Our relatively young car (~1 yr) has collected a bit of damage over the past year. One bit of damage is a dent which is starting to rust, so it needs to be dealt with in a body shop. The dent was not our fault, but the result of a parking gate that closed early. We also scratched the car elsewhere in a few places. Those scratches are substantial and our fault, and they also require professional work. We would like to know if making an insurance claim is an option or if we must (or should) pay on our own. [more inside]
What should I be doing to extend the life of my car to the year 2056? Seriously, I was gifted a 15 year old car with 110k on it. It is in great shape and I drive less than 5k a year (I work at home). What I am looking for are pointers to keep the car in good shape for a long time given the infrequent use. [more inside]
A person with a California driver's license gets a speeding ticket while driving through West Virginia. The speed alleged on the ticket was 15 miles over the posted limit. What would be the insurance consequences if the driver simply paid off the ticket without contesting it? How could the driver find out more information about whether s/he should contest the ticket, or plead guilty to a lower speed? In what state should the person be looking for a lawyer to best answer her/his questions? What should be this person's next step? Also, would the answers be different if the alleged speed was 10 (or 9, or 5, or whatever) miles over the posted limit?
Auto accident insurance question and diminished value [more inside]
Help me figure out how not to sweat in the car, so that teens can get good, comprehensive sex education! [more inside]
After searching, I see this has come up on Ask MeFi before in regards to apartment situations. The difference here is that we own, as do our neighbors. We live in Chicago, and naturally the police are less than responsive about these sorts of matters. I have spoken to the vibrating bass vehicle owner himself, twice, which helps for a week or so at most. I am a quiet person and a homebody - also a stay-at-home mom to a toddler and impending baby. There is literally nowhere in the house I can go to escape it when it's at max volume. [more inside]
I need recommendations for a vehicle shipping company, with some snowflakes. [more inside]
According to my trusted mechanic, the transmission on my aged buggy is shot (I haven't had 3rd gear for a while, and now the car has begun to have trouble getting into 2nd and 4th) and the car is not worth the cost of fixing it. Fair enough--except that I literally don't have time to buy another (used) one right now. Things will calm down slightly in the second week of May, but not until then. And while I'm aware of other options (the bus, taxi/car services), I don't have the time and money to rely exclusively on those until my schedule eases up. Nor can I afford to rent a car until then. So I'm wondering if anyone can suggest a short-term option that I might be overlooking, up to and including a Magic Car Fairy. Alternatively, if anyone has experience driving a car with this kind of issue and can tell me how safe (or un-) it is, I'd appreciate that input.
Couldn't Google this successfully - a recent car commercial in the US, guy is driving on a highway at night maybe. It sounds like NASA or other mission control and space noises are coming out of his radio giving the effect that he is driving a space ship. [more inside]
I just moved to Charlottesville, Va from California. Bought a car here quickly after getting here through Carmax which I am realizing now is way too nice, my car payments are too much ($247/month) and I worry too much about when parking, driving etc. (a 2010 Toyota Prius, 6 year loan that I owe 15k on). [more inside]
My gal and are buying a used Jeep Cherokee. We live in Brooklyn and want to put our minds at ease that this is a decent buy for what we're looking for. Plenty of details within; the short version is: what do we ask the mechanic to check before we commit to buying, and what are the next steps with insurance, DMV, etc.? [more inside]
We recent got a new-to-us used car. Other than following the manufacturer's scheduled maintenance, what should we do to maintain and maximize the life of the car? Examples inside. [more inside]
I'm a dummy. I have a 17-year-old beloved Honda CRV that I cluelessly have been paying too much car insurance on. [more inside]
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, 2, 3). 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]
Hi everyone, 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]
Is carsort.com 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.