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Longish term car rentals when you are unsure of the length of time

I need to use a car to get around Phoenix for anywhere from 2 to 6+ weeks, and I won't know how long I need it until I'm done using it. What kind of service do I use or what do I do? [more inside]
posted by rachaelfaith on Oct 18, 2014 - 6 answers

A Dad's Dilemma... A Car for a 16 Year Old: Balancing Price and Safety

So, my sweet little girl is about to turn 16 and we've started doing a little car shopping - for a Subaru. My mechanic (a SubaruGuru who I trust implicitly) made me aware of a hyper-meticulously maintained 1996 Subaru Legacy wagon with only 88K miles and in mint condition. Drove it, and it's true, it's an excellent car for it's age. Price is very affordable for us too, at a time when we don't need a lot of extra expense. I'm ready to go... but... [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Oct 16, 2014 - 27 answers

Let's go hybrid shopping! Toyota/Lexus vs. Ford vs. Honda

So, I think I'm ready to give up my slightly banged-up 2005 Civic. The lady and I would like to get a hybrid, since we're mostly doing city driving (with the occasional weekend jaunt). I've been shopping around and trying a few models out, but I would appreciate any personal experience with these cars... [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte on Oct 11, 2014 - 26 answers

Where was this Magnum Ice Cream commercial filmed?

Where was the Magnum Ice Cream commercial with Rachel Bilson filmed? While some of the cars shown are American, I spy a Toyota Yaris with taillights that look very different from the US-market version, a Jeep with export taillights, and some other SUV that was certainly never sold here.
posted by Seeking Direction on Oct 10, 2014 - 6 answers

Temperature gauge fluctuations in a 2006 Scion TC?

Recently replaced the thermostat on my 2006 Scion TC, now the heat gauge is fluctuating again within the first 15 minutes of my commute, after which is settles. Am I going crazy? Is my car going to explode? [more inside]
posted by picklesthezombie on Sep 24, 2014 - 9 answers

Car is smashed. Help me pick another? Absolutely a snowflake.

Just lost our 2014 Turbo Sonata Limited in an accident Thursday. Won't be replacing it with a twin. Help us pick a new something? [more inside]
posted by TomMelee on Sep 22, 2014 - 26 answers

Can you identify this mystery ornament?

I inherited this ornament from my dad, who had inherited it from his father. I believe my grandfather found it in Ireland in the forties. Flickr photo set [more inside]
posted by *becca* on Sep 20, 2014 - 5 answers

We need a car. And we don't know anything about cars.

We need guidance on a few issues related to getting a car for our family. First of all, what kind of car makes sense for our needs? Second, should we buy or lease that car? [more inside]
posted by JubileeRubaloo on Sep 18, 2014 - 47 answers

Latest and greatest in hands-free calling and other car niceties?

My husband's birthday is coming up! For work, he drives and talks on the phone A LOT. How can I make make it safer - and nicer - for him to make and take calls while driving? I would also love to hear recommendations for other car-life luxuries that make a difference. [more inside]
posted by rada on Sep 8, 2014 - 10 answers

Help me become the Car Czar who knows what cars are

I am not a car person. I haven't regularly driven a car since I finished my undergrad degree, but for a variety of work-related reasons I need to acquire a literacy about the automotive industry, with bonus points for getting a bit of a download on car culture. [more inside]
posted by nerdfish on Sep 8, 2014 - 15 answers

Whether to spend a whole year's salary on a car

I make $93,000 net a year and want to buy a $95,000 car. I'm 28, and keen to enjoy life before I get tied down with family and other commitments. I'm seeking your wisdom. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 3, 2014 - 92 answers

Buying a used car with a warranty for my elderly mother in three days.

Hi, I am visiting my mother for a few days and need to buy her a reliable used car. Carmax doesn't have anything she is interested in, but we both like the idea of a $1500, five year warranty. Are there other warranty options out there for used cars that are just as good? [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Aug 25, 2014 - 7 answers

Need advice on (sort of) selling my car out of state

I want to sort of lease my car (that I'm still making payments on) to someone in a different state. Am I crazy? [more inside]
posted by anansi on Aug 20, 2014 - 8 answers

How to re-key a '69 Volkswagen Westfalia in San Francisco?

We have a 1969 VW camper van. We love her. Unfortunately, the previous owners redid the locks horribly and now we have a problem: the back window hatch lock doesn't work, we don't have a key to it that works, and we can't fix it. [more inside]
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel on Aug 2, 2014 - 8 answers

Fast and Furious...Car Shopping

What is the fastest way of buying a car in New York city? What should I keep in mind? How can I be super-productive and not lose money within this transaction? [more inside]
posted by The1andonly on Jul 30, 2014 - 2 answers

Filing a car insurance claim with unreported previous damage

I was in a fender-bender that was indisputably the other driver's fault, but I'm not sure how to proceed with the insurance claim because there was already some mild prior damage to my car from a couple of scrapes in my house's treacherous driveway that I never brought to my insurer's attention. Can I get in trouble with my insurance company (USAA) for failing to report those minor solo collisions, and how much will it complicate a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance? [more inside]
posted by patnasty on Jul 22, 2014 - 8 answers

I'd like to convert a car to cash with minimal hassle.

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]
posted by COBRA! on Jul 14, 2014 - 10 answers

Mazda 3 vs. The Rest

I'm about to pull the trigger on a new 2014 compact car. I've done my research and driven almost everything in the segment in the last year as a rental. It's come down to a Mazda 3 i Touring hatchback with the full tech package. Looking for input based on experience. [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Jul 12, 2014 - 42 answers

ISO Canadian vehicle reliability study

A year or so ago, we found a pdf online somewhere that we'd like to find again. Here are the bits of info we can remember: [more inside]
posted by nosila on Jul 9, 2014 - 2 answers

Somewhere to go, but how spiffed up should it be?

Is it worth making the investment of minor repairs on a 2011 Volvo XC90 AWD that's being traded in for a 2014 Mini Countryman S All4 when I already have a quoted range for the trade-in price from the Mini dealer? [more inside]
posted by dancinglamb on Jul 8, 2014 - 5 answers

Car computer security

What sort of personal information would be stored on a newer model car's computer that was used for 2 or 3 years, totaled, and then sent to the junk yard? Has anyone researched or begun to address the security risks of more complicated car computers, if they exist at all? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 7, 2014 - 5 answers

What are your proven ways to stay safe on the roads these days?

How do you stay safe while barrelling down the highway in a tin can? [more inside]
posted by rippersid on Jul 1, 2014 - 41 answers

Bumped a neighbor's house over 2 yrs ago, now an insurance claim looms

I bent the metal railing and caused some cracks in the brick staircase. After talking with the owner of the house, nothing was done for over 2 years. Now the owner is considering a repair and has told me that he's gotten quotes for $4000. How should I respond to this situation to both protect myself and take responsibility for my actions? [more inside]
posted by cubby on Jun 29, 2014 - 16 answers

Why is my husband's driving making me crazy?

In the last 6 months, I have suddenly gone from being entirely comfortable riding in the car, to a glued to the seat, slamming the imaginary brake scaredypants whenever my husband drives. He hasn't changed. Why have I? [more inside]
posted by my left sock on Jun 29, 2014 - 18 answers

What is this bolt that fell off the bottom of my '99 Honda Civic?

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]
posted by HeroZero on Jun 25, 2014 - 5 answers

Dead car--how to get rid of the car and keep its nice new tires?

About two weeks ago my 2002 PT Cruiser Limited suffered a head gasket failure. This is the second time it's happened on this car in recent years and I'm not having it repaired it again. About a week ago my wife and I bought a nice 2011 Toyota Corolla LE to replace that car. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with the Cruiser and how to keep its nice new tires for the Corolla. [more inside]
posted by FelineoidEntity on Jun 23, 2014 - 15 answers

Nice car stranger, can I interview you about it?

I'd like to do a series of documentary vignettes about people with interesting cars. What's the best and least creepy way to get the owner of a car I see on the road or in a parking lot to agree to an interview? Creative suggestions encouraged. [more inside]
posted by hamsterdam on Jun 16, 2014 - 20 answers

A car for camping?

Does it make sense to buy a cheap car just for weekend camping trips? If so, what should we look for? [more inside]
posted by enn on Jun 15, 2014 - 33 answers

Can I drive a car with temporary documentation into Canada?

Last week, I bought a new car. Can I drive in and out of Canada with a temporary license plate, registration, and insurance card? [more inside]
posted by ddbeck on Jun 9, 2014 - 4 answers

How to buy new tires for old AWD wagon in snowy climate?

We recently bought an old 1995 Subaru Legacy L wagon (2.2L, AWD) and find ourselves needing to replace all of the tires. Complications: snow, AWD, no storage for winter tires, and we need to be able to use the car on poorly maintained logging roads for field work in the summer. [more inside]
posted by dialetheia on Jun 5, 2014 - 8 answers

Need to cross a minivan with a Prius (or vice versa)

Just discovered that our next car purchase needs to happen this summer, so I've gotta get into research mode stat. Is there such a thing as a family car (ie kid transporter etc) with great city gas mileage? Special snowtires inside. [more inside]
posted by sesquipedalia on May 30, 2014 - 20 answers

Best methods for gauging the reliability of used cars

So I'm in the market for purchasing my first ever (used) car. I'm definitely a planner, but I'm having a bit of difficulty gauging how reliable a used car will be. There are tons of resources whenever I just google the car model + year, but I have no idea how reliable these reviews are or whether they're statistically significant. Want to get a bit more info besides my friend's first-hand accounts of their car problems, but I'm having trouble with this. Any recommendations for websites or tools to help me parse this data? For what it's worth, I'm looking for a small, manual car under ~$9000 in the PNW.
posted by aleatorictelevision on May 29, 2014 - 24 answers

not usually a speed demon..

First speeding ticket. What should I know and expect from this point forward? [more inside]
posted by melizabeth on May 26, 2014 - 15 answers

Filling out an insurance form given a lot of flux

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]
posted by ch3cooh on May 20, 2014 - 4 answers

What's the best car for car idiots?

I am moving to the SF South Bay in a few months and need to buy a car. I've read previous car-buying askme's, done a bit of avoid-scams/how-to-haggle online research, but mostly I'm overwhelmed. Step 1, I think: make, model, new or used?!? Please help me choose a car! [more inside]
posted by serelliya on May 13, 2014 - 13 answers

Car Buying for Dummies

A few months from now, it is somewhat likely I will need to acquire a car. I've never owned a car, never mind bought one. How do I go about it? [more inside]
posted by hoyland on May 11, 2014 - 11 answers

finding DVD of ESPN2 broadcasts/coverage of old (1997) events?

I'm trying to get all the 1997 Formula Star Mazda's races which were covered on ESPN2. My brother had started a race team that year. While his driver, Tony Buffomante, was winning pretty much every race, he (my brother) suffered a traumatic brain injury and had a many months recovery. Someone made him a DVD of all the coverage which he has now lost. I understand (and he does) that it was his fault for not backing it up apparently, but he's looking for help getting a new one even if ESPN or whomever charges a lot for it. I have no idea where to look.... Thank you! -William
posted by 8699oriel on May 9, 2014 - 4 answers

What's the car buying process in DC?

About to buy a car in DC, but how? [more inside]
posted by donut_princess on Apr 29, 2014 - 2 answers

What can I do about soft brakes on my car?

I have a newly acquired 2007 Lexus ES350 sedan. It was my dad's, it is in excellent shape, has been well maintained, and has 50,000 miles on it. I drove a 2003 Lexus before this and had a similar issue to the one I'm having on the 2007, which is that the brakes are just too soft for my tastes. It seems it is part of Lexus' "feel" to keep the ride smooth but I really dislike that I have to press so far and so early to get a good stop. [more inside]
posted by rbf1138 on Apr 22, 2014 - 5 answers

Non-depreciation cost of owning a car?

My fiancee and I are thinking about buying a new or new-ish Toyota Matrix, but it's apparently really hard to get an accurate picture of how much it costs to own and operate a car that doesn't include depreciation. Any suggestions or insight? [more inside]
posted by Decimask on Apr 13, 2014 - 12 answers

Long time driver, first time accident

So, I'm in my 30s and I had my first car accident last night. [more inside]
posted by Oktober on Apr 6, 2014 - 10 answers

What to attack first when getting out of debt? (Ramsey baby step 2)

I get it: never lease a car. Well, we have two. Following Dave Ramsey's money makeover, we've got more than our 1,000 emergency fund, so how do we start attacking our debts? He says start with the smallest and just start knocking them out. So...how does a car lease factor in there? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Sock on Apr 6, 2014 - 26 answers

Can I Ignore This Error Code (97 Mazda 626 Filter)

The car my son drives (97 Mazda 626 with the 6 cylinder engine) is throwing a P1195 OBDII code. That is a error reading from the EGR sensor, but there are a variety of things that could cause that, and Google didn't turn up any advice about whether or not that is really a critical issue to deal with. [more inside]
posted by COD on Apr 6, 2014 - 8 answers

Fix the old car or get a new (to me) one?

My 1986 Toyota Celica ST has 156K miles, a broken timing belt, and a bunch of other issues. According to my mechanic, it has a non-interference engine, so there shouldn't be valve damage, but it is time to move on anyway? And if I get a new car, which one? [more inside]
posted by jcreigh on Apr 5, 2014 - 17 answers

$175 to replace a driver's side rear-view mirror?

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]
posted by klangklangston on Apr 1, 2014 - 19 answers

Hard drivin'

What is the best vehicle for long-term ownership for someone who is hard on cars? By that I mean they accelerate and brake more rapidly than they should and they are slow, but not completely negligent, to perform maintenance.
posted by michaelh on Apr 1, 2014 - 18 answers

nyc speeding ticket - should I fight it?

Hello - just got a speeding ticket in manhattan (44 in a 30 zone). *I haven't had a ticket or violation of any kind in over 5 years (actually over 10 years). *honestly I was just passing an erratically driving bozo in front of me *it came out to $200, ouch. (plus probably 12% increase in insurance, which would come out to $80 to $100 per year). Ouch. Is this worth fighting? I'd wind up in tvb-land (harlem dmv office on 125th, i'm pretty sure). The cop got me on radar. I know it sounds like a lost cause - but would my spectacularly safe previous driving record, and that I was just passing a guy, help me at all? Is it worth trying? Whats your experience? Could I negotiate down to a non-moving violation based on the above? I've read elsewhere that having a clean previous record as I do can help? thanks for any advice.
posted by jak68 on Apr 1, 2014 - 6 answers

Are Gray Market Cars in the US still a thing?

Back in the 1980s, I remember a lot of older (richer) friends in Southern California were obsessed with gray market cars, importing special German versions of BMW and Porsche cars to the US and driving them. I haven't heard the term used in ages and there are TONS of Euro-spec cars I wish I could get in the US. Does this still happen? Or is it prohibitively expensive on both ends these days? Or is there some other reason? [more inside]
posted by mathowie on Mar 28, 2014 - 15 answers

I need new tires for my Subaru, but am overwhelmed by the choices

I need new tires for my Subaru, but am overwhelmed by the choices, help me understand what I am looking for? [more inside]
posted by Carialle on Mar 5, 2014 - 11 answers

Textbooks on internal combustion engines

I'd like to find a textbook about internal combustion engines. Can you recommend one? [more inside]
posted by aeighty on Feb 26, 2014 - 7 answers

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