I suspect that my driver-side upper ball joint is the culprit. There have been groaning noises when going over bumps, and a sort of clattering noise when hitting potholes. This has been going on for several years, and has gotten worse in the past month. I took it to four different mechanics, two for this specifically, and two for general inspection purposes (the most recent, non-specific inspection took place about 5 months ago.) None of the mechanics found anything they considered to be a real problem (i.e. hazardous to my/others' safety/the car's safe operation.) The noise has intensified in volume and frequency in the past week or so, along with (new) weird vibration when traveling at certain speeds (usually over 40 mph), but only sometimes, and it continues as I slow to a stop, slowing along with the car (but doesn't start showing up until I reach a higher speed.) Today I noticed that the boot on the upper ball joint is cracked and the grease is leaking out. The passenger side ball joint is similarly worn, but no grease is in evidence yet. [more inside]
posted by i. shishkin
on Apr 17, 2013 -
My husband and I plan to replace our car in the next year, probably sooner rather than later. We currently drive a 2006 VW Beetle, which is a giant dome and is great for my husband, who is 6'4" with a lot of height in the torso. The new Beetles are less dome-like and still under consideration, but are there other current-model small cars that would be good for my husband's height? Bonus complication: we occasionally take my mother (77, lives in a retirement home) out; I will have to get in and out of the back.
posted by immlass
on Apr 17, 2013 -
The circuit that runs my aftermarket Pioneer stereo is draining the car's battery at a rate of 30-50 mA when the car is off. Faceplate on/off doesn't make a difference. Is this within normal range? [more inside]
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl
on Apr 16, 2013 -
I'm looking for hip-hop that's engineered for car systems. Heavy bass, melodic bass, brutal bass--what artists, albums or tracks sound amazing in a car with an amplified subwoofer setup? [more inside]
posted by flod
on Apr 16, 2013 -
My sixteen-year-old son got his license recently, and after a month (during which time he did not drive) we insured him for a month as we were going to be out of town and he needed the car. When we called our insurance company to remove him from our policy, we were told that the only way the company would uninsure him is if he turned in his license to the DMV.
We only have one vehicle, and he won't drive. He's not the kid who is going to sneak off in the car, either. So can the insurance company just drop us or otherwise hose us over? [more inside]
posted by mecran01
on Apr 15, 2013 -
So I've finally bought a car of my own (Alfa Guilietta) and in the boot (trunk) is a 12v outlet marked "180W maximum".
Can anyone come up with ideas about what to use this for? It seems relatively pointless to me. [more inside]
posted by hardcode
on Apr 14, 2013 -
There is a good chance that I will be the owner of a new car sometime soon (like the next few months or so). Looking for a good balance between fuel efficiency and inexpensive to repair (something I have not really thought about until recently, regrettably). You are not a car expert, likely, but what would you advise from what you know? Details, including what this car replaces, inside. [more inside]
posted by JoeXIII007
on Apr 11, 2013 -
Every now and then, there will be a few weeks when I get electric shocks as I'm getting out of my cars. Normally they're just a little surprising, but the last few weeks I've been getting steadily stronger shocks that actually hurt / tingle for a while afterwards. What's going on? [more inside]
posted by sodium lights the horizon
on Apr 11, 2013 -
I have a 2005 Mazda 6 with about 170,000 miles. Over the past few days it first developed a weird, low-toned clicking sound whenever I made a turn (left or right), which seemed to come from the steering column area... maybe around my feet under the car. I drove it yesterday and today, and that sound has seemed to turn in to a grinding. It's also making a similar sound whenever I press the brakes. From what I could see the power steering fluid is above-level, but the reservoir is also really dirty which makes it hard to check accurately. To complicate matters, I was at a tire shop over the weekend (thought it had a leak - someone had just let the air out) and they had taken the tire off and put it back on - not sure if they're at all related. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla
on Apr 9, 2013 -
My partner and I will be in Turkey later this month and will have three days in and around Izmir. We plan to visit Ephesus, the Dilek park, as well as maybe Samos and/or Chios. We need some help making decisions about how to get around and where in the area to stay for a few nights. [more inside]
posted by yellowcandy
on Apr 7, 2013 -
I live in a apartment building with a floor of parking inside the building. Two days ago, a neighbor who was parking her car next to mine dented and scratched the rear of my car. The damage is fairly minimal but will require some work. She was very apologetic about the situation and left me a voicemail stating that she had hit my car and that would should sync up to exchange insurance information. Later in the day, we talked and she suggested the we exchange a copy of each others insurance card.
In this situation, is it ok to give her a copy of my entire insurance card? Is there any information on this I should not be sharing? For reference, my insurance is GEICO.
posted by cm1088
on Apr 6, 2013 -
I've got some car parts I'm selling on eBay, and I need to hook them up to power in order to check a few things and make sure that they work. [more inside]
posted by iknowizbirfmark
on Apr 3, 2013 -
Does anyone know why so many of the car washes in New York City (all boroughs) are open for 24 hours? [more inside]
posted by RajahKing
on Apr 3, 2013 -
Is it possible for a person with dual citizenship (USA and Ireland; residing in the USA) to register and get insurance for an automobile in Ireland (the north of Ireland to be specific) if the person does not reside in Ireland? And if so, how? [more inside]
posted by aelish
on Apr 1, 2013 -
I'm iPhone, wife is Android, and we both use both of the family cars. Is there a good service, with smartphone apps for both platforms (or web interface that plays nicely with a low-end Android device and i5) for entering the current mileage, gallons purchased, price, ect for tracking fuel costs for each vehicle? I'd like to do what my dad did with a notebook in the glove compartment, but with the math and cloud-sync goodness parts handled by the pocket computers. Maybe this is a job for a Google Docs spreadsheet?
posted by Steve3
on Mar 31, 2013 -
Asking for a friend:
I'm leaving graduate school for a job in Houston, TX in a few weeks and I'm looking for the best short-term transportation situation - apparently there is no public transportation whatsoever going to my job, and I'd like to be able to, you know, get to work. The hitch is that while I'm leaving in 2 weeks, my wife is leaving in 3 months, and she needs our car to get to work. I've got a motorcycle, but it's cheapest to ship that in the moving truck when we move our stuff in 3 months (not to mention I'm not sure how quickly I can arrange for it to be moved out there, and if it gets there too late, it's not worth doing anyway). [more inside]
posted by abcde
on Mar 30, 2013 -
A few months ago, my car's check engine light came on. They fixed it, it came back on again, they fixed it again, and now it's back on. I'm looking for possible explanations so I'm more prepared when I take it back yet again. [more inside]
posted by misskaz
on Mar 29, 2013 -
98 Subaru Forester started seriously overheating after a 1 1/2 hr drive. Overheated only while driving, not while idling. Oil level is fine. Coolant a bit low; added some. Still overheating. Tried turning on heat to cool engine; no heat - the heat was working earlier in the drive. It's @ 40F, so it's not the weather. Stranded in a quaint town, would like to get home to the trusty repair shop.
posted by theora55
on Mar 28, 2013 -
I carried a few contractor bags full of decaying leaves to a disposal facility. The bags had been rained on and some of the goop inside leaked out onto the carpet of my minivan. The van smells like, well, decaying organic matter. It's awful. [more inside]
posted by DWRoelands
on Mar 28, 2013 -
I'm evaluating my insurance coverage, and I'm confused a bit on auto insurance liability. It seems like a typical liability policy is $100k per person for bodily injury. From the tales of medical bills I've heard, it seems like a bad accident could pretty easily cause bills far exceeding that. Even if I increase it to $300k or $500k, if the actual costs are higher than that, it could pretty easily wipe out all my assets. What really happens in accident cases like that? Do they generally just settle for the insurance limits? [more inside]
posted by smackfu
on Mar 28, 2013 -
What is the process and what taxes must I pay when transferring a car title from my father to me? Interstate snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by domnit
on Mar 25, 2013 -
Had a bottle of the stuff tip over on the passenger seat, to the tune of about 2 tablespoons. Fabric seat, brand new car, she's coming home in June so I have a bit of time to get that new car smell back. [more inside]
posted by mooza
on Mar 24, 2013 -
Low-income housing exists, obviously, for, e.g., a mother of four children with any kind of job. But I'm a man, 53, no kids, unmarried, and work independent contractor jobs. [more inside]
posted by noelpratt2nd
on Mar 22, 2013 -
I am contemplating getting rid of my car, as it is expensive to insure and there is car sharing available in my building, and I mostly use public transit these days anyway. But I don't really know how to actually do that. [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne
on Mar 21, 2013 -
I am sorry to ask such a dumb question, but I have a very early flight from South Park Slope to LaGuardia, and googling car services so far is returning not great results. Is there a car service someone can recommend for an early pick up (our flight is at 5:30 a.m.)?
posted by Peemster
on Mar 19, 2013 -
Thinking of buying a 2013 Ford Focus Automatic. Big Manufacturer incentives right now.
My one concern: lots of reports on car forums about transmission "shudder" that Ford appears to have blamed on programming alone for the last 2 years, but many owners say the reprogramming didn't solve things.
I cant tell for sure that the most recent cars coming off the line are affected. Seems hard to get reliable information.
posted by dougiedd
on Mar 17, 2013 -
There's a stop sign in front of my house, and people don't stop at it. Our neighborhood is working on various ways of solving this problem, and my contribution is to create signs to hang up on my wall right next to the stop sign. Last year in a fit of pique Mr. BlahLaLa made one that said SLOW DOWN, FU**ER! That actually had a big, positive impact, believe it or not, but when the novelty wore off, so did compliance. So, help me create a stack of posters I can use in rotation? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa
on Mar 15, 2013 -
[Chicago Filter] My car needs new brakes, like, a year ago. (Seriously.) I need to find a good (reasonably priced, will get the job done) mechanic in Chicago because the Toyota dealership wants payment in first born children. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee
on Mar 12, 2013 -
Looking for advice on buying a used vehicle in limited supply. More inside. [more inside]
posted by ngn01
on Mar 11, 2013 -
My SO and I have a 1999 Lexus ES 300 with low miles (ca. 80K). We use it mostly on the weekend for errands. The car is in more or less good driving condition, but parking on the streets and Boston winters are taking their toll cosmetically. Dealership recommended $5100 in repairs on its recent checkup--nearly the value of the car--and we're wondering which repairs are worthwhile, which are overpriced and should be done elsewhere, and which can be skipped. [more inside]
posted by Calamity Jen
on Mar 5, 2013 -
Is it my transmission, my clutch, or something else? Shifting into 2nd gear from 1st, constant acceleration (gas pedal) but the car stutters (surges forward, almost stalls, surges forward, almost stalls with concomitant spiking of RPM). [more inside]
posted by porpoise
on Mar 4, 2013 -
Would it be cheaper to rent a car for 6 months or get a lease swap with short term car insurance in California? [more inside]
posted by pakoothefakoo
on Mar 2, 2013 -
I am thinking about buying a new car in a few months, wondering about model, when to buy, and planning around a trip in June. Advice/Tips/Opinions/Tales/Fact or Fiction Appreciated! (Much more inside) [more inside]
posted by token-ring
on Mar 1, 2013 -
I need a car. I'm poor. I've never bought a car before, and it's been a long time since anyone in my family has bought one. Need guidance. How do you buy a car? [more inside]
posted by royalsong
on Feb 28, 2013 -
A few weeks ago I asked this
question. Consider this a follow-up question.
I have a 1993 Honda del Sol 5-speed Si that has a "mystery" problem of sometimes starting and sometimes not starting. It's always a cold-start problem. I put the key in the ignition, switch it to ON until the check engine light goes on, the fuel pump pressurizes, and the main relay clicks, and then crank it. Sometimes it will fire up right away. Other times the engine will turn over but not ignite. Once it is started, it will start up fine for the rest of the day. It only gives me trouble when the engine has gone completely cold and has been left untouched for upwards of four hours.
A new issue has developed since I first posted my question. Even after getting the car started, sometimes just a few minutes later during a sharp acceleration (approaching 4000rpms or more) the engine stalls out. I have to pull the car over and start it up again. It always starts up fine after that and will usually not stall out again. I had this issue looked at by several mechanics, most of whom hadn't the slightest clue what it was or willingness to investigate. The last mechanic I took it to said it was a faulty ignition switch and replaced it . . . but that has done no good whatsoever. Also, just FYI, the spark plugs are relatively new.
Any thoughts are appreciated!
posted by fignewton
on Feb 28, 2013 -
I am a Rhode Island resident. I'm in San Francisco, CA for several months, working. I've decided to buy a car from a friend here, and today I'm going over to give him the money (I've been driving it for a week or two, since he already bought a new car and we trust each other).
posted by betsbillabong
on Feb 26, 2013 -
I have a two-car garage with a LiftMaster automatic garage door opener that is misbehaving and it's driving me crazy. It seems to be randomly just opening the door long after it is closed and I can't figure out why. I've seen the other questions about garage door openers but was hoping for some advice specific to my situation. [more inside]
posted by misskaz
on Feb 22, 2013 -
Hi all, longtime reader here, new poster. While dealing with multiple personal hardships (more inside), I had a lapse in insurance coverage for 10 days. This has snowballed into a major issue for me, and I may lose my driving privileges for 3 months, which means losing my job. Any and all advice/anecdata appreciated. [more inside]
posted by cardinality
on Feb 20, 2013 -
I will need to park a car on or near Stanford campus this week this evening through Friday evening. I would prefer to park the car as close to Campus & Bowdoin as possible, preferably within a mile. Worst comes to worst I can use visitor parking ($12 a day), but I would prefer something cheaper or ideally free. Are there are any streets in Palo Alto without parking restrictions near the eastern side of campus, for example?
posted by dd42
on Feb 18, 2013 -
I've had a particularly awful experience on Friday that made me pull over and cry for a few minutes. LA freeways are a nightmare, and I really need ideas on how to internally deal with assholes on the road, and repeated incidents of dangerous aggression. I don't know how everyone else does it! [more inside]
posted by Tequila Mockingbird
on Feb 16, 2013 -
I've got a '98 Subaru Legacy Outback with 138k miles that I need to get rid of. It runs, but would need a fair amount of work done to continue running for long. It is safe to drive, but I wouldn't want to take it on a long trip. Trying to determine the best option: Selling, donating, or junking. In Philadelphia. [more inside]
posted by SpiffyRob
on Feb 15, 2013 -
I would like to keep a plant (alive) in my car, possibly in a cup holder. Is there a plant that could handle my car's interior environment, isn't too fussy about watering, and is not covered in needles? [more inside]
posted by mnemonic
on Feb 13, 2013 -
Why do anti-lock brake systems [seem to] work so much better than traction control systems on modern sedans? [more inside]
posted by Juffo-Wup
on Feb 8, 2013 -
About six weeks I purchased a 5-speed 1993 Honda del Sol Si. Overall, I'm very pleased with the transaction. It's in great shape and runs very nicely.
However, ever since a few days after I bought it, I've had a very frustrating recurring problem.
posted by fignewton
on Feb 5, 2013 -