Car Trouble


When is it time to get a new car? Last summer I helped a friend negotiate for a new car, a Honda CRV. I had new car envy for a few days. But I’m a planner and I’m not getting a new car for another two years. And when I buy that new car, I have to look ahead. I’ll need to get one a little higher up from the ground for two reasons: ease of getting in and out and to save my front bumper from crashing into parking curbs.

I have a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid. It gets great gas mileage (35-40 miles per gallon,) and I have that special cloud license plate that lets me drive by myself in the carpool lane. That’s quite handy when I’m working temporary educational jobs and I have to be at a school at 8 a.m. My car is comfortable. The only time I need more room is when I’m moving up or back from the cabin. It takes two trips because of my plants.

The thing about cars is they need repairs. Two weeks ago my outside temperature indicator broke and the air conditioning didn’t work well. I took it in and sat for two hours while they did “diagnostics.” I didn’t mention that I’d gone over a landscape median the week before.

The bad news was that my air conditioning system had leaks, my front brakes needed to be replaced, and the outside thermometer had been sheared off. (I know how that happened,) and I needed the next 30,000-mile checkup and fluid replacements, an oil change, and various other things. The service rep said the thermometer was optional, so I decided to forego that $541 expense. They paid for a rental car for the day it took to fix my car. I was expecting the $1800 bill, but I still blanched as I handed over my American Express Card.

I went up to my cabin that weekend and the air conditioning still didn’t work. I was not a happy person. I made an appointment to take it back the next week.

Again I sat around for two hours for them to figure out the problem. It turned out I did need the outside thermometer for the air conditioning to work correctly. So they put me into another rental car for the three hours it took to install that.

My car is humming along fine again, and shouldn’t need anything but an oil change for a year. $2300 a year is better than a new car payment, but still I took more notice of new cars on the road. I haven’t yet found a small SUV that I can afford and would qualify for my cloud license. I do feel quite smug passing lines of snailing cars when I use the carpool lane during rush hour. As I get older I don’t know how patient I’d be stuck in traffic jams. That gives me enough of a reason to wait the two years to buy a new car. Perhaps by that time an auto company will make a hybrid SUV I can afford or I won’t be working and need the carpool lane.

Check out my book, Reinvented Lives, available on amazon.com

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One Response to “Car Trouble”

  1. Judy Says:

    Hate to say….but loved hearing about your car troubles! You WILL need the HOV lane in two years because we will still be working together!

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