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Posts tagged with: new car

Old Car Blues

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My car (really a Ford Explorer SUV) isn’t that old. It’s only a 2011. Considering most of my life I’ve driven cars at least a decade+ old, it’s practically new! 😉

The problem is, it’s been driven hard! Every year I’ve taken it on at least two cross-country trips (once in summer, once in winter) during harsh/extreme temperatures (below freezing with snow/ice and over 100 degrees of sweltering heat). Our kids have grown from infants to 6-year-olds and have treated the vehicle exactly how you would expect of young children. Think: lots of crumbs, melted crayons, etc. It’s now nearing 150,000 miles and although the plan has been (and remains!!!) to drive it until the wheels fall off…..it’s definitively taken a beating.

So when it started to do something I thought was a brake-related issue, I took the car to the local brake place. You guys – they had the car for nearly an hour trying to diagnose it! They hooked it up to machines, looked up recall notices, drove it around the backroads and up the highway to check for issues at both low and high speeds. They looked under the hood. They got it up on the lift and looked underneath, took off the tires and checked out the brakes + rotors +  shocks + struts.  I mean, they left no stone unturned. And…..nothing. They can’t figure out what I’ve been feeling.

And so they joked…..perhaps it’s just time for a new car? har har har

Don’t get me wrong – I would love NOTHING more than to have a slightly smaller, more compact SUV. My mother-in-law came to visit a couple weeks ago (she helped watch the girls while I was moving) and she was driving a BEAUTIFUL brand spanking new car. The exact type that I’d like – a small SUV category vehicle.

Note, this is NOT MIL’s car – just a picture from the internet. But just look at that beauty! Ha! I’d never buy a BMW SUV due to the extreme cost to buy and for servicing it. But a girl can look! 🙂

In the end, I guess it’s good news. I really thought I was going to be spending $1000+ for brakes or struts or something along those lines. In the end, I walked out only spending $35 for a high mileage oil change. Not too shabby. I’d much prefer the lower cost given that my budget can’t necessarily accommodate a $1,000 vehicle repair right now (though, if there’s one thing you guys have taught me – it’s to take care of my vehicle so it’s safe and reliable).

I am a looooooooooong way off from buying a new-to-me car. I still remember the elation I felt when I finally paid off my car a couple years ago. I am in no place to be taking out MORE debt for another vehicle. I swore up and down that in the future I’d save up the money and pay CASH for any future vehicle purchases. I still intend to keep that promise to myself.

But it did make me chuckle with this mystery car issue that has suddenly disappeared and the suggestion that the “fix” is to get a new car. groan. Maybe for my 40th birthday (I’m 35 now, for comparison). I’ll have to start saving at some point in order to make it a reality!

Do you have family/friends/co-workers/car repair people joke that your car is such a piece of junk that you should just buy a new one??? I guess I should take it as a source of pride that I continue to hang onto my FULLY PAID-FOR car rather than rushing out and giving into consumerism. It also kind-of blows my mind because my car was nearly $30,000 brand new. So the fact that it’s viewed now as this POS is kind of nuts. Like, this was a very expensive top-of-the-line SUV when it first came out. And that was literally only 7 years ago!!!! How warped is the American consumerism world now?!


New Debt and a New to Us Car

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I am going to sit down this weekend and put together a post on all my existing debt, I realize it is long overdue.  Unfortunately, I did have to accrue some new debt this past weekend.  I had to buy a car.

Back Story

About two years back, I got a great deal on a used car. We put miles on that car with all the back and forth between Virginia and Georgia over the past year, almost daily trips to the gym and now about 100 miles a day between my work commute and an hour drive one way to the gym…our used car served us well.  But about 7 weeks it died.  We have been making due with one car (my son’s 1996 Honda Accord) and borrowing a car (my Grandmother’s) one time a week when three of us had to be in different places.

The Search

I’ve spent the last 7 weeks trying to get by, and trying to determine the best plan moving forward and trying to save more money thinking I might could by a used car with cash. I have learned that I HATE car shopping and I hate the game of car shopping.

The Car

I settled on a 2011 Chevy Impala with 63K miles on it for $10K out the door (including everything, no other out of pocket costs.)  My uncle found it for me, knows the previous owner and made sure it was in good shape. It has new tires, new brakes and so on. Rather than cleaning out the emergency savings I have, I financed the entire $10K at 7% interest for 3 years.  My goal is to pay it off in 2.  I have scheduled payments of $400 a month automatically to start and will go up from there. (The required monthly payment is just at $308.) My uncle delivered it to me from Virginia and I am paying him back the $178 he paid for the tow trailer rental.

Conclusion

This is not the car of my dreams. It’s not one I would have even considered. But the price is right, it came with full service records, it’s a good size for our family while being reasonable on gas for all my driving and I am assured I can get 200K miles out of it if taken care of.  I spent a lot of time figuring out the best plan.

2011 Chevy Impala

Literally within the hour of driving away with this car this past Saturday, another tragedy struck our little family. More on that tomorrow.


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