Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Car?

Car Shopping:
How do I Hate Thee, let me count the ways.
The current primary income transportation vehicle is the '89 Astro Van. The last new vehicle purchase, for me, was back in Feb. of '97, but that's a whole 'nuther story.
Belle said, "why don't you just trade it in?". The simple answer is that when I remove my little tool set, the cheap ass Bazooka subwoofer, and the stereo head unit, the value of the vehicle diminishes by a good 75%.  If it were stolen (snicker..a pox upon you), those would be the things for which I grieved the most.
The Coup de Grace:
The weather stripping on the back doors has leaked for some time now. Not terribly bad, just a bit of a drip. The only replacement source is the stealership for about $300. Not happening. The drip wasn't hurting anything, it would just get a bit humid inside after a good rain. Nothing a few open windows and a bit of 70mph cruising wouldn't take care of.
During the week leading up to Christmas, it rained. It rained pretty good I might add. The next morning Belle and I went out to mount up for the commute to discover we'd had a freeze. Ice on the windshields. So a bit of scraping and some luke warm water and I'm good to go. Exterior ice is removed, engine has been idling and is warmed up and ready. Windshield still looks a bit foggy thinks I, but not to worry.
I have the auxiliary defroster, known to non-shade tree mechanics as a roll of paper towels.
So I mount up and go to dehumidify the inside of the windshield to discover on the inside of the windshield. The little rust pits at the top edge of the windshield, and I mean "little", were apparently worse than I thought.
That was the final straw.
I've driven little cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and vans. I'd like a new or even relatively new pickup truck, but boy howdy are those things expensive these days.
Belle mentioned again, "Well why don't you trade it in and see what you could get for it?"
Well, the no AC and no heat are a detriment I'll admit, BUT!   It is lightning slow and does get astoundingly bad gas mileage.  When you run a cash flow analysis on a vehicle you'd be surprised how much "bad" it takes to offset the cost of insurance, a car payment and the interest on the loan.
A pickemup is not in the offing. I have two Mercedes right now...both in college.
I'm going to trade the high horizon and ground clearance of the van for something small, efficient, quick and nimble.
After comparing compact cars, I'm leaning heavily towards a Scion Tc.
 2900 lb. curb weight, 180hp and 178 foot pounds of torque. (with AC and Heat...very important). A 6'-3" tall friend has one. He got it to commute in. His 10,000 lb 4x4 diesel truck was problematic for urban driving. I texted him for a review after having driven his Scion Tc for 8 months or so. His highly detailed and technical response was, "go-kart works good!".
So I'm going to test drive one soon. Then I'm going to work two or three salesmen for price via email.
No more being sequestered in a sales office for five freaking hours on a Saturday while the salesman pretends to talk to his manager about the price.


  1. Give the Honda Element a try, if you can find one.
    I had mine for 7 wonderful years before if was T-Boned (T is for Totaled, apparently).
    Great gas mileage (21 city, 28 highway) and comfortable for me to drive for days at a time.
    And the interior/seating options are cool- seats lay flat, fold up to the side, or can be removed easy as cake.
    And the urethane interior- you can't just hose it out, but you can just give it a sponging and it's clean as a whistle.

    Word around the campfire is that Honda is discontinuing them... I'm not sure of the veracity of that rumor, but I will be looking into one (new, hopefully; if not, used) as soon as my NHL contract is over and I'm home for than 3 days at a time.

    But if money was no object and I could get over the "G@#$&*ed Government Motors" thing- I really enjoyed the Dodge Charger and Challenger.
    That damned Charger got 30+ mpg on the highway.
    Go figger.


  2. What ya need is an Uncle who's a mechanic and just has cars lying around for sale.

    But I'm glad you're looking into something besides a 20+ year old van that looks like it ought to be down by the river...

  3. Good luck! I try and do as much homework before I get to the dealer but still it seems like I gave birth quicker than most car purchases.

  4. @bluesun: heh I'd be offended if it weren't true and the river comment didn't make me laugh both times I read it.


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