Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Almost New Car

In 2003, after 100,000 miles and two trips cross country, my beloved GMC Jimmy's transmission died and I was forced (literally forced by being picked up under false lunch pretenses and taken to car dealerships) to buy a new car. Of course, my Jimmy - my most favorite car ever - no longer backed up, but I thought I might be able to get by just going forward. SUVs are not cheap but after having one I couldn't go back to driving a low-to-the-ground car. My options were limited. When I was taken to the Ford dealership, I kind of liked the Escape. It was on the smaller side, but not silly small like some of the others in my price range. After negotiating and negotiating and threatening to drive away even though my car wouldn't back out of the parking lot I drove home in a 2003, navy blue Ford Escape - my first new car ever.
I purchased the extended warranty which was 5 years, 72,000 miles. I was proud and very excited to have a new car without any mechanical issues. Boy, was I wrong. My car is haunted! It makes numerous, unexplained noises. Of course, none of those noises are "covered" under my extended warranty because they are "normal" noises. Normal? Normal!? Do mouse type squeaks when turning the steering wheel sound normal? Do grinding and high pitched breaks sound normal? Do tires that squeal turning the corner sound normal? Well according to Ford they are. Wishing to prove them wrong, I took my Ford Escape to my regular (meaning I regulary took my Jimmy there for all its issues) mechanic, figuring I might get some answers that I could at least take back to Ford. But, no, they also said that the car was "just really noisy". They said the breaks might be dirty, but they are still in very good shape. I also figured the tires were squealing because it was time for new ones. My mom even offered to buy me new ones for Christmas last year, but when I took the car in to get them, they told me I didn't need them. Jeese, I can't even pay someone to fix this car.
So, here I am, promising passagengers a safe voyage even if it sounds like my car is leaving its car parts along the road. Feeling embarrased and talking louder as we drive to our destination.
In December, my friend Jason, a new car addict, and I began talking about getting a new car in the near future. We bought our new cars on the same day and he was starting to get anxious about needing a new car. We discussed buying from the same dealer so we could get a really good deal. A new car sounded great after my Escape's many issues. However, I went on a cruise for Christmas and when I returned Jason had gone out and bought a brand new car all on his own, with-out-me! But that was fine since I was still on the fence about finding something new. I paid my car off almost 3 years ago and not having a car payment is an amazing thing. Adding a car payment to my budget just isn't appealing.
{Switching Topics Here...stay with me...I promise it will connect eventually.}
I recently purchased a new IPOD classic. It is great - 160 g, plays movies, and it's pretty! The only problem is the FM transmitter which allows me to play my ipod through my car stereo made a lot of static. Also, the new ipod doesn't seem to be quite as loud as my other one, so when my favorite songs come on I can't turn it up and rock out. This issue made me think about getting a new car again because many of the new cars have an ipod hook up. Between the noise my car makes and the lack of noise my ipod makes, I started to get desperate to hear loud music.
Then I had an epiphany! I checked online and found that car stereos with the ipod hookup were available to purchase, from a store. I still hemmed and hawed about a new car, but when it came right down to it, a new car stereo is a hell of a lot cheaper than a new car.
A couple of weeks ago I stopped by Circuit City and met Dave, a Fire Dog tech. I was told by some friends that I should get an ipod compatible stereo with bluetooth capabilities so if I ever decided to become a cell phone junkie I would be set. Well, Dave saw it differently. I could not talk him into selling me a stereo with both - what is it with these people who won't take my money? Instead he sold me this fantastic car stereo and installed it the next day.
I LOVE IT! My ipod plugs into a connection in the glove box. The sound is amazing. It can be so loud that my eardrums hurt some times. Isn't that great? Music that loud has masked the other sounds my car makes. For $160, it's like I have a whole new, "quiet" car.


  1. I'm glad you were able to make a $160.00 choice and continue having no car payment. I don't know what it's like to not have a car payment. . . that has never happened to me. But you already know that.

  2. Great story. Crazy, but great. I don't get new cars often either. I'm old school and not-so-fancy like Jason.

  3. I'll have to call you about your new stereo. That may be perfect for Mike.
    I'm loving your blog by the way. :)

  4. Uh, yeah, hi. . .I'm ready for a new post now.