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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

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 get the best deal when I (maybe?) buy-out my leased vehicle!

I am 35 months into a 39 month lease with a 2011 Nissan Maxima. This is the first vehicle I have ever leased/owned on my own so would like any hints/tips that will help me in the next few months as I prepare to either buy out my lease, or go in another direction. [more inside]
posted by OuttaHere on Oct 17, 2013 - 5 answers

How to turn up the good and turn down the suck with Nexus 4 audio?

I used to have an iPhone. You could listen to music with it. You could plug it into my basic USB car stereo and it would play music. I now have a Google Nexus 4. It will play for about 30 minutes, and then stop. If I'm lucky, it might deign to play a few songs in the car. I must be doing something wrong, right? [more inside]
posted by scruss on Oct 16, 2013 - 12 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

How do I get rid of my leased car?

I want to get rid of my leased car, I have about a year and a half left. I'm way under my miles, what's the easiest solution where I'm losing the least amount of money.
posted by geoff. on Oct 10, 2013 - 6 answers

Why are there so many cars without license plates in Arizona?

We're on this trip, and in the Arizona part of it, we're seeing a lot of cars that don't have license plates (neither front nor back), on the road. What gives? Is there some exception? Is this a tea party thing? [more inside]
posted by benbenson on Oct 9, 2013 - 9 answers

Honey, we need a family car

Hi all. Mrs Professorpotato will be giving birth to our first child in late November. We need to upgrade from a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic to something suitable for a baby + all its stuff (seat, pram, accessories), a small dog, and two loving parents. We're looking at a 2013 Jetta in the 17K range as we don't drive much but need reliable transportation. The Sonic has about a 12-14K trade in value and about 22K owing (debt consolidation + depreciation). We can comfortably afford payments of $400-500 per month. Anyone been in a similar situation? Tips? Thanks. PP.
posted by professorpotato on Oct 3, 2013 - 20 answers

What's a car for a tall dad, with two carseats and two dogs?

I'm the dad of a growing family - a two-year-old, a baby about to be born, and a wife. And two small dogs. We need a family car, and are looking for something that will accommodate: * Dogs in the back (a wagon or hatchback) * Two rear-facing carseats. * A tall (6'3") man in a front seat. [more inside]
posted by YoungAmerican on Oct 2, 2013 - 34 answers

407 Blues

At the end of July I visited Canada for the first time. I took my car with me. While driving through Toronto I got onto 407 ETR. Thinking better of it I got off after going one or two exits. So what now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 1, 2013 - 6 answers

How do I get the music from my iPhone to my car?

Is there any good way to get audio from an iPhone's lightning connector to the 1/8" audio in plug in my car, short of upgrading my audio system to add USB in? Or will the quality of bluetooth be better than I fear, and I should just get a bluetooth receiver instead? [more inside]
posted by SeanCier on Oct 1, 2013 - 17 answers

The ins and outs of having a car stolen in Chicago

Our car was stolen. Police here seem to shrug it off. Is there anything else I should or could be doing, or just take it as a rather abrupt lesson in the transience of possessions? [more inside]
posted by sixtyten on Sep 26, 2013 - 16 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

Fix it or Sell it

Over the past month or two my car has started exhibiting several problems, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the expense and hassle of repairing it or start looking for a new car. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Sep 24, 2013 - 21 answers

Taxes On Used Car Purchase Chicago?

I am buying a used car in Cook County, IL. (I am in the dealership right now.) Is the dealer correct to charge me 9.5% tax? [more inside]
posted by Mid on Sep 21, 2013 - 7 answers

Possible reasons for engine idling higher, and "auto revs?"

Carfilter: Car had been running fine all summer. Saw a bit of this yesterday, more during today's commute. Engine idling slightly higher and it revs itself at rest. Otherwise, it runs normally under load. [more inside]
posted by porpoise on Sep 17, 2013 - 6 answers

Airbag off by design with 100 pound passenger. What to do?

I frequently drive with an adult passenger who weighs about 100 pounds. The car is designed so the Passenger Airbag Off light turns on for a passenger under about 100 pounds, which the car assumes is a child. This isn't a defect. It's definitely by design. I'm concerned about safety with the airbag off. What to do? [more inside]
posted by cnc on Sep 17, 2013 - 16 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

Might have been scammed at a car dealership

What are the ramifications for unknowingly leasing a new car that has minor damage? [more inside]
posted by jiblets on Sep 12, 2013 - 2 answers

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