My partners kids (two-8 year old twin girls) came home last night after spending a weekend at their other home with their other parent. They were telling us about their weekend and told us that they were left in the car twice (Walmart & Target) while their mom shopped. They said the first time seemed like an hour & the second time they were scared so hid where people passing by could not see them. They said she left the doors locked, air conditioner on, car running, and that they were told not to open the door for any reason. I feel really uncomfortable with this for so many different reasons!! So my question is: Is there any way leaving kids in the car is ok? My feeling is 'absolutely not'!! and my partner feels the same. I'm new to this (no kids of my own) so I'm trying to determine if my really really uncomfortable feelings about this are in any way an overreaction. Thanks all!!
First time I've ever had to smog a car. It did not go well for the car's previous owner. I just got a ton of repairs done on it, but what else do I have to do first? [more inside]
'99 Civic Four-Door. 101k miles. $2k in repairs over the past year. Now needs new O2 sensors and brake lines, coming to $850 or so. Should I stay or should I go? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
Driving from central Illinois to DC area, only have limited experience driving in the US. What's the best route and what to expect (rest stops, food, etc)? [more inside]
Hoping to find a convex blind spot mirror like this, with a "corner line", indicating whether the car behind you is far enough away for safe lane-changing. Google and Autozone etc. have plenty of convex blind spot mirrors, but none with the all-important line. What is the name of this feature/do you recognize this product? [more inside]
Hello, We have a car we can no longer afford, but we owe about $3K more than we could potentially sell it for and we cannot come up with that difference. We are in Nevada and I want to know if we turn the car over to the bank and they sell it, can they come after us for the difference in the balance and what they sell it for. Thank you.
I am selling my old car because I needed a car that could tow my trailer. Old Car is generally terrific for being 11 years old, but the AC doesn't work. Price reflects this. Needs new AC compressor. Should I put it in the ad, or tell people on the phone?
My wife and I are in the process of buying a new car for the first time. So far things have proceeded fairly smoothly, but I just wanted to be clear on how the steps should proceed as we enter the end game. [more inside]
I inherited a red Honda Fit (2007) that has taken a bit of a beating from the sun. The red color has faded to a pinkish shade, except on the bumpers which are bright red (since they were replaced under a recall). The top coat of the body is mostly intact except for a few spots. What's the best way to take care of the car from a pragmatic and aesthetic point of view? [more inside]
Rather than driving a minivan and a big pickup to a distant destination, what are the pros and cons of just towing the minivan by the big pickup? [more inside]
My mother lives in Olympia, WA, drives a Honda Fit, and says she needs to get her brakes checked (among whatever else). She also thinks every mechanic is out to scam her. Please give me some recommendations that I can pass on to her. [more inside]
My partner and I are looking to rent a furnished in Mount Vernon, Baltimore from September 1-January 1. Where should we look, and how does the rental proces work? Also, we need a car. [more inside]
Suggestions, please, for a smallish hybrid vehicle to replace a worn-out Civic. We're in Ontario, Canada, so choices are limited (and dealers entirely apathetic). Likely to keep the car for 10 years or so, and looking for low total cost of ownership. [more inside]
We're taking my 2013 Jetta on a 2000 mile drive this spring and while it's a blast to drive and great on gas mileage, the seats are not butt friendly at all. [more inside]
There is a metal (possibly filled with concrete?) pole on the side of our building and we want it gone! [more inside]
The AC compressor attempts to run when I start the defroster, presumably to dehumidify the air. For some reason though either the compressor itself or the belt that runs it (and the water pump, I think) is smoking when the compressor is on. I'm not worried about humidity and I can't think of a downside. Is there some safety or reliability reason I shouldn't do this? If not, is it as simple as disconnecting a wire?
I am selling my car without a title transfer. Need quick advice on how to best protect myself. [more inside]
I just bought a 2000 VW Golf, which has a cassette player. Can anyone recommend a convertor to play music from my iPhone? The best review I've seen is for the Sony, but there is still a lot of criticism. Please recommend the best option, whether it is the Sony, or another. Thank you.
Hi MeFi, I was on the receiving end of a car accident which occurred last week during rush-hour. I was traveling home from work on a very busy Charlestown Ave when I got had another car smash into mine. I had a bad case of whiplash and went sorta blank for a second but after I came out of the car I noticed a busted BMW behind with a driver still sitting there. The girl from the second car fled the scene. My suspicion was that she didn't have a license or didn't own the car or both. So in short, BMW (Car A) > smashes into grey vehicle with (Car B) which in turn smashes into me (Car C). My insurance adjustor is saying this is a complicated case because of how 'many impacts' I felt or heard. What the hell does this even mean? It felt like someone hit me with a hammer. He said the first party which caused the scene hasn't yet accepted responsibility and they have 30 days to do it or not. I'm sorta left broken and had two trips to ER and two MRIs taken which showed I have an upper disc injury in neck and shoulders. The back side of my car is completely damaged with me being unable to shut my trunk. It is still drivable but it looks like hell. I don't want to dish out $500 for a rental since I'm already drowning in bills. Insurance is telling me that I can't get reimbursed for the rental until someone accepts responsibility. Is this how it usually goes with insurance companies in USA? I'm flabbergasted. Should I get an attorney?
Why did my car engine suddenly go bad? [more inside]
What are the best windshield wiper blades money can buy? [more inside]
I have a car with a loan I am currently paying that is titled, registered, and insured in Ohio (I am an Ohio resident). I would like to give this car to my grandfather and continue to pay on it, but he is a resident of Michigan. Can I register and insure the car in both states so that he can drive it legally in Michigan?
I am planning on buying a lightly used car in the next few months, so I’m starting to research what kind to buy. What make/models (and years) should I consider? [more inside]
I remember playing a game ages (ten years?) ago on (now defunct) bonus.com, which involved manipulating different-coloured cars using switches and other things. I played it on a desktop computer, and it used flash or shockwave. One needed to get a certain amount of cars into specific places to pass the level. The game was played from a top-down perspective. There were many levels. I think, though I may be mistaken, that the game had a person's name in the title. Can you help me find it? [more inside]
I know very little about cars. But now I find myself needing to buy a car to replace my decrepit 1999 Chevy Prizm. I can pay cash up to a maximum of $6,000 (including all surcharges, taxes, etc.). I'd rather not get financing, as we're still paying-off my wife's car. [more inside]
My car has an air bag that is subject to the big air bag recall. Will a faulty passenger side air bag sensor cause my dealer not to replace my (presumably) faulty driver's side air bag? [more inside]
I love my car. My car is in decent shape for being almost 5 years old and for just hitting the 100,000 mile mark, has never been in a wreck, oil is changed mostly on time. It's a good car. And I have a solo road trip coming up in a few days. Do I really need to get these repairs done now, or can they wait? [more inside]
I've looked all over the internet for a lease/buy calculator that fits my situation, but they all seem to compare leasing versus a car loan. I am wondering whether to lease or buy a new car with cash. Is there ever a valid argument for leasing over a cash purchase if you can afford to pay for the car outright? [more inside]
I bought a car (from a dealer) in Texas in August. The buyer's tag (which is what the temporary plate is called, I think) expires on Wednesday. I still don't have the license plates. What do I do? [more inside]
My SO and I are planning on moving to another country in 2 years. We suspect it will be easier to not take any cars with us. We currently have 2 cars, but one seems to be auditioning to join the choir invisible. [more inside]
What are some fictional car names that sound funny or would get someone to raise a smile? I know there are some out there; I get asked about car names sometimes and want to put some fun responses together.
I spilled some gasoline in a rental car. How can I clean it and get rid of the smell before I return it in a few days? [more inside]
Just went out to the family car to find it has a flat battery. Such a lovely day outside, I really don't feel like jump starting it, and I don't need it today. However, I was speaking to my father (who's overseas, I'm house sitting) and he'd prefer I do it today as car batteries shouldn't be left in an uncharged state as doing so does damage. Is this true? [more inside]
I own a 2004 Mazda3 5-door. I love my car and love not having car payments and want to keep it running well as long as possible. I get oil changes fairly regularly, but I don't know what other maintenance or inspections I should be getting. [more inside]
I want to make a tent that goes over the opened lift gate (hatchback?) of my minivan. The ones I've seen are expensive, and I have an old tent, plus a couple of old tent flies and some mesh screen. The tent acts as an extension of the van and allows in air. Could also be used as privacy space for the camping potty. So, ideas and suggestions for making it as good as possible? Have you ever made your own tent? [more inside]
If all goes well, I'll have the pre-purchase inspection on this used car tomorrow, and see if I can close a deal to buy it. Then what? I need help with the order of all the paperwork and steps. Complication: I'm in MA, the owner is in CA, and the car is registered and located with the seller's relative in NH. [more inside]
What is the car in this political advertisement? I believe it says Chevrolet on the front, but I'm not sure. Please limit discussion to identifying the car and not the people or politics in the ad - thanks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2hSvyNHJN8
I'm in the market for a used car, and I know that it's bad news when a car isn't driven regularly. I've found one that's otherwise good for me. I don't know how little driving is too little, whether the kinds of problems that result could be checked by a mechanic's pre-purchase inspection, and whether my own tough driving patterns make any difference. [more inside]
It's time to shop for a replacement car, and I'm interested in sizing up safety. I'm aware of IIHS for crash safety stats. I'd like to evaluate from other angles, especially safety stats from actual accident reports, but possibly other points of view I haven't though of. [more inside]
While installing a new car stereo in my 1999 Saturn SW2, I screwed something up, as I no longer get voltage to the orange "constant power" wire (well, sometimes a mere hundredth of a volt!) to my car stereo, and my engine won't crank either! Yet all of my other electronics (headlights, air conditioner, etc.) work fine. Is there a blown fuse preventing power from getting to the starter and the car stereo? If so, where might the fuse be? The fuses in the fuse box are all fine.
My wife, clean from seizures for about two years, is getting her license back soon and I need to know if there's any pitfalls regarding insurance. [more inside]
Is it possible to haul a portable dishwasher strapped on top of a Ford Taurus? [more inside]
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]
I am going to Ireland. Yay! We forgot to request a GPS with our car rental so I'm bringing mine from home (USA) in case they don't have any when we get there. Unfortunately, my GPS no longer holds a charge and has to be plugged in to work. Will my US cigarette lighter adapter work in an Irish car?
I am, unfortunately, in the market for a (used) car. I know nothing about cars. I need a car for upcoming PhD research travel to inaccessible places, but, being a PhD student, have very little money. I need help figuring out: a cheap but reliable car model, a price bracket to spend that will have me driving something that won't literally fall apart on the road, what my deal-breakers should be, and a game plan on where and how to actually purchase a used car. Help? [more inside]
We will soon be owning and insuring a car in NJ, but are confused about how much coverage we should be getting. How much coverage do we need? [more inside]
Friend sold his car. He now wants me to play chauffeur when we hang out. I don't want to. Is there a gentle way to tell him this? [more inside]
2013 Subaru Crosstrek XV got 32-33 highway mpg last year. Now it gets 28. [more inside]
Made a few mistakes in signing under pressure on a car purchase. Never had possession of the vehicle and was due to finalize payment the following day. In the meantime, I realized that the dealer did not give me my copy of the purchasing agreement and began to worry that the verbal assurances they gave me about the car's certification and warranty were not on the contract. The next morning (today), I return to the dealer, request my copy and confirm my fears. I demanded that they cancel the contract, which they did, but now I am wondering if it is "really" cancelled. [more inside]
My wife and I want to go on a trip to Luxembourg. Its a 10 hour drive, and we want to do it during nighttime. However we have a 2,5 year old and we're wondering if we can let her sleep in the back in the car-seat for the entire ride? Will we do permanent damage to her body if we let her sleep in the carseat? Usually we just take a break if we go on long rides, and we've never considered her sleeping during a really long ride.