Friday, November 1, 2013

My New Car!!

Two days ago I started my beater truck Bruce and it started hard. It sputtered as I chugged up my 1/4 mile long driveway and half way up it died. Couldn't get it restarted, the battery was too weak. When Hal came home he jump started it, we let it warm up but after driving a short distance, about 20 feet? it died again. This time the battery worked fine but it would not keep going. Hal finally got it to keep running but there was a high pitched whine coming from the location where the fuel pump and filter are. The fuel pump is in the gas tank. He would have to drop the tank or remove the pick-up bed or cut a hole through the bed to get to it. Hal is also hoping to go out of town at the end of the month so he'd have to get it done in the next 3 weeks. Plus there is no guarantee it would solve my continuous problems.

So that night I went on line as I have done a few times in the past year to look at used cars in the area. The local Chevy dealer only 8 miles away had a nifty looking 2004 Pontiac Vibe. It also had several Chevy Trailblazers, a 2003 GMC Envoy and a 2006 Chevy Equinox. The plan has been a used car under $10,000. When I was looking last year that was the low price of even 2006 small SUVs most of them being more money. This shortage of used vehicles for reasonably low prices is a direct result of that "cash for clunkers" program. I don't even want to talk about that.

But Wednesday night the Lincoln Chevy dealer had several cars below 10k and Hal agreed to go look at one in particular the next morning (yesterday), the 2004 Pontiac Vibe listed at $6,995 with 126,000 miles on it. I checked out reviews of it and they were very, very good. Good gas mileage, decent price, a lovely cherry red color. A little worrisome in that it was already 9 years old, but we would see.

We took it for a test drive, twice because I found it awkward handling the first time which I thought could be attributed to fighting with the wheel of a huge sloppy steering truck. It was, second time it was easy and pleasant. The car itself had a noisy engine, it was only 4 cylinders so acceleration was slow, I would call it nimble though. It was a rainy day so I got to test out the windshield wipers, braking on wet pavement, etc. The interior was clean, black cloth seats with some obvious stains. the cargo area in back was nice, the rear seats folded down flush with the floor and it had tracks in the floor for tie downs. Stereo worked. But on the outside we noticed some rust (Hal did, actually) on the hood, never treated and bubbling up at the nose. Well my Taurus had lots more than that which we didn't notice at the time because it was covered up with paint, so maybe it wouldn't be a big deal. But under the hood there was also some obvious rust at the top of the struts.

In between those 2 test drives I drove the 2006 Equinox. It has 145,00 miles but it's 2 years newer. It doesn't get as good reviews but out of 5 stars possible on Edmund's for instance, it was over 4 stars. But this car drove wonderfully. It's slightly bigger but handles well. At first on starting it I couldn't hear the engine! Everything seemed to work fine, too and we couldn't find any rust on it, the body is in excellent shape, the carpet is a little worn and the 2 most used radio buttons have eroded decals but otherwise, it's a nice car.

So as we sat in our salesman's office we went back and forth over mileage, age, rust, and price because the Equinox was $1000 more, though still under $10k. It was the rust and being 2 years older than killed it for the pretty red Pontiac. So at 3 pm today we will be meeting with our salesman (who isn't pushy at all!) with the check, the plate from my truck and other paperwork and then shortly after I should be the proud owner of a very nice small SUV! Looking forward to it. I will have more to say about "DarkStar" later.

edit to strike out info on decals, that was on the Pontiac radio. The Equinox radio is in primo condition. Also added photo.


Carole Simmons said...

Lots of choices for a new car, eh? It’s nice to know that you’ve had a lot of choices before you bought and settled for this car. At least it gave you the chance to carefully select among those fabulous cars, right? Well, after all that waiting, you finally have your new car! Congratulations! :)

Carole Simmons

Sarah Erwin said...

I agree with Carole. Looking at all your choices before buying a car gives you the widest range of possible options to find a car that will fit your needs and your lifestyle. It’s been a while now, and I hope you’ve been loving your new car. Hooray for your, DarkStar! :)

Sarah Erwin