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]
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]
Looking for a good cheap used Nissan, Toyota, or Honda in the Los Angeles area for around $3000. Any website suggestions for finding used cars? Or, what is a good dealer to go to?
I love cars, particularly European classics, but modern and US cars too (though not the Japanese tuning scene). I'm in Los Angeles until January 22nd; is there an event or place that is a 'must see' while I'm here?
Why do these skeezy guys solicit me in public to do body work on my car? [more inside]
When I lived in LA a few years ago, I heard about a short-lived craze among status-seekers in the entertainment industry. [more inside]
Where can I wash my convertible? I bought a '92 Infiniti M30 convertible recently. The original soft top (plastic window) is on it. I live in an apartment building, and can't wash my own car, except at a wash-it-yourself place, which is kinda far from my house. That said, there are tons of car washes here in LA at all levels of automation. Can I bring my car to a traditional carwash? The kind that drop the soap on the car from on top but they wash it with towels? What about the automated kind? I've never owned a convertible, I need some guidelines.
What's the best 1-2 yr old 4WD-capable car? Best for us means: fuel economy, reliability, non-behemoth-SUV-ness, aesthetic and reasonable cost (<$25k). Also: any knowledge about Subaru Outbacks and SoCal 4WD dealers. [more inside]
Why do people in Los Angeles usually refer to their numbered highways with "the" (for example, US 101 is "the one-oh-one")? [more inside]
Can someone recommend a good used-car dealership in the Los Angeles area? [more inside]
When did Los Angeles drivers begin to consistently make illegal left turns, against a red light? In LA last week, my wife and I noticed that the last two or three cars making a left turn at an intersection did so even though the green arrow had stopped showing. And are there other places besides Southern California where these (belated, illegal, dangerous) turns happen regularly? [A bit more inside] [more inside]