Thursday, July 7, 2011

Number 1 On My Wish List...New Wheels

Broomstick and I are entering the phase of auto life called...looking for a new one. I'm not telling her though. When we discussed getting a new car back in 2006, Beulah promptly died on us making it necessary to do the deal much faster than we'd hoped. Broomstick has issues which are going to be VERY expensive to repair. We can't see spending $3000 or possibly more on a car that is almost 11 years old with close to 200K miles on it. Especially one that is developing the rusty cancer.

There is an issue with the headlights. I need a new relay, the problem is, the location of the relay means removing air bags  and then repacking them correctly. I remember what happens when they aren't repacked correctly and fully understood our mechanics refusal to do the job. Which means she'd have to go to a...gulp...Chevy dealer for the work. CHA CHING!

Since it never rains but it pours, the catalytic converter is going bad. Price for that job is $1200. Then the AC compressor started making noise and we found that it was drawing extra energy from the fan so my temp gauge was going up. We thought it was the gauge, but a replacement didn't change anything in that department. While it didn't get to the boil over stage, it could if I continue to run the AC and that would mean blown headgaskets. So, I am running the tires off her doing my home care clients without the comfort of cold air. SUCKS on those hot days when the humidity is over 86%.

When I say new, I mean new to me, not new to the road. I have placed my order with Hubby. I want something economical, with 4 doors, air conditioning, low mileage and any other color except for gray. So, first car he took me to look at was red. And it was a Chevy Cavalier, without air and only 2 doors. Price was good, but I want the air and the 4 doors more than I want the red. So we are still looking.

There seems to be a fairly wide selection of nicely priced small cars out there. Hopefully we'll find what we want before Broomstick up and coughs her last. We aren't discussing our hunt anywhere near her nor are we taking her hunting with us. We learned that from what happened with Beulah. Stopped to look at Broomstick sitting on the dealers lot and Beulah died the very next day. Back then I wasn't doing client care so it wasn't a catastrophe, just an annoyance. Now it would be costly although I would be able to borrow Hubby's pick up to get to where I need to go.

We all believe that cars don't up and quit on us to be vindictive, but just in case we're wrong, please don't tell Broomstick, I hate driving Hubby's pick up. Although, come to think of it, he's got AIR!


  1. ...removing air bags and then repacking them correctly.

    I talked with a Chevy-trained mechanic years ago and the design of GM cars really bothered him. They were engineered so owners would be forced to take their cars back to the dealership. It got so bad cars were designed so that special tools, not available to the public, were required to remove some items.

    In fact this same mechanic after he retired wanted to work on his own Chevy car and found he needed one of those special tools. He went back to the dealership and quietly asked a buddy still working there to borrow his. His friend could not loan it out because if the dealership found out he would lose his job. GM was scared that someone might make a copy of the tool which allow that work to be done in non-authorized garages.

  2. Sherry:

    For me, AC is at the top of the list in priorities. On a hot, humid day, I would rather be driving an old clunker with AC than a new Mercedes without AC.

    Don't buy a red car. Statistics prove that they get more traffic tickets than a car of any other color.

  3. Red cars get more tickets, are involved in more accidents, and are stolen more often. Things I found out while looking up other shit...

    My Firebird ('96) has 225K on her, but still looks great. Problem is, everything except the beautiful paint job is falling apart, and we need a vehicle large enough to A)stop causing my spinal column to collapse upon itself, requiring lamenectomies, and B)it must be large enough to carry lights, backdrops, tripods, and other photo gear to and from my location shoots.
    So we're looking for cross-over sized almost-but-not-quite SUVs that get incredible gas mileage. They don't make those yet. Sigh...

    Good luck on the new Broomstick hunt.

  4. Get a Honda Fit. Rave reviews from owners.

  5. Beach Bum,

    The mechanic we have used for years is a Chevy trained mechanic who has said pretty much what you did here. My problem is of the 4 cars I personally have owned, the Chevy was by far the best of them.

    I had a 74 Plymouth Gold Duster that lost it's gas tank 6 years after I bought it new. I had a Mercury Capri that was again a new car and it died in 5. Used cars that did better were Fords, but they lost parts within 2 years of owning them. Which was where I got the reputation for driving cars until the fenders fall off.

    Although I've only had the Chevy for 5 years it's been running longer than any other of the cars I have had. Has higher mileage than any other car I've ever driven, and still gets 26 to 28 mpg.

  6. Whit,

    I am aware of the red scourge. I really want a blue or green car. If it weren't so expensive to replace what isn't working right on Broomstick, I'd fix her and drive her until the fenders fall off. In the meantime, she runs good, she just has issues. :D

  7. Squatlo,

    I have a friend who bought herself a Toyota Scion. It's low enough to be called a car and it has all kinds of room in the back like an SUV. It's ugly. Looks like a box on wheels or one of those old fashioned bread trucks. Saw one today that has a sign in the back window that says "It's a toaster thing, you wouldn't understand." To which I say "YUP! On BOTH counts."

  8. Mr. Charleston,

    I don't really know what model of car I want. I do know how much I have to spend, and the Honda doesn't Fit into my budget. Not unless I can get a good deal on a used one, and I don't think that's possible.

  9. I'm with Charleston, Japanese is the way to go. I've owned 4 Toyotas of varying models. Everyone of them I put over 200,000 miles with minimum outlay in repairs. Hell, I bought one which had 110,000 on it and I put another 100,000 on. They are out there, just keep digging.

    Oh, did I mention...I HATE SHOPPING FOR CARS!

  10. jadedj

    I'm still digging, and I'm looking at Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai as well as the others. I've got time. Broomstick still runs, she passed inspection and I don't need to drive after dark. All I have is high beams, they'll get me through the rainy days when I need to use the wipers.