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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

Can I avoid having a salvage title (California)?

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]
posted by jsturgill on Feb 3, 2014 - 8 answers

Risks of long-term borrowing a car from a friend?

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]
posted by catesbie on Feb 1, 2014 - 22 answers

Car headlamps question

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]
posted by dance on Jan 30, 2014 - 12 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

I want my $700! #$%^^ pothole

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]
posted by sully75 on Jan 26, 2014 - 9 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

Every 3000 Miles We'll Screw You Over

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]
posted by theichibun on Jan 21, 2014 - 15 answers

Recommendations for trips/sightseeing out of Los Angeles

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.
posted by crossoverman on Jan 19, 2014 - 11 answers

have a 2 door car, want a 4 door version of it?

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?
posted by waylaid on Jan 18, 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

To snow tire or not to snow tire?

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.
posted by chaiminda on Jan 5, 2014 - 33 answers

How to start a frozen car.

Both of my Hondas are frozen and won't start. Help! [more inside]
posted by archimago on Jan 4, 2014 - 18 answers

Somehow my wife never got her car title. Twist: then she changed states.

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]
posted by brenton on Jan 3, 2014 - 17 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

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

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

Open in case of very small emergency.

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]
posted by justkevin on Dec 22, 2013 - 49 answers

Great Red Shark Blues

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]
posted by themel on Dec 21, 2013 - 2 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

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

Is It Better To Not Fill Up?

My car weighs 4013lbs (with me in it) and averages 17mpg on my 21.7m (roundtrip) commute. My gas tank holds 20 gallons, but I only ever fill it up half-full. The reason I do this, is because my brain knows how heavy 4 x 2.5 gallon containers of water is, and thinks that not carrying this additional approx 60lbs of weight (1.5% of the 4013lbs) will be better for both mpg and performance (i.e. less liquid sloshing around the tank). Is my brain crazy?
posted by forallmankind on Dec 14, 2013 - 19 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

What do I need to know about filing a car insurance claim?

In November I purchased a 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon. Two days ago it was hit in the middle of the night. They drove off at the time, but came back the next morning and gave their insurance information. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Dec 12, 2013 - 7 answers

What does this mysterious activity in front of a friend's house mean?

Some friends of mine are really concerned about something that happened outside their home two days ago. While they were out of the house, a neighbor says that two weird things happened... [more inside]
posted by circular on Dec 10, 2013 - 35 answers

I choo-choose you! To be the train car most likely to let me live!

In two of this year's notable high-speed train derailments--Compostella in Spain in July and the New York Metro North crash on Sunday--the train driver survived, but many of the passengers and crew, who were presumably in cars further back from the engine car, did not. Is there any data from any safety board (NTSB or similar in other countries) that suggests any particular train cars are more safe than others in the event of a derailment? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Dec 9, 2013 - 9 answers

First car, newbie buyer. Help me make sure I don't get a bad deal!

So I just started a new job and need a car soon. I've never bought one before, and while I've had advice from friends I want to widen my information sources a bit. Complications, budget and other sundry details after the break... [more inside]
posted by fearnothing on Dec 4, 2013 - 4 answers

The best way to handle a car accident insurance claim against my policy?

Hopefully, this won't be an expensive lesson in car insurance practices, but I lent my car to a teenager... and she got into an accident. [more inside]
posted by lostguy on Dec 2, 2013 - 8 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

What happens if a deer gets hit by a car but doesn't die?

If you hit a deer with your car, and it doesn't die, what happens to the deer? Does someone come and "put it out of it's misery"? Take it to the deer hospital? [more inside]
posted by smalls on Nov 29, 2013 - 25 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

How do I find the best rate to refinance my car loan?

My credit is good. My loan on my new-last-year Toyota Yaris is awful; the interest rate is absurdly high. My credit union, who issued the loan, doesn't want to help. How do I find the best rate I can get on a refinance? [more inside]
posted by drjimmy11 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

Spend all the money on the car or use it to vacate Dodge?

A longish just post quarter life crisis question for my 30 year old daughter. Short version: jobless; car died; cost of repairs = every single penny coming from her 401K - her only income. Worth it to repair or should she b) leave town or c) get a cheaper beater car or d) got a Plan D? She could use a d. [more inside]
posted by mygothlaundry on Nov 24, 2013 - 23 answers

What car to buy?

Let's play the ask-the-green-what-car-I-should-buy game. [more inside]
posted by lewedswiver on Nov 22, 2013 - 27 answers

What is the best used car for the money?

I am buying my first car. I am thrifty so I'd like it to be used because I think I will find the best deal there; I just don't like the idea of spending all of that money for a rapidly depreciating asset and I'd rather buy it after it has already depreciated some. I am looking for one of two types of cars, either: 1) A sporty, but economical car (think Honda S2000, Mazda Miata) 2) A long lasting electric/hybrid (ie Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius, Corolla, etc) Please let me know what your suggestions are, along with any caveats to buying a used car. I do not know much about cars. Should I bring a friend who does or hire a mechanic to inspect my car before purchase? Also, where is the best place to find a good deal? Thank you all.
posted by locussst on Nov 21, 2013 - 9 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

That Used Car Smell

What do car dealerships typically do to used cars before offering them for sale? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Nov 11, 2013 - 9 answers

Coolant line rupture: who should pay?

Yesterday, my car overheated (or got close to it) on the way home. I'm 100% certain that this is due to some work that my mechanic did, either directly or indirectly. Who should pay for this repair work? [more inside]
posted by kdar on Nov 11, 2013 - 16 answers

PC racing game with beautiful Japanese island landscape

I remember a PC racing game with winding up and down road, with a Japanese island landscape (amongst other themes). You would be racing with a car or some flying thing, racing against computer players, maybe with some simple weapons to eradicate opponents. Roads would surprisingly split up and you would need to decide which alternative to follow. Era is probably DOS, 256 or 16M colors. Good music included (which is what gave me the flashback). Thanks heaps.
posted by oxit on Nov 9, 2013 - 1 answer

Middle distance relationship, no car, money issues? Here!

30 miles apart, without a car to have date nights and with a boyfriend unwilling to share expenses despite having little money. Result: us not doing much of anything and me feeling guilty and stuck. [more inside]
posted by opalshards on Nov 7, 2013 - 50 answers

Suddenly a 30 year-old Mercedes looks incredibly attractive to me

After riding in a friend's 30 year-old diesel Mercedes today, I want to get off the hamster wheel of monthly car payments and save that cash by trading down for a much older car. We two adults share one car between us and it will stay that way. When not being used for trips, this will be a daily driver racking up fewer than 30 miles in a week. Which car should we aim for? [more inside]
posted by ImproviseOrDie on Nov 6, 2013 - 31 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

One Second of Red Light Camera Flash = 1 Month of Worrying

Could a red light camera flash lead to an unregistered vehicle ticket due to just-expired out-of-state plates? [more inside]
posted by tasty on Nov 3, 2013 - 8 answers

Wait... what?

I'm struggling to parse something that just happened between my car mechanic and I. What the hell happened? Is this a red flag? Am I being lied to or not told something, here? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Nov 2, 2013 - 18 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

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