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]
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]
Tomorrow I begin my very first tour of local used car dealerships, ISO a reasonably-priced Suburu wagon. I've bought and sold several vehicles via Craigslist, and done my share of haggling and getting haggled (haggled at? behaggled?), but only with individuals, not corporations. Do the same rules of etiquette apply? [more inside]
Seven hours to kill in Los Angeles - how to occupy our time? Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
Used car filter: after a decade without owning a car, I'd like to get back into the game. I'd prefer to spend $5k or less. I understand this means older cars/higher miles. I find myself drawn to early 2000s VW Golfs/GTIs, late-90s BMW 300 series, '90s Saabs, early '00s Volvos. Are any of these types going to be substantially more reliable or cheaper to maintain than others? [more inside]
We go see my mom in Welfleet, Cape Cod once a year and usually spend the night in Boston after the flight, in which case we pick up a rental in Cambridge where it is hundreds of dollars cheaper a week due to airport taxes (or so I am told by the rental car agencies) [more inside]
How to get our unemployed and non-insured neighbors to pay for car damage? Our downstairs neighbors (we split a house) are borrowing an (uninsured) car from their friend over the summer. After getting super drunk early Mon, they somehow barrelled out of the garage, hitting our car and (we think) another car parked in the street. They didn't confess to hitting our car until we approached them with evidence and long after I had already filed a hit-and-run report.... [more inside]
My boyfriend drives a lot for work, maybe a couple of hours a day, a few days a week. I'm looking for things that will make his drive more comfortable. [more inside]
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.
We need a center link for our 1994 G20 van. Our mechanic called around and couldn't find one, but said we might find one on the internet. No luck so far. Are there any secret places or techniques to find a part like this?
My car roof is rusting extensively along the windshield edge. I don't know if I can get it fixed anymore as it has gotten bad rather quickly. What are my options? More inside [more inside]
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]
My car failed its MOT yesterday and, as a result of my bad time management, the tax disc has expired today. I can't tax it without it being covered by a valid MOT certificate, but I need to get it to a garage for repairs so that it can pass the MOT. Is it legal for me to drive it to the mechanic? [more inside]
I'm temporarily stranded in a pleasant but completely unfamiliar city on the east coast. Partly because used car prices seem to be much lower here than my native Seattle, I want to buy a used car while I'm here, and use it to travel west. I'm on the lookout for an early '00s Volvo wagon. Ordinarily, I'd pay to have a mechanic look over a prospective purchase, but that's just not a practical undertaking in my specific situation. So: should I just not do this? Or are there a few simple things to look for before buying a car that I could do in under, say, ten minutes, as a relative novice to car-buying and -servicing?
How have you successfully bought a used car from a private owner? The last time I bought a used car was 14 years ago. Not sure how it's done anymore. [more inside]
Is it possible to haul a portable dishwasher strapped on top of a Ford Taurus? [more inside]
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]
We have a low mileage 2000 Ford Econoline van which has been running well but now will not turn over. It was just running, turned it off, now it wont turn back on. We had to towed to a mechanic and they said it stated right up and could find nothing wrong, drove it home and same thing. All the electric is fine. Nothing happens when we turn the key, lights don't dim, nothing, but again, all the electric works great. A looses fuse or loose cable is what I would expect but where do we start with something like this? Thanks so much for any ideas.
I'm currently applying for nannying jobs and have been informed by my car insurance company that my policy does not cover me if I am transporting a client in my car, and that they do not offer coverage for business purposes. They gave me contact information for their parent company, who might be able to help, but the parent company is not available until Monday. I'm in California, if that matters. [more inside]
I am an inexperienced driver, and I am about to be taking a number of long road-trips alone across the US this year. To aid me, I am looking for the best GPS that is reasonably priced. Can you recommend one for me? [more inside]
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?
My mother wants to give me her car so I can insure it for her - is this insurance fraud? [more 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]
I bought a new Kia Sorento in July of 2012. I then stupidly put 20,000 miles on the car without a single oil change. The car is now burning oil at a rate of roughly 1 quart every 300 miles, so I know I broke something (my dad's theory is a damaged ring; roughly a $5k repair for engine rebuild). The car came with a great warranty: 3 yr/36k mile bumper-to-bumper, and 10 yr/100k mile power-train. Unfortunately, I have voided that warranty by not preforming the most basic maintenance. So, I'm not sure what to do now. Options I see are: -Take it to the dealer for repair and hope they don't ask/notice/care what I've done. -Take it to the dealer and confess my complete ineptitude. -Go to a random auto shop for repair (another act that will void my warranty). [more inside]
I have a 1998 Oldsmobile 88 LS. She's got around 130K miles on her. She is old and has had a fair share of trouble. On the way home today it started giving random "misses" and I lost power to the car. Many Details inside. (Bonus question:credit approval) [more inside]
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]
I got into an accident last week, and my insurance company is mailing me a two-party claim payment check (for ~$6000) to give to the repair shop. I'm wondering when exactly I hand over the check. [more inside]
Totally embarrassing, but I lost the sole remaining key to my family's 1989 VW Vanagon (on my way to make a copy, natch) ... I'll be calling locksmiths and my mechanic today, but if anyone has any experience and/or knowledge of fixes for such a SNAFU, I would appreciate tips. (No, I don't have a picture of it. Yes, very stupid. Trust me; I've heard it.)
I am debating getting a spare key lockbox for my car so I can stop carrying the spare keys in my wallet, as is currently my custom. Is this uniformly stupid, and I shouldn't do it? Any particular errors to avoid, or a lockbox you can recommend? [more inside]
Friend sold his car. He now wants me to play chauffeur when we hang out. I don't want to. Is there a gentle way to tell him this? [more inside]
2013 Subaru Crosstrek XV got 32-33 highway mpg last year. Now it gets 28. [more inside]
It recently occurred to me that in a temperate climate, my car could be a nice place to work from, offering freedom to select the locale and the view and to change them at will. Has anyone tried this? How did you set it up? What worked and what didn't?
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...
My 2001 Honda Accord was sideswiped and I had to replace the driver's side mirror. The first replacement shook and was an aftermarket part, so I paid an extra $150 out of pocket (the other driver's insurance covered the first one) to have a Honda mirror attached today. I just took it for a test drive, and I think it shakes less... but it still shakes. Like it barely noticeably shifts at 30mph and distinctly vibrates at 60+mph. What do I do now? [more inside]
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]
A neighbour living in the cul-de-sac behind me has a squeaky fan belt. This neighbour also goes to work at 5:30 in the morning, meaning I'm woken up every morning at 5:30am to the most excruciating squealing noise. I normally don't need to get up until 7:30, so this is extremely disruptive to my sleeping patterns. I've had a squeaky fan-belt before, so I understand that car problems can sometimes take a while to fix. But it has been going on for months, and my good will towards this individual is fading. [more inside]
Looking for more options than just dealership financing [more inside]
It's okay with the estate, but now I need to deal with the car company. How do I make sure that I can take over the car loan of a dead relative in order to keep the (sentimental) car, keeping in mind bad credit and not enough money to pay it off entirely? [more inside]
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]
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]
So, this is frustrating, but do we just have to suck it up? Partner was driving car at night about 15 miles an hour down a poorly lit and deserted intersection in San Francisco and got photographed by a police camera before the reached the crosswalk. They were so surprised, they did not come to a full stop as they made a rolling right turn at that 10-15 mph speed. They then got photographed again and a ticket for $500 for not stopping in the intersection. I do think that the first flash of the photograph is probably a shady trick to do exactly what happened - startle the driver into committing an error, but I'm tempted to just have them pay. They feel like they were ambushed by the bright flash and are scheduled to contest in court. What say you, hive mind - what would you do? [more inside]
I'm trying to lower my car insurance rates and the rep with my insurance company suggested I drop stacked uninsured motorist coverage because I already have health insurance. I understand how the stacked coverage works but it seems redundant to carry it if I have heath insurance coverage. Am I misunderstanding how UIM coverage works?
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.
Had a flat tire, ordered two new tires, picked up car and drove it 0.5 miles (2 minutes) and parked it. Hours later went to drive it and the same original flat tire is flat again. The mechanic says there was a nail in the new tire. Did I get ripped off? [more inside]
The older boy wants a classic car for prom in Staffordshire near Wolverhampton. I found Kitt for £250 for five hours, but it didn't have back seats. The only car available from one classic car website I found is a 1979 Austin Allegro for £300 for the day. Hugely wrong on so many levels. How can I find a classic car in the West Midlands for a middle of the week prom in June?
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.
I live in DC. Sometime soon after Labor Day, I'll be relocating to Charlotte, NC. I'm sure I'll have plenty of wailing detailed questions about this as the time approaches [and after!], but it's happening [and it's very good for my career. I'm calling it a new adventure]. Should I buy a car here in DC or once I'm in Charlotte? [more inside]
I have a very old political bumper sticker I'd like to affix to my car. (I think the idea of a Prius driving around with a "NIXON/AGNEW" sticker on it is pretty funny.) Unfortunately, the original adhesive has long since lost its stick, and I'd like to affix it in a way that is a) semi-permanent, and b) won't hurt the finish. Any suggestions?
I'm getting a Maserati that's a few years old. I've never owned a similar car and I'm planning to enjoy driving it for a year or two, then sell it. It has very low mileage now and I won't be putting many miles on it. Is there any reason I can't park it on the street like every other car I've ever owned? We live in a low crime area of Southern California with a lot of nice cars, but true luxury cars seem to go into garages. [more inside]
I have a car with damage that was returned to me as part of a divorce settlement. My lawyer says the damage is not worth pursuing in court, so I need your help to sell it and maximize my money. [more inside]