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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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....
posted by 8699oriel
on May 9, 2014 -
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 -
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 -
I'm buying two new rims for my van. I've found the right rims to buy price and similarity-wise
-- if they aren't the color they appear to be in the photograph. Can someone tell or make an educated guess whether the color would actually be closer to silver/gray? I'm hoping it's just the photo that is bad since I've never seen wheels with that copper color.
posted by michaelh
on Jan 24, 2014 -
One year ago, I was approved for an auto loan (via Ally, if it matters), and bought a 2006 Mini. I like the car well enough- it's fun to drive, no issues, and the newest model car I've ever owned...but it's an automatic, and as I've always been a manual driver, I find that I now deeply regret my purchase. Can I trade/sell this car, and get another, on my current loan? [more inside]
posted by ElectricGoat
on Jan 8, 2014 -
The Peteyjlawsonmobile is dead, and most likely will not be resuscitated. In other annoying news, I filled the tank the day before the car decided to stop working. So, should I write it off as a loss, or can any Mefites suggest a cunning way of getting the petrol from the old car into the new car?
posted by peteyjlawson
on Jan 6, 2014 -
My much-babied, recently inspected 2008 Scion xD won't start! When I got in the car yesterday morning and turned the key in the ignition, it made a buzzing/grrrr sound and some of the dash lights come on -- but that was it, the engine wouldn't turn over. I tried again about a half hour ago, and it did start up after a little hiccup, so I thought maybe yesterday was a fluke. But when I got in the car just now to actually go somewhere, it refused to start up again. Now the radio won't even turn on, though most of the dash lights still do. I tried rolling it down the hill, pumping the breaks, all the stuff non-mechanically-minded me can think of. Help! What can I do right now to get it to start and to get the engine to turn over? [more inside]
posted by rue72
on Dec 19, 2013 -
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 -
I own two cars. I need only one. But which one? Both are very reliable and always have had regularly scheduled maintenance. Their resale values are both tiny. Overall I am not partial to either one. So tell me which one I should keep in the driveway. Most importantly, tell me WHY. [more inside]
posted by Longtime Listener
on Dec 4, 2013 -
My 1994 Toyota 4Runner (V6, RWD) has a bad muffler and/or tailpipe. It runs loud, but not undriveably loud. Today I took a good look under there for the first time since buying the truck (pictures within) and I would like some advice on the best and most cost-effective way to proceed. Bonus mystery switch question at end. [more inside]
posted by Scientist
on Nov 12, 2013 -
My boyfriend has a 2002 Ford Taurus with 300,000 miles on it. It burns oil and has some impact damage on the front so that you have to remove the plastic grill to open the hood. It needs an inspection sticker and getting one will require a new windshield and possibly some other repairs. He has just purchased a new vehicle and wants to wash his hands of the Taurus. He says I can have it if I want it. [more inside]
posted by domo
on Oct 30, 2013 -
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 -
I've noticed some odd things about some acquaintances' vehicles recently. One acquaintance has multiple (new/new-ish) vehicles that have never been fitted with license plates (this is in the US, in a state where one gets temporary registration before receiving plates mailed from the DMV). Surely this is not simply to save on registration fees, or to avoid red-light-camera tickets...? Another acquaintance purchased a new Hyundai from a dealer and it has the standard "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" written exclusively in Korean on the passenger side mirror. That's not normal for the US, is it? Will definitely not act on any ideas; just curious.
posted by karbonokapi
on Sep 25, 2013 -
The family's cars all got busted around the same time. They need to be replaced. I, individually, need to buy a used car. This will be the first car I buy on my own account. I have a tight budget, and I can't afford a mistake. I don't want to buy a money sink, but I don't want to sink all my money up front, either. I don't know cars at all: How can I find a good deal? What should I avoid? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Sep 12, 2013 -
I've recently had occasion to take a multi-hour drive with someone who who very consistently drove in a matter that felt very dangerous to me. There was a lot of tailgating, sudden lane changing, and more than a few last-second turns. I sat quietly in the back seat. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first
on Sep 5, 2013 -
My mom gave my daughter a great deal on a car previously driven by my step-dad. However he was a smoker, and he smoked in the car for 10 years. How do I deoderize the interior and remove the stale smoke oder?
posted by COD
on Aug 2, 2013 -
When do you know the time is right is to give up a car? Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by Calzephyr
on Jul 27, 2013 -
I am in Missouri. I have a car that I'd like to sell, but I'm concerned about how to do the transaction safely and securely. It's a desirable used car on which I owe about 12k. Similar cars with more mileage are selling in the $17k-$18k range (trade-in is in the $15k range). We're going to replace this car with a lease with payments I'm happy with, so I'd like to cash out that equity. [more inside]
posted by Jacob G
on Jul 14, 2013 -
I reply to a fair number of L.A. travel questions here and many of the answers (including mine) often contain dire warnings about traffic. This happens even if traffic isn't directly related to the question being asked.
So, visitors to our fair city, how bad was the traffic really
, and what information/advice can I give to newbie LA tourists who drive? [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A
on Apr 29, 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 -
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 -
I need to buy a used car. I hate the process, am afraid of dealerships, and am easily talked into things — so I hired a "car concierge" buying service to do this for me. But it didn't work out like I thought and I felt pressured to spend more than I wanted. Should I give up? If so, how do I deal with buying a used car, when it completely freaks me out? [more inside]
posted by amoeba
on Feb 5, 2013 -
One of my oldest friends is selling his 2002 VW Passat Station Wagon (GLX V6). He bought it new and has taken good care of it (I've known him for 30 years; he takes care of things). He has all of the car's records.
As it turns out, I'm in the market for a used car. The car drives beautifully. He is listing it at $6K. But a thorough pre-purchase inspection uncovered several problems, for which he is willing to take the price down. How can we find a fair value for the car? And should I buy this Volkswagen at all? [more inside]
posted by betsbillabong
on Jan 30, 2013 -
The rear brakes on my 2010 Ford Fusion, which is still under warranty, have worn out in what seems to me like a premature and unusual way. I have included the details inside and would like your opinion on whether this is an issue I should press with the dealership and/or Ford, or whether I should just fix the brakes and move on. [more inside]
posted by Juffo-Wup
on Jan 23, 2013 -
An Audi A4 is a bit small and I can't import and RS6, what else should I look at? [more inside]
posted by VTX
on Jan 16, 2013 -
Are dedicated snow tires a good idea for Seattlites who only occasionally visit the mountains? [more inside]
posted by rouftop
on Jan 9, 2013 -
How could changing a car's battery cause the panel lights to come on when turning the car OFF? Or is everything in my car falling to pieces coincidentally at the same time? [more inside]
posted by Eicats
on Jan 4, 2013 -
How can I find a trustworthy mechanic in a new city (Toronto) without breaking the bank? [more inside]
posted by cacofonie
on Dec 19, 2012 -
Kia Spectra Hatchback vs. Kia Rio Hatchback vs. Mazda3 Hatchback vs. Hyundai Accent Hatchback? [more inside]
posted by 256
on Dec 3, 2012 -
I want to fix up a fun little old car, but haven't really worked on cars much before. Where should I start? [more inside]
posted by epilnivek
on Nov 9, 2012 -
I am worried about the sounds emanating from my car. Could it be an alignment issue? [more inside]
posted by Loto
on Oct 16, 2012 -
Road trip with my wife next week. I'm looking for practical experience with routes from Fredericksburg VA to Indianapolis IN. [more inside]
posted by COD
on Oct 5, 2012 -
Weird question: Is there a place I can register my newly-acquired vintage car for use as a movie prop? [more inside]
posted by mibo
on Sep 6, 2012 -
I am moving from Colorado to New Jersey and unfortunately have not managed to sell my car. I am at a loss as what to do with the car but taking it with me is not an option in the short term. I have a friend who can take care of the car and possibly show it to interested buyers but I am unaware of the limitations or pitfalls of this process (aside from inconveniencing my friend). What would be the issues I would have to deal with? Is there a way other than craigslist that I should by trying? Carmax is too far to try out. Any other ideas?
posted by occidental
on Aug 21, 2012 -
My '03 Hyundai Accent has serious mechanical issues. I'm working poor. Would it be wiser to see if it's worth it to shell out for repairs or immediately pass her on and do without a car until I can get a replacement (that might not be much better)? [more inside]
posted by batmonkey
on Jul 10, 2012 -