Howdy, folks. Today’s topic kind of just randomly popped into my head for no real reason. I’m going to talk about how terrible I am at choosing a vehicle.
So, I have had four cars in my life. The first one doesn’t count, since I didn’t choose it. But it was a 1989 Subaru DL. It was my sister’s car, and she was forced into letting me have it as a hand me down. It was really reliable, but eventually it got to the point where it hated winter. It wouldn’t start, or it would start, but I’d have to let it warm up for 15 minutes or it would just stall if I tried to drive it. So, my parents didn’t want me to drive it anymore.
So, since they hadn’t bought me my own car yet, as the Subaru was a hand me down, they got me a Mitsubishi Galant, that I picked out. I think it was a 1996. Well, this was my first bad choice. Not long after getting it, something happened with Mitsubishi — I honestly can’t remember exactly what — that made getting parts for this car nearly impossible, and repairs were costly. I remember that it started falling apart one piece at a time.
The worst was probably the air conditioning belt. I was lucky, though, because the belt wasn’t required for the car to work. It would have cost $600 to fix it, so I did not. I didn’t have air conditioning for a couple years, and I never got it fixed before trading it in. What else didn’t work? Well, the interior lights went out and couldn’t be fixed. The CD player died, then the radio. The back windows wouldn’t roll down anymore. I definitely feel like there were other problems that I can’t remember right now. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was that the transmission went out. I decided that the cost to fix it was the same as a down payment on a new car, so I finally made the choice to get a new car. Sadly, I can’t find a photo of the Galant.
So, I hobbled the car over to the car lot, going about 25 mph the whole way because the car would not shift into the next gear. This time, I picked out a Saturn L200. And that is, by far, the worst car I’ve ever chosen. Not only did Saturn die soon after, so did my car. Many times. The electrical system was a piece of crap. One of the brake lights essentially never worked. I took my car in to get that fixed so many times. I got pulled over once for it.
One of the times I tried to replace the light, the whole system shorted out, and I had to get my car towed. And I towed it to the crappiest car repair place in the world, apparently. They lied to me every day. I heard “we’ll look at it today” three or four days in a row. They never called. Finally, when I told them that it needed to be fixed, they just gave me the car back, but it was only halfway fixed. They didn’t tell me anything about anything. I was driving a car with no headlights and no horn. Most of the electrical system was behaving erratically. They gave me an unsafe car. There is a lot more to the story than that, but I just hit the highlights. I ended up filing a complaint with the BBB.
So, after it was eventually actually fixed, it still didn’t work right. The brake light still was broken. What a waste of time and money. What eventually led me to buy another car, though, was that one day I could smell gas when I got out of the car. Turns out, I had a hole in the gas tank. The hole was at the top, so I would just fill my tank halfway. That’s when I started looking for a new car. I drove the Saturn for as long as possible, because I didn’t want to have a car payment. But it was totally unsafe. The CD player and radio didn’t work anymore, either.
So, eventually I bought the car I have now. It’s a Scion XD. Hey, funny thing about cars. I don’t know much about them. I know that I want an automatic with excellent gas mileage, and I don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with cars nowadays. And that’s what the Scion was. The thing I didn’t know, though, was that Toyota makes them. I wouldn’t have gotten it had I known that. I didn’t see “Toyota” on it anywhere, and it wasn’t until I was getting the oil changed in it that I found that out. Oh well. Also, apparently the Scion isn’t a popular car at all. I’ve seen maybe three others in the five years I’ve had the car.
So, about two months after getting the car, it broke down. I had to pull off the side of the road and call for help. I had the warranty for the car, but I had to go through hell and high water just to get a tow. Then when I took it back to the dealer, there was more hell and high water. Lots of lies about when they would look at it. You see, with me, I don’t care how long things take as much as I care about honesty. If they had just said “We are really busy, we can’t look at it for two days,” then I would have been totally fine. But saying “We’ll look at it this afternoon,” “We’ll look at it first thing in the morning,” then saying that on repeat for a few days just makes me angry.
Thankfully, though, I did have the warranty, and it cost me a $100 deductible instead of the several hundred dollars it would have cost. The issue was that the gas indicator wasn’t working properly. It showed that I had a quarter tank of gas, but I had no gas. So, I never let my car get below half a tank ever again. They fixed it, supposedly, but I don’t want to test it.
I had several other issues within the warranty time that required a total of probably $2,000 to $2,500 to fix. That should not have been a thing at all. When I bought the car, it should not have had so many problems. The main problem now is that it doesn’t like the cold at all or hills. When I bought it, I was living on the coast of South Carolina, so those things weren’t really an issue. But they are now. Thankfully, at the moment though, I don’t have to drive it anywhere. I am driving it around the cul-de-sac where I live to make sure it’s getting some “exercise,” but that’s it.
I love the car otherwise, though. It gets excellent gas mileage, it’s just my size and it’s easy to handle. And it’s paid off!
Until next time!