener smell out of my car?

I just bought a 2002 Honda Civic, and either the previous owner or the dealer who sold it to me was apparently a big air freshener fan. I hate the smell of synthetic air freshener - it makes me feel really nauseated. [more inside]
posted by terretu on Oct 22, 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

Help me drive a car in Massachusetts

I live and work in Massachusetts, but my car is owned by another party and registered in another state, and my license is also in that state. What do I have to do to make right with the MA RMV, and how much will it cost me? Snowflakes inside [more inside]
posted by permiechickie on Oct 15, 2013 - 3 answers

Easiest-ever car question for Americans

What is this American, possibly 70's or 80's car? It's at 39:21 minutes on this video (Valley Girl). [more inside]
posted by malibustacey9999 on Sep 26, 2013 - 12 answers

I am a worrier, but maybe now I have a reason to be worried? Car woes.

Car experts of Metafilter, please help me assuage my fears and/or prepare for the worst. My car overheated on Saturday. My mechanic tells me a hose came loose and I lost most of my coolant, hence the overheating. It's an easy enough fix but now he's got me all paranoid that I have engine damage. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by thereemix on Sep 17, 2013 - 14 answers

Someone bumped into my car this morning

Her car edged forward and bumped into mine while waiting on a red. What should I have done? [more inside]
posted by mlo on Sep 17, 2013 - 13 answers

How to buy new car for cash...

I plan on buying a car in the next few days, for cash. My question is when do I pull out the checkbook and announce that I am not financing but want to pay by personal or cashier’s check? A few more details, of course... [more inside]
posted by calgirl on Sep 13, 2013 - 20 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

Selling my car without getting any money.. How to protect myself?

For reasons that were mutually beneficial at face value, I sold my car to my SO's parent. However, therein lies the problem.. any way to get myself in a better situation than the one I've inadvertently gotten myself into without realizing the full ramifications of my decision? [more inside]
posted by lunastellasol on Sep 5, 2013 - 23 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

Help a dip stick a dipstick

Through circumstances, I cannot find the right place to put the oil dipstick on a Japanese car (1995 Mazda MPV Efini). Help? [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Sep 2, 2013 - 10 answers

advice about getting out of this parking ticket saga PLEASE

....also serves as a cautionary tale about owning a car in nyc, timeline follows (apology for the long-winded-ness): 1. bought a car in 2008 and got a new NY state license / 2. moved from nyc to seattle in 2009, mailed back the license plate to ny dmv and got a WA state license / 3. moved back to nyc in may 2010, but kept my valid WA state license for about 3 months (was looking for a job so not sure if i would be in NYC permanently) / 4. almost immediately got a parking ticket due to "expired NY state registration" although the car was not even a NY car. curiously, the ticket was issued against my OLD NY state license #, which i sent back to government more than a year ago / 5. responded to NYC City Finance immediately, but have never heard back since.. / 6. fast forward, five weeks ago got a letter from NYC City Finance saying that i have TWO parking tickets due from 2010. / 7. responded to their advocacy unit that the tickets were lodged against an expired license / 8. was told just now that i can no longer argue against these tickets as they are more than a year old. so basically pay up or my car gets booted. / [more inside]
posted by kingfish on Aug 30, 2013 - 9 answers

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