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]
Does it make sense to buy a cheap car just for weekend camping trips? If so, what should we look for? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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.
First speeding ticket. What should I know and expect from this point forward? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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
About to buy a car in DC, but how? [more inside]
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]
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]
So, I'm in my 30s and I had my first car accident last night. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
I need new tires for my Subaru, but am overwhelmed by the choices, help me understand what I am looking for? [more inside]
I'd like to find a textbook about internal combustion engines. Can you recommend one? [more inside]
Car enthusiasts, what kind of after-market electronic gadget do you wish you could buy for your car/truck that doesn't currently exist (at least at an affordable price)? [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]
I'm trying to do a bit of research and I'm looking into broad demographics about car ownership. There's a fair amount of information about what kinds of people own what kinds of vehicles, but I'm getting stuck finding a demographic profile for adults who don't own cars. Any thoughts as to where I can find this information? BONUS POINTS if it's around Canada/North America and within the last 3 years. [more inside]
An actual help-me-with-my-story question: I've got a group of characters who need to ride around in an eye catching, iconic vintage automobile. It was orginally going to be a VW bus for the Mystery Machine echos but it turns out that's not actually street legal in the US. So, what's an old-fashioned auto that seats four or more, can be driven on US roads, and is antique/unusual enough to attract attention from car people but not enough that it sticks out like a surreal visitation ( like say, a Model T would.)
Is carsort.com dead? And assuming it is, is there a not-dead alternative for finding cars by features? [more inside]
Force Required To Deploy Airbags: Mercedes -- Don't know if any of you have since this video making it's way around the net. I'm sure people here know the technical specifications involved. Would this even be possible? Would imagine the woman would need a bag full of bricks haha
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.
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.
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]
I am eligible to take my road test next month and, assuming a pass, would like to begin the process of purchasing a car a few months after that. I never got a walk-through with my parents, so I would like your advice specifically on the initial purchase and care of a FIRST car. [more inside]
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?
I have seen many controlled intersections that have one (or more) left turn lanes with one (or more) straight-through lanes with separate signals for the left turn lane(s) versus the straight lane(s). In general, those intersections are designed to have straight-through traffic going from two opposing directions and then alternate with left-turning traffic going from two opposing directions. When the straight-through traffic is passing, why do the left-turning lanes get a red circular light rather than a green circular light or a yellow circular light? [more inside]
This is just a thought experiment at this point, and probably will remain so. In the back of my mind I have the idea that when my old SUV finally gives up the ghost I might rip out the internal combustion drivetrain and convert it to an electric vehicle, possibly with a removable range-extender generator. Setting practicality aside for the moment, can you help me envision what this would involve? [more inside]
My friend was recently gifted a 1946 Chevy Stylemaster by his grandfather. His grandfather lives in Pueblo, CO and he lives in Maryland. Anyone done this before? [more inside]
So, assume I don't know an awful lot about cars but would like to learn. What books and/or websites do I turn to? [more inside]
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]
How can I end the suffering of having purchased a terrible used car under duress? [more inside]
How long should I wait before refinancing my car? [more inside]
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]
My friend has 2 cars; a '77 Toyota sedan, and a "06 Subaru Forrester. Most of her driving is in the city and some highway. I have brought up the idea of winterizing them both; tuneups, de-icer, scraper, better wiper blades, windshield fluid, tires, more weight in the rear, sand, shovel, emergency flash, cell phone charger.......she has let me know the tires are not changing. Any ideas for making the cars, and her time in them, safer and more secure? Best battery? Oil?
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]
This is a long shot, but does anybody know a good mechanic in the New Orleans area who'll work on my old 4Runner? I'm having a hard time finding one for some reason. [more inside]
When I burn a CD, some songs that sound fine in iTunes on my computer will inexplicably have between 3-20 seconds of 'silence' at the beginning, thus causing my car's CD player to skip them if I don't fast forward to the actual music...WTF? (do my best to give some Tech Specs inside!) [more inside]
I've become mildly obsessed with trying to improve the fuel efficiency of my old truck. I've already done all the basic things and I realize that I'm fighting physics at this point, but what else might I consider if I wanted to make a bit of a hobby out of it? [more inside]
I really want to have something small and sporty but I've just had my heart broken by discovering i'm too tall for the MR2, MX5 and GT86. Is there anything available in the UK that I will be able to drive? [more inside]
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]