Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Out With the Old

While I did not get a post update yesterday, I did use that time to do something else fun and exciting: I picked up my new car. I traded in my 6-year-old vehicle for the brand new 2010 version of the same model, and I cannot tell you how awesome it is already. Not so much the whole driving-a-new-car thing in its own right, but rather because I already realize how much my life had become a slave to all the little problems my car had after 6 years of hard use by me. That old thing served me well, don't get me wrong -- carrying me through about a year of a 60-miles-each way daily commute in its first year or so, then countless hours of city driving (and city parking) and road-tripping to the country, and then for the past year another 30-miles-each-way daily commute once again. It's been a horse for me, and I am thankful for it. But for whatever reason, this thing has had about a million things go wrong with it over the past few years, and I realize now after just 24 hours with my new car just how much I had simply adapted my lifestyle while in my car to work around all of the little problems, and just how utterly freeing and joyous the feeling of an immaculate new car can be.

To name just a few of the many, many things I won't be missing with my new car, and yet which I had simply grinned and bore it with the old one:

* Both the front and back bumpers of the old car were sliced and diced in a way that only someone who has parked on the streets of New York City seven days a week for many years can understand.

* There was a dent on the driver side front door where some jackass bent my side mirror into the frame of the window several years ago.

* Part of the door on the very bottom had been bent out and stuck out a couple of inches from the car down near the ground.

* Dent in the passenger side of the hood, probably where the teenagers hanging out at our 24-hour CVS in my town slammed into it on their skateboards one night when I ran in for a drink or whatever (god do I sound like an old man or what?)

* Driver side window only opened maybe 70% of the time when the electronic switch on the inside was pressed.

* Passenger side window only opened maybe 80% of the time when the electronic switch on the inside was pressed. You would think the previous two were the result of a blown fuse somewhere in the car and easily fixable, but when asked the monkeys at my car's service shop in Manhattan gave me some part names I could not understand, and then told me the repair would be upwards of two grand. No thank you, fuck you very much.

* Driver side window did not close maybe 25% of the time when the electronic switch on the inside was pressed.

* Whenever the driver side window did close, it never, ever closed fully, always leaving a large gap at the top left side of the window where air would pour in to the vehicle, even in the dead of winter. As a result, I had already gotten used to jiggling the window open, then shut, then open, then shut, at least two or three times every single time I shut the window, just to get the window back on the right "track" or whatever and actually make some kind of a seal with the window frame.

* Speaking of the driver's side window seal, I also had to cut away most of the outer seal on that window sometime last year because, due to the window never really staying on its track, the seal started bending inside and getting stuck in the window every time it closed. This of course only worsened the gap left by the window even when it did decide to actually close upon command.

* The visor on the driver side of the car no longer extended but rather would just stick in its original position no matter how hard it was pulled or prodded. So much for blocking the sun when it's low to the horizon I guess!

* After five years of no occurrences, suddenly when it first got hot (90's) in May of 2009, I took the car on about an hour drive from lower Manhattan back to my house, and it stalled for the first time while idling in the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts in Westchester to get my kids something to drink. Throughout the summer and fall of 2009, the engine probably stalled out while in idle (on, but in park) maybe 5 or 6 other times, plus it even stalled one time while I was in drive, in the middle of an intersection near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. That sucked. It had gotten to the point where I would not sit with the car in idle at all, for fear of another stallout and not being able to restart the vehicle. Sometimes it would need to sit for several minutes before it would restart after a stall.

* About a month ago, after moving my car up the driveway to let Hammer Wife out in her car one morning, when I went to the car to head to the gym that evening, the engine would not start. At all. Or, more accurately, it started, the battery worked, everything, but the engine would not roll over. I must have played with it for about an hour that night and again the following morning. Eventually some guys from a local garage were able to get the car to start, but especially with the cold winter we are embarking on here, I was not optimistic about future ignitions with the vehicle.

I think this just about covers the biggest, most annoying of the issues. And that right there marks the first time I ever sat down and listed everything that was wrong with the car over the past couple of years, because before that I just didn't want to deal with it. But I can't tell you how freeing it was to simply push the automatic close button on my driver's side window and not only not have to toggle back and forth for ten minutes to get it shut, but to not even have to think about it once I had pushed the button.

And this time, I don't plan to wait so long to replace this car when it is getting old and busted. Instead of buying like I did my last car, I am leasing this time around, with an incredibly low monthly payment thanks to my trade-in, most of the faults in which were not explicitly discussed with the dealer. So in just 36 months I will get to have a brand new car and go through this great feeling all over again.

Hopefully by then the American car companies will have gotten their act together enough for me to buy a fuel-efficient car made in my own country. Fat chance.



Blogger Daleroxxu said...

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4:33 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...


5:56 AM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

LOL @ fuel!

9:53 PM  

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