Monday, March 22, 2010

Savvy Cargirl I am NOT!

After trying to justify why I need a new car, I have found myself on the distinct, opposite side of the table today. I have reached the point now, where I need to justify keeping my car.

"Surely," you are thinking, "There must be a story behind this."

Well my friends, there certainly is a story, and I admit it's another one of my not-so-proud stories. Truly, I am not-so-naive anymore to think I will be just paying for an oil change when I return to pick my car up from the shop. My car has over 315,000 km on it, it has hit a bridge and a deer (not at the same time), and I am not the most gentle driver. New brakes are to my cars, like mold is to blue cheese - common and unavoidable. In my last car post I was able to quell the urge for a new car. The economics didn't make sense, so long as I could continue to maintain my car for less than a new car.

Perhaps, I miscalculated what my current car actually costs me. Let's reexamine the facts.
  • Security - the parking brake regularly sticks, so I no longer use it. This means leaving my car in neutral or gear when I park. The power locks don't work, so unless I manually lock the doors, I just leave them open. (I'll have to start locking them now for sure!)
  • Disposable income - Regular maintenance is never just 'regular', thus my 'savings' often go towards my car to cover the unanticipated cost. As a result of the sticking parking brake, I found out today I have been driving with 3 wheels and burned a break off. !!!!!!! Yes, I'm not proud to admit that, because I obviously should have realized. That leads to my next 2 points.
  • Reliability - I can't depend on my car anymore, and I don't know cars well enough to understand what's wrong when something breaks. Parking break example included. 
  • Safety - 3 WHEELS! Enough said.
  • Time - A broken serpentine belt this summer left me on the side of the road, unable to help my friend set up for her wedding and without a car for a week while the belt and the belly pan the tow truck broke, on the way to the shop, were repaired. My schedule isn't usually flexible enough to allow such inconveniences.
  • Sanity - I have no radio. I regularly drive over 500 km in a weekend with no radio. NO RADIO. Not just no CD player, but NO RADIO! Did I mention that drives me a little crazy? Oh yes, and the power locks don't work...
If that was not justification enough...
  • Timing belt due in 5000 km... Minimum $1500
  • Tire rods... $400+
  • New tires (if I can not get my current ones replaced under warranty) ... $1000
Finally, to quote my super honest repair shop:
"Your car is falling apart. You need to get a new one."

They don't sell cars. A year ago, she told me it didn't make sense to get a new car if my maintenance costs were less than the payments would be. Advice of which I have reminded myself over and over. I'm looking at $3000+ in repairs in the next  couple of months. My car is not worth $3000. To top it off, my back tire was flat the other day when I came out of the office. 

Let the shopping begin!


  1. although i'm sure this sucks for you i really enjoyed your post! matt had the same thing happen with his jetta that he loved, his dad who is a mechanic told him it was time for a new car! now he has a golf but he misses that old jetta!

  2. Thanks Laura! What does Matt think of his Golf? I didn't intend to look at another VW, although I did really like my Jetta, but I'm starting to come back to considering them.