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]
So I have an old truck. I'd like to hear your suggestions for tools, spare parts, fluids, etc that I should keep on hand in the truck either in case something goes wrong or in case I find myself having to do something tool-related while I'm out of the house. Hit me with your best suggestions! [more inside]
3 years ago my husband backed into a concrete pole in a parking garage while away on business. It has rendered the hatch back useless. We are now moving and need the hatch back more than ever. For many reasons we never informed our insurance company and never fixed it. This is what our insurance is for; right? [more inside]
Earlier this year, while I was in Germany, I noticed an unusual car. I've never seen anything like it, and my best description of it is that it looked like a lightning bolt. Any ideas what it might be? [more inside]
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]
So my girlfriend and I broke up. And the car I purchased last year was for us- larger than I would need myself, more expensive than I would purchase on my own. Can I get rid of this or trade it even though I still owe on it for three more years? [more inside]
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]
Our vanpool just switched to a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. It's a FlexFuel vehicle and we'd like to know when/if it makes sense to use E85 fuel. We live in Minnesota. Our typical commute is 40 miles at highway speeds. Environmental concerns will be weighed, but so will economical ones.
I'd like to find a newish, reliable cargo van with under 100,000 miles, good gas mileage (at least 15+ city, 19+ highway), and a high top. The first two are strongly preferred, the high top could go either way I suppose. My budget is under $18K. [more inside]
I'm the dad of a growing family - a two-year-old, a baby about to be born, and a wife. And two small dogs. We need a family car, and are looking for something that will accommodate: * Dogs in the back (a wagon or hatchback) * Two rear-facing carseats. * A tall (6'3") man in a front seat. [more inside]
Near where I live in Boston, there is a dangerous road, and a particularly dangerous intersection. I'd like to take action to have someone take steps to remediate it. Can you recommend specific resources and data to use to make the most compelling call to action? [more inside]
Which carmakers these days (that sell in the US) have really good build quality? I'm thinking high quality interior materials, excellent fit and finish, as well as well thought out interior components like control layouts, displays, and compartments? Maybe carmakers (or models) that are known for little surprising details? I'm now starting to look for a smaller sedan or maybe hatchback/wagon under $40K. Some of the models I'm looking at so far are the Volvo S60/V60, Subaru Legacy/Impreza, Toyota Prius, Audi A4, maybe BMW X1.
I don't have a lot of money, or experience, or tools, and about a year ago I asked about fixing up an old Fiat. Most people told me that wasn't a great idea, and that I should look into Volkswagens, and since then I've fallen in love with the VW Beetle. My question is this: what are some ways I can (1) find a VW Beetle that is a good candidate to wrench on that probably won't need everything but the chassis replaced and (2) get into the "old Beetle enthusiast" community without having a ton of disposable income? [more inside]
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.
Over the past month or two my car has started exhibiting several problems, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the expense and hassle of repairing it or start looking for a new car. [more inside]
What is it and where can I find one? [more inside]
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]
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]
We have a 2002 Mazda Protege5 with 140k miles on it. The repair costs seem to be escalating and we are trying to decide whether to keep it on the road. [more inside]
I want to slather the tailgate of my truck in bumper stickers. I am a science-minded, fun-loving, environmentalist, social-justice-oriented, politically-progressive dude who fancies himself a connoisseur of the pithy phrase. (So, pretty much your average MeFite.) What are some of your favorite bumper stickers that you think a chap like me would appreciate, and where can I buy them? [more inside]
A friend and I run a small-but-growing online vintage clothing business. We've recently branched out into showing at vintage truck shows in the Chicago area. As of now, we've been using a friend's Saab hatchback. Unfortunately, this isn't a really a sustainable option for us; it's also a bit of a tight fit for our 200ish garments, 2 - 3 clothing racks, bust, and table. We're interesting in purchasing a used vehicle so that we can continue to travel with our merchandise. Ideally, we'd like something that is reliable, safe, and has some extra space to grow alongside our business. Unfortunately, our budget is on the low side: we'd like to spend less than $5000... the cheaper the better. Thoughts? Recommendations? Should we rent instead of buy? Thanks for sharing your wisdom! [more inside]
Debating a new car. Nissan Maxima versus Acura TL? Or something else entirely? [more inside]
A very good friend of mine is car shopping, and to say he's getting frustrated is an understatement. He's a pretty big and tall guy, obviously wants to be able to fit comfortably in his car, is looking to buy new, and is having absolutely no luck finding a car that matches his requirements. [more inside]
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?
We have a peugeot 5008. As a driver I find it a lot of fun to drive because for a hybrid 7 seater its pretty nimble and responsive. However, as a passenger, the car is a vomit inducing roller coaster ride. [more inside]
I just bought a new car and was wondering whether it would be tacky to put up a picture of it on Twitter/FB or a blog.
When do you know the time is right is to give up a car? Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
What are the best commuter cars from the past few years that I could get for less than $10,000 today? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
If something is plugged into the cigarette lighter port of a car while it is off (that is, no key in the ignition), can that thing inadvertently draw power (and possibly drain the battery) especially if it is cheap or faulty? Or does turning the car off remove that possibility entirely?
How do I go about test driving a car that is perfect for my needs—in terms of price, personality, condition and fit into my life—except that I don't drive manual? [more inside]
I have a huge car financing question that is giving me a headache. I plan to travel soon so I wish to pay off the amount I owe on a car that I've financed through Toyota Financial Services. This didn't seem like it would be such a huge deal, but then I run into this gem. [more inside]
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]
How can I find a decent replacement stereo for my 2005 Audi TT roadster? One with real knobs and no laser light show? [more inside]
Is purchasing a used car outright with cash a bargaining chip for negotiations? What add-ons should I turn down from the dealership? [more inside]