Wednesday, January 27, 2010
This is my brother-in-law, Nate (and a whole bunch of little girls). This is Nate in his "element." Outdoors, camping, ready to get back to nature in any way, shape or form. He likes to hike, canoe, hunt with his brothers and/or son and pointer dog, Darcy, and he loves to fly fish.
Last week I was driving along I-15 with a friend when my car starting making an awful noise. I mean, awful. I knew that I had better get off the freeway as quickly as possible.
I'm sure any mechanic in the vacinity heard my car heading towards them. I had to pick the first one I saw, so I pulled my sad little Sebring into a TUNEX. The guy came out, took a quick listen and said it sounded like there wasn't any oil in it. Wait, what?
I knew that I had an oil leak (a leak, mind you) and just a few days earlier was thinking to myself, Where is that sticker that tells me when I need an oil change? I bet it's time.
(I need to write myself a mental note, except that I suffer from "mental-pause" so I don't know that that would really help me out much, that says: When you have a thought about something you should do - do it right away, before you forget.)
The mechanic checked it out and said it was pretty much bone dry. He put five quarts in it but suggested that I not drive it home.
(Okay. What I wanted to know in that moment was, where the heck was the warning light? My oil light never went on, nor did anything overheat, and it never made a noise until it just about dropped the engine on me!)
Well, we were a good hour from home, I knew the tow would be pricey (I do have AAA roadside assistance but they only tow within 5 miles), so I just had to sit and cry. Now what?
My friend suggested that we just drive home on side streets. She said, "What could it hurt? Your motor is ruined anyway. Let's just try it."
We made it two blocks and then called the tow truck.
Long story short, my estimate to fix it was $4,400. Again, say WHAT?
I really didn't have much of an option but to look for a different car. (I would say a new car, but I can't afford a new car. I can't really afford a "different" car payment either, but sometimes you just have to choose the lesser of two evils in life, you know?)
One "We Buy Junk Cars" offer was $350. Now granted my car needed a new engine and from that moment on would have to be towed wherever it went, but still ... at that price I would have rather parked it in my backyard and let the neighborhood kids play in it!
The first dealership I went to said they could go as high as $800 if I used it as a trade in. Hmmm, that was much better but still less than half of what I stilled owed on the darn thing.
I went to a second dealership to drive a little used Honda CR-V they had advertised. I had decided that was going to be my car of choice this time around. I drove it, I liked it, but it had just been traded in, hadn't been detailed and really hadn't been very well maintained. It gave me a bad vibe so I said, no.
The guy said he had a Subaru Forester that was really clean with low miles that I should test drive too. I wasn't sure. I have a friend who has been in the car industry in one way or another for the last 25 years. He had said, "You know who drives Subaru's? People who eat granola, hug trees and want to save the planet."
I would REALLY have to wrap my brain around driving a Subaru after that.
I told the car salesman that, he chuckled, and then he handed me the keys. He said, "Go ahead and take it. Drive it around. We're here until 8 tonight. And what if I was able to pay off your car loan." Man he's good!
I drove it, I loved it, I bought it.
So .... ? What does this have to do with Nate? Nate drove a Subaru - perfect.
I called Nate, he assured me it was a great reliable car and that I would really like it. Then he said, "Just make sure you get a peace sign or a 'Save our Canyons' sticker for the back window."
Posted by Polly Wood at 5:08 AM