Author Topic: Anything related to automobiles  (Read 27857 times)

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Offline wkiml

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #70 on: June 13, 2012, 10:37:45 AM »
@ Barto as you seem to be the resident mechanic

My Ford Windstar (2003) last year of production has been giving me some early signs the transmission might be going

was driving on the highway when the tranny light came on and the car seem to lose most of its power....pulled over turned the car of and turned it back over and it ran fine (this only happened once about 4 months ago) but since than I've noticed it runs alittle rough when I start it up in the morning, also recently when putting the car into reverse to back out , I notice a squealling noise and its seems to run rough, entire car kinds of shimmy's . Again this is only after a cold start in the morning, once the car has been running foir awhile I don't seem to have this issue

Looking a multiple forums seems the windstar tranny is a major problem once the car goes over 100k (mine currently has 120K) on it .

Don't have a mechanic I can trust to not drag me over the coals and don't want to take it to Ford because everytime I do they find problems other than the one I brought it in for

Any ideas/suggestions

PS I am mechanically inept 
Quote from: senecadawg2 on July 17, 2012, 10:54:32 PM
In defense of peanut butter...

try getting the neighbor's dog to lick your balls with a spoonful of chummus.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #71 on: June 13, 2012, 11:09:35 AM »
My guess is that you're looking at a couple of different issues.  Modern automatic transmissions have pretty nifty trick, which is that when they detect some sort of fault they go into what's known as limp mode.  I suspect each manufacturer is different, but in the case of my BMW (which incidentally might have the same tranny as your Ford), it'll lock the car into it's highest gear.  This is to keep the RPMs low to prevent any damage.  When that happens, you accelerate about as fast a 1972 Ford school bus.  It feels like you have no power, but it's really just that the car is trying to start off in 5th gear.  When you turn the car off for a minute or so, it'll reset and until that fault pops up again, all is well.  Limp mode is designed to, as the name implies, allow you to drive very slowly to the mechanic so he can charge you $3k for a new tranny.  If it's only happened once in 4 months, I wouldn't be worried.  If it becomes more frequent, then you might have an issue.

As for the rough running, that could be any number of things.  It's also probably what caused the tranny fault that you experienced.  It could also be completely unrelated.  If you think about it, once your car suggests that there's a very expensive transmission problem looming, you pay much more attention to everything that's going on.  The roughness might have been there for a while, or more likely had been getting worse gradually enough that you hadn't noticed until you got worried about the car.

The good news is that any competent mechanic can plug a laptop into your dashboard and tell you pretty quickly what's going on with the engine.  I can name a dozen different things that are cheap and easy that could cause it, so there's no reason to be worried.  Just get online and fine somebody reputable, then let him ask the car what's going on. 
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #72 on: June 13, 2012, 11:24:32 AM »
When buying a car from a dealer (a used car in this case) how much can they typically wiggle on the price? 

    The sticker price on the car is $5700 and I would like to talk him down to like $5400. Is $300 off too much to ask for?

No that's perfectly reasonable. Don't be afraid to walk away, when buying my golf I shot $1200 below sticker (it was a used price). Walked out, got a call 3 hours later and he sold it.
Yeah, walking away from a salesman scares the bejeezus out of them.  Their powers from from always being the person in control.  If they think they're in charge and you suddenly get up and start walking out, it's a real shot to the kidneys. 

Anytime this comes up I post this:  http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/confessions-of-a-car-salesman.html
It was a series from Edmunds, where one of their writers went undercover working at two different car lots over a six month period.  He tells you all the tricks, and it's an amazingly useful read.  I think the four-square is a thing of the past, with that fair credit law and all, but it's still great intel.

Now that was nothing short of fascinating. I feel like I just got a lesson in human psychology.

     I wonder If I subtlety drop some of the secret vocab words during the discussion, how the dealer would react. I might just do it for the hell of it.

Its pretty much just as insane as I expected and now I don't feel as intimidated about their Casino-esque "we win, you lose" methodology. I feel like I have the other team's playbook. 
   
   In the end, the article re-confirmed what I already knew and that is that I could never be a salesman or businessman.

 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 11:38:22 AM by Phoenix87x »
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Offline wkiml

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #73 on: June 13, 2012, 11:25:56 AM »
thanks   will start asking neighbors and such if they could recommend a fair mechanic
Quote from: senecadawg2 on July 17, 2012, 10:54:32 PM
In defense of peanut butter...

try getting the neighbor's dog to lick your balls with a spoonful of chummus.

Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #74 on: June 22, 2012, 08:58:06 AM »
If you trade a car into a dealership, do you have to bring the title with you?
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Offline Fiery Winds

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #75 on: June 22, 2012, 09:45:39 AM »
If you trade a car into a dealership, do you have to bring the title with you?

Yup.
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Offline Implode

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #76 on: June 22, 2012, 11:06:35 AM »
I got a new car. I feel so spoiled.  :blush

Offline JayOctavarium

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #77 on: June 22, 2012, 01:27:25 PM »
Anyone know anything about replacing the top on a 96 mustang convertible? lol
I just don't understand what they were trying to achieve with any part of the song, either individually or as a whole. You know what? It's the Platypus of Dream Theater songs. That bill doesn't go with that tail, or that strange little furry body, or those webbed feet, and oh god why does it have venomous spurs!? And then you find out it lays eggs too. The difference is that the Platypus is somehow functional despite being a crazy mishmash or leftover animal pieces

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Online ReaperKK

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #78 on: June 22, 2012, 03:35:57 PM »
When buying a car from a dealer (a used car in this case) how much can they typically wiggle on the price? 

    The sticker price on the car is $5700 and I would like to talk him down to like $5400. Is $300 off too much to ask for?

No that's perfectly reasonable. Don't be afraid to walk away, when buying my golf I shot $1200 below sticker (it was a used price). Walked out, got a call 3 hours later and he sold it.
Yeah, walking away from a salesman scares the bejeezus out of them.  Their powers from from always being the person in control.  If they think they're in charge and you suddenly get up and start walking out, it's a real shot to the kidneys. 

Anytime this comes up I post this:  http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/confessions-of-a-car-salesman.html
It was a series from Edmunds, where one of their writers went undercover working at two different car lots over a six month period.  He tells you all the tricks, and it's an amazingly useful read.  I think the four-square is a thing of the past, with that fair credit law and all, but it's still great intel.

I was thinking of this article a while back but didn't search for it. It really is a great read.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #79 on: June 22, 2012, 04:24:01 PM »
I got a new car. I feel so spoiled.  :blush
New new car or new to you?
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #80 on: June 27, 2012, 05:32:41 PM »
Well shit.. I wonder if they are going to continue the Rotary Engine.
It'll always exist as a niche market item.  They're still well suited for racing where people can wind them up to 10k.  I suspect a properly tuned racing Wankel would probably still have some power up there.  The commercial versions certainly didn't.  My experience was that the RX7 was a cool car with a needlessly weird engine.  Given the wear and tear on the apex seals, and the need to redline them on a regular basis to burn off carbon deposits, they're just not well suited to Joe Blow.

Mazda will continue to produce them just because the RX8/RENESIS platform is reasonably stable and people like it.  I suspect that if they were to suddenly put a standard piston engine in there, it'd lose it's uniqueness and be the end of the model. 

Oops:
http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/06/26/mazda-ends-production-rotary-engine/?intcmp=obinsite
Quote
The rotary engine is officially dead. For now.

Bloomberg reports that Mazda built the last of its unique powerplants last Friday, ending a 45-year run.

The automaker announced last year that it would be discontinuing the engine, citing high costs, low sales and environmental concerns. It got a stay of execution earlier this year when Mazda extended production if the RX-8 sports car with a run of 1,000 special edition Spirit-R models celebrating the engine.

Although it delivers a large amount of power from a compact, lightweight unit compared to a piston engine, the rotary design is notorious for its low fuel economy and high oil consumption, both factors making it difficult to meet today’s strict emissions standards.

Read: Is the handbrake grappling with extinction?

First introduced in the 1967 Cosmo Sport, Mazda produced nearly 2 million cars powered by rotary engines over the years, technology that it licensed from Audi in 1961. Its turbine-smooth operation prized by many enthusiasts.

The high water mark for the engine was victory in the 1991 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, still the only win by a Japanese automaker.

But just because the rotary is dead, doesn’t mean it can’t come back to life…with a jolt of electricity.

Mazda is continuing development of the engine design with an eye on possibly using it as a range-extender for plug-in hybrid vehicles, similar to the Chevrolet Volt. It has previously shown a prototype of such a car that uses a rotary converted to run on hydrogen to generate electricity.

Perhaps one day the company’s slogan will be changed to Humm Humm, Buzz Buzz, Zoom Zoom.

Using them to augment batteries is actually a pretty good idea.  They're smaller, lighter, more reliable and smoother running than piston engines.

Also, they still have a place in most areas outside of consumer automobiles.  They're good for racing and their reliability makes them well suited for aircraft engines. I believe they're also used in boats and motorcycles. 
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Offline Fuzzboy

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #81 on: June 27, 2012, 05:49:07 PM »
I'd like to drive something with a rotary someday. I can't even comprehend revving an engine to 9k+


Anyone know anything about replacing the top on a 96 mustang convertible? lol

No idea, but I'm sure if you browse through some Mustang forums you'd find something. you might even find a youtube tutorial or something. Stuff like this is why I'm so glad I had internet by the time I was old enough to own a car.
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Offline Implode

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #82 on: June 27, 2012, 05:59:26 PM »
I got a new car. I feel so spoiled.  :blush
New new car or new to you?

Both. I'm going to end up paying for most of it, but I still know I'm really lucky. It's a Subaru Impreza hatchback.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #83 on: June 27, 2012, 06:39:59 PM »
I'd like to drive something with a rotary someday. I can't even comprehend revving an engine to 9k+
It honestly doesn't really seem any different than any other car.  Plus, the power band is such that up around the redline you really don't get any power out of it.  It's more for being able to hit the next gear at a higher RPM.
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Offline Fuzzboy

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #84 on: June 27, 2012, 09:38:32 PM »
oh, i thought it would be... cooler than that.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #85 on: June 27, 2012, 11:00:54 PM »
I run my BMW up to the redline all the time.  When I owned an RX7 I very rarely hit red.   For one thing the power had started to drop off well before it, and also, it's kind of ingrained in us to shift when it gets whining that high.  I knew the car could do it just fine, but it's still a pretty unnatural thing to let happen. 
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Offline Fuzzboy

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #86 on: June 27, 2012, 11:24:39 PM »
Yeah i had the opposite problem when I was driving a Renault diesel and I'd rev it much higher than i needed to. It's kinda cool on the freeway though, as I didn't need to change down to pass anyone cause there was plenty of power around 1.5k-2k
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Offline Fiery Winds

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #87 on: June 27, 2012, 11:30:33 PM »
I run my BMW up to the redline all the time.  When I owned an RX7 I very rarely hit red.   For one thing the power had started to drop off well before it, and also, it's kind of ingrained in us to shift when it gets whining that high.  I knew the car could do it just fine, but it's still a pretty unnatural thing to let happen.

Similar effect when I started riding my motorcycle.  Redline is 14k and it sounded like it was going to blow up at 8k.  Took me a while to get used to the whine, but was glad when I did since 8k is when the power really kicks in.    :yarr
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Offline MetalJunkie

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #88 on: July 14, 2012, 03:59:10 PM »
My friend pulled on my door handle while I was unlocking the car and now the door won't open from the outside. I know it's something to do with the linkage or something, though I have no idea what a door interior looks like. I called a local shop (apparently one that doesn't have the greatest reputation) and asked them how much to pop off the door panels. He said "Six ninety five."
"Six... dollars?"
"No, six hundred."

I laughed my way off the phone. Surely that's not a good price for something that trivial?
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #89 on: July 14, 2012, 04:13:51 PM »
Keep calling other places.  Find somebody that specializes in your brand of car, and they should charge you an hour of labor.  My only guess about the guy you called was that he just didn't want to dick with it.  That's a scare somebody away quote, since there's no way he was expecting it to take 8 hours. 

I called a shop (with an excellent reputation) a while back because my alternator had given out two blocks from their locale.  I asked how much to replace the alternator if I got my car up there and he said "aw shit, I dunno!"  He proceeded to explain how he'd need three hours to diagnose my electrical problem, before he could tell me how much it'd be.  "But I'm already telling you it's my alternator!  Can you just find out what that'd cost?"  "Nope.  Three hours."  Yeah, great, fuck you very much. 
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Offline carl320

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #90 on: July 14, 2012, 04:37:01 PM »
A database (by Car Talk listeners) of local mechanics that they recommend): http://www.cartalk.com/content/mechanics-files

As for me, I have to replace my front hub assemblies, and since I don't have the tools necessary, i'll have to take it to a shop (I called around and was getting quotes anywhere from $500 to $750) :|
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #91 on: September 05, 2012, 04:37:49 PM »
So I just bought a car today. Its a 98 Toyota corolla to replace my 92 Camaro.

My question is about keeping the Camaro insured. A for sale sign is going on it tomorrow and I will no longer be driving it, but do I still need to keep it insured to do test drives?

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Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #92 on: September 05, 2012, 05:01:17 PM »
Yes.  You generally want liability on anything you own that's going to be exposed to the public.  As for collision/theft, ect., I'd ask my insurance provider about that one.  They might say hell yeah, and they might tell you they won't cover it anyway, so don't bother. 
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #93 on: September 05, 2012, 05:48:45 PM »
Thanks, that's pretty much what I was thinking as well. hopefully I can sell this thing in the next month or two.
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #94 on: September 20, 2012, 05:53:45 PM »
Ok so I have a question about selling a car privately.

1. When someone comes to test drive the car should I check and see if they have car insurance or are they covered under my plan.

and

2. What is the best way for them to pay. Can I take a check or should I ask for cash?

Any other tips and suggestions would be very appreciated as well. 

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Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #95 on: September 20, 2012, 06:08:20 PM »
Ok so I have a question about selling a car privately.

1. When someone comes to test drive the car should I check and see if they have car insurance or are they covered under my plan.

and

2. What is the best way for them to pay. Can I take a check or should I ask for cash?

Any other tips and suggestions would be very appreciated as well.

1. I think that depends on each policy separately.

2. Always accept cash. Just make sure it's real. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #96 on: September 20, 2012, 06:48:46 PM »
Cash or cashier's check.  I've always used the latter when I bought cars.  As for insurance, ask your insurance agent.  They're the only ones who can give you sound advice. 
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #97 on: September 20, 2012, 06:52:18 PM »
Thanks guys.
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Offline MetalJunkie

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #98 on: September 21, 2012, 10:12:51 PM »
This should be the "Ask El Barto Thread"

Anyway... I've got a grinding noise from my front driver's side wheel when I turn right. The following have been suggested to me:

1. Bearing
2. Hub
3. CV joint

How much are all of those as far as parts and labor?
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Offline carl320

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #99 on: September 21, 2012, 10:18:17 PM »
This should be the "Ask El Barto Thread"

Anyway... I've got a grinding noise from my front driver's side wheel when I turn right. The following have been suggested to me:

1. Bearing
2. Hub
3. CV joint

How much are all of those as far as parts and labor?

I had that happen on a car I used to have.  It was the CV joint, but had to replace the whole axle.  That cost about $100, but me and a few guys worked on it ourselves.  It took a few hours (didn't have the right tools), but we were able to replace it.
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Offline MetalJunkie

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #100 on: September 21, 2012, 11:52:27 PM »
So if I had a mechanic replace the axle, I'd be looking at the neighborhood of two to three hundred ish?
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #101 on: September 22, 2012, 04:33:44 AM »
This should be the "Ask El Barto Thread"

This
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Offline carl320

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #102 on: September 22, 2012, 06:02:25 AM »
So if I had a mechanic replace the axle, I'd be looking at the neighborhood of two to three hundred ish?

It might be more like 300 to 400 hundred, but it shouldn't be a terribly expensive repair.  The total cost will depend on how hard it is rto remove and replace the axle on your car.  Mine was on a cavalier and fairly easy.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #103 on: September 22, 2012, 10:29:49 AM »
This should be the "Ask El Barto Thread"

Anyway... I've got a grinding noise from my front driver's side wheel when I turn right. The following have been suggested to me:

1. Bearing
2. Hub
3. CV joint

How much are all of those as far as parts and labor?
I've never actually had a car with a CV joint, so I have zero experience with them.  However brakes and wheel bearings aren't bad at all.  I replaced the front brakes in my car last weekend.  The big question is, does the grinding happen when you're braking or all the time?  What I can tell you is that wheel bearings don't generally grind, they whine, and it's usually constant.  If it's a brake disk, it'll only grind when you're braking and you'll actually feel it in the pedal. 

If it's just the brakes, I recommend learning to do it yourself.  Brake jobs are one of the few things I actually enjoy doing.  It's all mechanical and while it does require some muscle work, it's pretty rewarding.  It's also nice to know that it was done right, what with them being your brakes and all.  You'll have to replace the disks, which will run you about $35 each, and install new pads which are $40-$80 a set, depending on quality.  If it's your first time changing brakes, expect to spend 2 hours on the first wheel, and about 30 minutes on the second (it's all learning time). 

If it's your wheel bearings, you'll have to remove all the brake components to get the old ones off.  Therefore, unless the brakes are fairly new, you'd generally replace them as well. Same cost as above, plus add 30 minutes per wheel for the bearings.

If you take it to a mechanic, he'll probably charge 2 hours labor for the brake job, plus the aforementioned parts.  Probably another .5 to 1 hour for the bearings, depending on whether they're pre-packed or not.  Sounds to me like a three to five hundred dollar job. 

What I'd recommend is jacking up one corner at a time for a quick inspection.  If you know what's wrong, then you can get better info from a mechanic without just taking his word on it.  Jack it up, CHOCK THE REAL WHEELS, put it in N and spin the wheel.  Does it make any noise? Does it spin smoothly?  Then take the wheel off.  You'll be able to see the brake disk.  Is it smooth and shiny or scarred and pitted?  You'll have to feel around for the backside of the disks.  Brakes wear unevenly, so only one side of one disk will be chewed up, so you'll need to inspect all four to find one that's bad.

Here's what you're looking for.  The inside is normal wear and tear and probably wouldn't be causing any problems, and the outer 1 inch or so is scarred all to hell.  That's what was grinding.  http://www.transmissionrepairirving.com/images/worn_rotor.jpg

As for the CV, if that's what it is, get it fixed now.  The only thing I know is that a CV joint failure is really bad news. 
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Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #104 on: September 25, 2012, 12:51:04 PM »
I absolutely love Tesla and everything it is trying to do!

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/gigaom/articles/cleantech_tesla_unveils_free_solar_powered_car_charging_stations_for_model_s_owners.html?iid=HP_River

Quote
Electric car maker Tesla announced on Monday night that it has installed its “Supercharger” rapid car charging network at an initial six locations throughout California and Tesla says charging at these stations will be free “indefinitely” for Model S owners. Tesla says the Superchargers will be powered by solar technology, developed by solar installer SolarCity

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Musk called the Supercharger “the answer to the three major problems holding back electric vehicles” in his remarks during the event. These problems are being able to drive electric vehicles long distances conveniently, the issue of electricity being generated at a distant fossil fuel power plant, and the issue of cost of electricity.

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The Superchargers can charge the Model S cars with 100 kilowatts of power and provide three hours of driving at 60 mph in about half an hour. Who wants to take me on a Model S road trip down to LA?

That is pretty damn impressive if you ask me.

The Tesla Model S is such a nice looking vehicle.