I'm a first time car owner and I do not understand cars at all. How can I learn about cars, or enough about my car, that I'm not taken advantage of by mechanics/dealers when I repair/buy cars? [more inside]
I've had to replace the battery in my car twice this year and it looks like I need a third one. Help me figure out what's wrong before an expensive garage trip. [more inside]
Changes in my work life (positive changes, for the most part) have wrecked my ability to rationally assess an atypical car-buying opportunity. Help? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a Mercedes garage for a pre-purchase inspection in the San Diego area? Dealer is located on Miramar Road near I-15, north of the downtown area. I am trying to buy from afar and can't go there to handle this myself. They say they will take the car anywhere in the area that I request. They made a suggestion, but it seems like that's got potential to be a setup...
The Ask: We love our new car, and want to be good parents to it, and we're able to pay dealer prices for maintenance and repair. BUT we want to get our money's worth, we want to last for a very long time, and we have other expenses (like our upcoming wedding) to pay for. So, should we place our trust in a dealership or a private garage? Which have you had better luck with, and why? The saga continues inside. [more inside]
I'm finally buying myself a newer car, and having only owned cars 2005 and older, every new feature sounds like a magical car wonderland. What are the most useful ones you've experienced? [more inside]
In many places street parking is free on Sundays. Why?
My car is running rough, CE light on, diagnostics show it has a misfire in the 6th cylinder. We've checked all the usual suspects, replaced the fuel injector, and still, misfire, cylinder 6. Help. [more inside]
We've never been a 2 car family. But we might need to be. How do non-car-folks pick out cars? [more inside]
2010 Hyundai i10. The mirror itself has become partially detached: it adjusts normally left-right but not up-down. There's no play in it, and it can't be moved manually. There's no external evidence of anything being broken. This feels like it should be a relatively little job, but I have no idea where to start. I'm completely open to hearing that it's not if that's the case, though.
Someone close to me has lost the only key to her 2012 Honda. Assuming they will never be found and there are (just go with me here), what's the cheapest way to get new keys made? I suppose it doesn't have to be electronic if that will save $$$. [more inside]
I want a car that is roadtrip-worthy and reliable. I can spend about $2700 cash and could maybe spend $100/month on a car loan, though I'd rather not. I don't care about what the car looks like, just that it's reliable and roadtrip-worthy and automatic transmission. I would be purchasing in the SF Bay Area but potentially moving to colder/snowy areas next year. What should I be looking at and what should my expectations be for that price range? ( Plus bonus q about my current car inside.) [more inside]
The lease is up on our current vehicle (a BMW X1), so we're shopping. I think this time it's a buy, but we'd like to stay with a wagon-y or small SUV shaped thing. Bonus points if it's capable of light towing (think tiny travel trailer). [more inside]
My wife and I are looking to buy a used car. I've had my heart set on a Volkswagen Jetta seemingly forever. She has heard some horror stories about the cost of maintenance and repairs for VWs, and does not want to buy one. I've heard the same horror stories, but the data I've been able to find online hasn't confirmed them (although, to be fair, it hasn't entirely disproven them, either). I'd like to hear actual VW owners' stories to help us make a decision. [more inside]
Do drivers of a vehicle on a road perpendicular to a road with a school bus stopped with flashing red lights have to stop for that school bus? I'm in Maryland. [more inside]
I passed this strange looking vehicle on I-94 E near Osseo, Wisconsin. Was it a mirage or does someone recognize it? Photo 1 Photo 2
The owners manual for my 2011 Toyota Camry purchased in the US gives a 1000 lb. trailer weight limit. The Australian owners manual for a 2011 Camry gives a 2600 lb. (1200 kg) trailer weight limit. Is there any actual difference between the cars to account for the difference, or is this some sort of weird bureaucratic thing where the US makes the car companies low ball the tow rating? [more inside]
In California what is the likely penalty for driving a car which has not passed its smog test? [more inside]
We're moving to Los Angeles, hooray! We live in Chicago and don't own a car. Do we buy a car here or in CA? Or somewhere else? [more inside]
Wound up with a 2008 Suzuki SX4, FWD, 110k miles due to a long story that isn't relevant. Entered a car nightmare, and I need a plan for what to do next. I am confused, stressed out and too drugged up for this. [more inside]
I'm the proud owner of a 2009 VW Golf (petrol not diesel). I'm the second owner, it has low mileage, has been regularly serviced by certified VW mechanics and has never had any mechanical or electrical problems. It's also a great car and I like it a lot. However, it seems like every second day I see a news story about yet another lawsuit against VW over the diesel fuel emissions scandal. [more inside]
A year ago, I bought a car from my family in Alabama. I brought it to my home in New York, and got it properly registered here. This involved giving the New York DMV the Alabama title document and being told I'd receive a New York document in the mail. The New York title document never arrived. What do I need to do to get it? [more inside]
I would like to get a vehicle with high clearance and AWD. I will mainly use it for some around the town errands and weekend trips to get to out of the way trail heads. I have a sedan that I use for commuting. My friend just bought a brand new CRV for about $28,000. I am reluctant to spend so much money for a vehicle that I anticipate to use only sparingly. I am hoping to spend around $10,000 or so, but can spend a few thousands more if needed. So I am looking for advice on which make and model to look for. [more inside]
I want to buy a used car, and I understand that I should have it examined by a reputable mechanic before making a deal. How does that actually work? I'm thinking of buying from a dealership, so I know I can get a test drive. Do I just tell them "I want to test drive this and take it to a mechanic?" or do I do that on the sly? How does one go about doing this? Thanks!
So my husband and I are considering an international trip (Scandinavia), and possibly renting a car. When I started googling this, it seems like a large percentage of rental cars in these countries are stick-shift. While there are some automatic transmission options, I'd want to be prepared in case a rental company screwed me and gave me a manual (I'm usually unlucky when I travel). I'm having real difficulty however finding driving school options in/near Portland, OR that will teach stick. Please help! [more inside]
I am looking for recommendations for websites/ blogs that feature photo-heavy articles on classic and vintage automobiles. I already follow Petrolicious. I wouldn't mind something that skews a little more American muscle from the 80's and prior, but any and all recommendations from any genre are welcome.
I'm finally retiring my well-loved 2001 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T after 14 years of use and looking at replacing it with something in the "premium compact" or "entry-level sports car" segment costing under $35K (new or used). Driving enjoyment and safety are relatively higher priorities than fuel efficiency, luxury accoutrements, or technological bells and whistles. Brand status does matter a little. Snowflakes lie within. [more inside]
My new to me 2011 Camry didn't come with a bluetooth enabled stereo, but it does have an Aux jack, There are bluetooth adapters that work by plugging into the aux jack, and they seem to get universally good reviews on Amazon. The $15-20 price point for them is appealing. Does anybody have personal experience with them, for both streaming music from your phone and hands free phone operation?
Seeking hacks or vehicle recommendations for safely navigating cramped urban neighborhood intersections with too many parked cars and poor visibility. [more inside]
Car shopping! I want a car that has a higher profile, bluetooth, domestic, and isn't a sedan. [more inside]
Looking for fiction and nonfiction about road trips. Ideally the narrative would be 80% about the journey rather than the destination, but that's not a hard rule. [more inside]
Short version: Bought a car with ex in 2012 with "and" instead of "or" between our names. MISTAKE. Refinanced the car loan with a new lender a little while ago and was told by that lender that all I needed to do now was to record the lien with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and I could worry about updating the title later. They even gave me a pre-filled form to record the lien I just needed to sign and turn in. Unfortunately, PennDOT is not having it. What is the best way to proceed? YANML. [more inside]
I turn 30 in a few months. I still do not have my driver's license, but not for lack of trying. I feel like there's a brick wall keeping me from passing my test and feeling comfortable driving. What else can I try? [more inside]
About a year ago, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata I had been driving to death suddenly went kaput. I was driving back to work from lunch when the check engine light came on. I pulled into the nearest auto store and checked the oil. It was bone dry. [more inside]
My mom has been experiencing back pain due to the driver's seat in her car for the last five months. She's now looking into replacing the seat. Is this the right solution, and if so, what is a good seat to replace with? Details inside... [more inside]
Has anyone used Carvana to buy a car? If so, how was your experience? [more inside]
Amy Vanderbilt says you can do it...but what exactly is this? [more inside]
We have 2 cars in our carport. Car A was accidentally left unlocked last night, and this morning it was evident that someone had gone through it. There was nothing taken (apparently) except that Car A had a spare key to Car B, and that is now missing. (Car B was also ransacked but contained nothing of value). What should we do about the missing key? How likely is Car B to get stolen now?
We are looking to buy a new car, and are deciding between a small SUV/CUV (like a Ford Escape) and a small hatchback (like a Ford Focus.) For those who have had to make the same choice, what made you choose one or the other?
I'm doing some work for an engineering company that certifies modifications to cars. One of the tests that they perform is a lane change manoeuvre test. This test simulates an emergency lane change and back to the original lane to prove the stability of the vehicle. Given testing is relatively expensive (as it involves hiring a suitable facility), and involves some risk to the test driver, they have asked me to come up with a spreadsheet or similar that they can use to have a high level of confidence that the test will be safe before they leave the workshop. i don't know how to do that. [more inside]
I've taken my car to the mechanic what seems like an unreasonable number of times to fix an issue. Mostly, the car keeps overheating. First, they replaced the entire radiator. The next time it broke down, it was the water pump, which also necessitated a new timing belt. It's been overheating again, and came close to breaking down. I talked with a guy who knows cars, but is not a mechanic. He says if it's still having problems, it's likely the thermostat. Am I overreacting to not want this same shop to fix it? [more inside]
I'm looking for some 500 square mile area of the world with giant piles of machine parts. Junkyards would be good. But any piles of former machinery would still work. And it doesn't have to be cars. Planes. Boats. Anything scrap worthy but still semi-useful would work. SO where should I be looking?
My 2014 Prius has automatic climate control, but it seems to only work for cooling. How do I make it also work for heating? [more inside]
My friend snapped this picture of a strangely modified sedan. Does anyone know what the devices on the wheels are? [more inside]
We need to buy a new car. We haven't even thought about buying a car for 24 years. When I start to think about researching what's available I don't even know what questions to ask. Any advice and/or opinions that would help me think about this more clearly are very welcome. [more inside]
Are HID / Xenon headlights legal in california and if so what are the restrictions? [more inside]
I've called local agents, national insurers, automobile associations, insurance.com, etc, and everyone says they offer non-owners policies but specifically not in Massachusetts. [more inside]
My wife lost her car key in a restaurant parking lot last night. I'm home near DC with two kids (2 & 7) while she attends a conference outside Philadelphia. How do we get her home tonight? [more inside]
I've a family member who wants to find a stand-alone GPS navigator for use in a car. But, she doesn't have easy access to a windows or mac computer and thus needs to be able to update the map database over wifi. [more inside]
I have some questions about selling a used truck via private party sale. Process, plates, smog. [more inside]