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 partner and I are moving to San Francisco (preferably Inner Sunset) from New York. We need to be settled in by mid-June, and we’d like to sign a lease for June 1st. We've read a lot about the crazy SF housing market right now, but still have a few questions about when we should go out there to apartment hunt, living with a car in SF, and general apartment hunting strategies. [more inside]
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]
I recently got some very small scratches on my car. What is the best thing to do about them?? [more inside]
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?
Continuing my car questions (1
). 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]
Was in awful car accident yesterday. Good news - walked away without a scratch. Bad news - car is now a paperweight. Help me find a new vehicle? Details within. [more inside]
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]
My apartment building has assigned parking spaces. My parking neighbor (though not my actual neighbor in the building, for weird reasons) left a large, very noticeable scratch on my front quarterpanel last night or today, complete with paint transfer matching his vehicle. How do I resolve this in a way that feels fair to me but averts major bad blood? Snowflakes on their side of the line inside. [more inside]
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]
A while back, I was in Europe for an extended period of time, and there I ended up driving two very similar cars (what may have been a Renault Clio
and a Citroën C4
). They were 5-door manual diesels, and I really enjoyed driving them. What cars like this are sold in the USA?
Private party Car sale on eBay. FL Resident Buyer. PA Resident Seller. Car to be shipped. Buyer will not be traveling to PA. Please explain the title paperwork as if you were teaching a five-year-old. Full info and more inside. [more inside]
I was hit by a car a few hours ago near Grand Central in New York City, the driver then drove off. I am filing a police report and would like to include the license plate number, but the photo I got with my iPhone is largely washed out. Help? [more inside]
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]
Six or so years ago, I was looking for a second-hand car and stumbled across a "suggest-a-car" webpage. You could put your requirements into, it spat back a bunch of suggestions, you refined your parameters and sorted results, etc. It ended up suggesting a car I wouldn't have thought otherwise, which I bought and it was a great choice. Now, I'm looking for the next car ... [more inside]
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]
Help me find my best options for late-model used cars that have a reasonably decent towing capacity. [more inside]
I'm trying to help my Dad figure out what to do with a 1930 Studebaker Erskine that's been sitting in a garage since 1986. We aren't really car people and we don't know what we're doing. [more inside]
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]
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]
New (6 month old) car battery has died twice in the past month. From the pattern it's been showing, can you help me figure out what the issue might be, and help me avoid getting swindled in my attempt to get it fixed? [more inside]
So my 2007 Honda Fit has been having these weird issues while at stop lights or stop signs and I can't figure out what's going on. [more inside]
I need a super reliable car! [more inside]
I drive a Mobilio Spike (2005) in Japan. That model year was recalled en masse due to transmission design problems that cause shudder on acceleration. I have complained about this problem to the dealership a few times, but never got any information about the recall. It turns out that my car's production date is outside of the range of the recall by just a couple months, even though it suffers from the same problem. What can I do? I don't need any country-specific information, just general ideas if anyone knows how the recall system works. Oh, the extended warranty period to deal with the transmission issue is past, although I did raise the issue with the dealer during the warranty period--and those conversations are part of my official service record.
I'm flying into Cancun in the next few days, and since I'll be travelling south from there, I'm interested in a rental car. Please help me not get ripped off. [more inside]
I'm looking to buy a car in southwest michigan. I trust "my" mechanic in my town, but there's few cars here. Other towns, eg Grand Rapids and Lansing, have great cars, but I don't know any mechanics in those towns. By what logical process should I choose a mechanic to take potential cars to? [more inside]
So I used WAZE for my morning commute on my iPhone. It's on my dash and out of easy reach. But sometimes I get an idea for a thing I need to do when I get to the office. Or a text I need to send. So I have to stretch and reach over for the iPhone button to hold it down and dictate it to Siri.
Then I thought: What if I just had a button. On me.
So that's what I'm looking for. A button I can have close to me that I can press to activate the same function on the iPhone. Not a headset. Or a speakerphone. My car's functionality there works great. Just a button to trigger the thing that's a foot out of easy reach.
Now It'd be great if it was like a pin on and didn't look awful so it could be semi decorative. But frankly even if it was big and ugly and I could mount it on the wheel that would work too.
So...anyone know any straight button options?
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?
My car accelerates on its own. It think it needs to be taken off the road. How can I go about selling it in good faith? [more inside]
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]
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]
My Vanagon was hit
, and the other person's insurance company wrote it off as a total loss. We settled, and I retained possession of the vehicle. It's fixed and good to go--except maybe the whole salvage title thing. [more inside]
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]
I've just replaced the headlamps on my little hatchback and drivers were flashing me non-stop all the way home, as if my main beam was on. [more inside]
dead? And assuming it is, is there a not-dead alternative for finding cars by features? [more inside]
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]
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.
After some frustrating dealings with the local Jiffy Lube, I want to be able to handle some car maintenance stuff myself. What should I be able to handle? [more inside]
I'm going to be in Los Angeles from June 6 to June 11. I'll be hiring a car to get around L.A. - though we'll mostly be sticking to Central LA and Santa Monica over that weekend (7/8 June). I've been to L.A. before and done most of the touristy things - relying on both local buses and hop on/hop off tourist buses. Because I'll have a car this time, I was wondering what recommendations people have for things to see and places to go that are tricky to get to without a car. Anything within a couple of hours drive of Los Angeles. Thanks.
A few years ago I bought a 2010 Honda Civic Coupe. It's a great car that I've put just 35k on. For a variety of reasons, I want to get a four door car cause it's been a bit of a hassle to take folks and stuff around in. If I had the same version of this car is fine. Any thoughts on doing this without a fuss? Would anyone trade with me? Or could i take it to a dealer (which people normally trade-in and then pay up for). Has anyone found someone that might want to do this type exchange on Craigslist?
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.
We're driving in snowy weather for the first time in our lives. Do we need snow tires, or is it better to just get a new set of all weathers if we are spending the money? Cars are a Corolla and a Focus.
Both of my Hondas are frozen and won't start. Help! [more inside]
My wife bought a car in 2010 in Georgia, and somehow never saw a title. All the paperwork is legit, and it was registered correctly in Georgia, but she has no memory of a title. It seems she never got it. We kind of forgot about the complication until now, when we're trying to sell it. [more inside]
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).
Involved in a four-car accident, at-fault party's insurance couldn't cover all the property damages. Now what? [more inside]
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]
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]
I'm assembling a bag of useful things that I will keep in the trunk my car. What goes in it? Think less "zombie apocalypse" more "raining, forgot umbrella." [more inside]
I'll have time to waste in California in February and have set my mind on enjoying a Hunter S. Thompson memorial road trip to Las Vegas. Trouble is, it's proving surprisingly hard to find someone who'll rent me a Great Red Shark to do so. What can I do? [more inside]