Not long ago, I was traveling on Interstate 35, driving north from Laredo, Texas to San Antonio. On the way, I saw a line of about six late model cars traveling together. Each was a basic four-door sedan in a neutral color, each had a four-digit number in large white lettering on the rear window, and each had a very large grill guard attached to the front--the kind you usually see on heavy duty pick up trucks. What was going on?
I'm heading off for my first semi-solo road trip with kids (and my mom) from either DC or Winchester to the Jacksonville/St. Augustine area of Florida. We are planning to take two days and stop every few hours for a break, preferably somewhere scenic and fun for the kids. [more inside]
I'm looking at a new car purchase and have noticed that the "better" headlights (HID or LED) are typically only available on the highest trim level or with an options package that includes a bunch of other features that I'm a lot less interested in. What should I know about doing an aftermarket install of HID or LED headlights on a new car purchase in the US? [more inside]
I play podcasts from my Android device through an external-audio input cable in my car. The volume range gives me migraines. Please help? [more inside]
I've taken my car to the mechanic what seems like an unreasonable number of times to fix an issue. Mostly, the car keeps overheating. First, they replaced the entire radiator. The next time it broke down, it was the water pump, which also necessitated a new timing belt. It's been overheating again, and came close to breaking down. I talked with a guy who knows cars, but is not a mechanic. He says if it's still having problems, it's likely the thermostat. Am I overreacting to not want this same shop to fix it? [more inside]
OK, knowing the answer will probably not make me a better, happier, wiser person, but I've got to know: in some random Tumblr surfing I saw this picture, apparently a still from a movie... [more inside]
I've just received a wonderful and unexpected gift in the form of a shiny red 2016 Toyota Corolla LE. I know, it's not the kind of car people usually pamper, but it's the nicest and most expensive thing I've ever owned. And frankly, I'm clumsy, messy and careless. For the first time in my life I want to try to keep something nice looking! [more inside]
I just got a new car! Hooray! The new car smell was exciting at first, but now it's giving me a headache. What can I do to get rid of it? [more inside]
I tried to jump start my car with two different cars on the other end. What's my next move? [more inside]
I am helping a family friend who was in a severe car accident. She is not a native English speaker and has zero experience with lawyers. I have worked with them plenty in a business setting, but never around personal injury. There is no question of fault and she has injuries that will impact her for life. Should we try to negotiate with the insurance company ourselves and save the 30% fee an attorney would take? [more inside]
Last winter my car door froze shut and the door handle cable snapped when I tried to open it. I had it repaired at the dealership at significant cost. It broke again on the very first freeze this year. What should I do? [more inside]
Returned a rental car recently, had some damage in a crowded parking garage. Seems like the rental agent was trying to get me not to admit fault, but I was dumb and did so. Can they void my LDW by saying it was "reckless"? I'm worried: only light body damage, but will be hella expensive, plus downtime charges, if I'm on the hook.
The alarm on my 2001 Audi A6 Wagon goes off arbitrarily. This may happen more in hot weather. I've played with what appears to be, judging from the icon, the interior alarm button (near the trunk release button, on the driver's door frame on the b post), but this has no effect. [more inside]
My son has just been stationed in Kittery, Maine for the foreseeable future (three years) and needs a car. He believes he needs a vehicle with a little extra something-something: ground clearance and AWD or 4WD. But I'm here visiting for a week and I'm 110% positive all these folks aren't swapping out their small sedans for big trucks when winter hits. Or, do they? [more inside]
We're thinking of buying a 2013 Volvo that is up for sale at a non-Volvo car dealer in Southern California. A background check revealed that apparently the car was initially licensed as a rental in Hawaii (?!?) and later owned in California. This seems really ... odd. Is there any reason to be afraid there is something wrong with the car? [more inside]
If you're on a super-tight budget, would you go with the practical regular ol' car or spring for a (maybe reliable, I dunno) hybrid? [more inside]
If you only had $5000 for a used vehicle, would you buy a RAV4, CRV, or Lexus RX? [more inside]
I've read through the previous questions on this. But a ladies daughter with a learners permit hit my partners car while it was parked, and now she just wants to pay cash because she's convinced involving insurance will be a nightmare... [more inside]
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]
My friend lives in California. Her car is in New York. She would like to sell this car. Assuming no trusted intermediaries are available in New York, and travel to New York is not an option right now, how might she go about doing this? [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]
One woman. One old-ass Prius. 157,724 miles of highway. Help me plan a summer road trip that (a) maximizes awesomeness, and (b) minimizes horrible death? [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 got into an accident this weekend and I dented my door & part of the fender. My insurance company says that if the fix is more than 80%, they are legally obligated to declare is salvage / total loss which means I lose my car. I'm scared that this is the case. [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 have to jump my car almost every time I drive it in the wintertime. Help! This is not fun at all. [more inside]
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]