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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A New Dawn

I'm growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life

 

I believe it was that cross country trip that gave my car symptoms of terminal cancer.  The thing was on the verge of overheating many times, the check engine light would come on every 100 miles, and it was really starting to squeak.  I was having recollections of the summer of 2004 when something would fall off my Regal on a weekly basis.  The breaks would stick closed so after the third break job (all under warrantee) I got sick of smelling the break pads.  I got a hundred dollars for trade-in value for that car and I still think I could've gotten another hundred had I cleaned it before I drove it to the dealership. 

Now my Pontiac was acting up.  I had a guy check the light code in Nodak and he confirmed that the transmission slipped...or so the car said.  I never actually felt the transmission slip but oh well.  After that diagnose the light would come on, come off, and then come on again.  I immediately began looking for new/used cars again.  When you look up comments on a '97 grand am, let me know what you see because all I ever see are catch words like "money pit", "worst car ever", and "frustrating".  After reading each comment I found out that their problems had already happened to me and that it would only pick up in the future.

I looked at my Grand Am, looked at cars.com, and then back at my car again and figured that I really need to get rid of it.

I researched a bunch of cars online and somehow landed on the Honda Fit.  It wasn't exactly a car, wasn't exactly a minivan, but it had the best of both.  It had a rating of 9.3 on Edmunds and got great gas milage. 

I test drove it and decided that I wanted it a couple days after getting giddy about it.  The only problem was the trade-in value of my Grand Am.  As far as I'm concerned the thing was worth a Saturday afternoon, a case of Summit, and a handful of sledgehammers but perhaps the dealership thought differently.  The first thing was getting it to the dealership without that light being on.  I figure if they find out there is something not quite right with the tranny then I might not get more than a sledgehammer for the thing.  I would've been happy with $1500 but blue book values were a bit more.

I managed to take it to the dealership sweating bullets hoping to god that light wouldn't come on.  I was watching the dashboard like a hawk until I finally arrived at the dealership without a "check engine" light.  I talked to the salesman about how I wanted a new Honda and told him about my great grand am with nothing wrong with it...  After all I just washed it and cleaned out the interior so it looked like the day I bought it.  It actually looked very cool and it even glistened in the sun!

I then hand my keys to this old guy who jumps in my car and starts checking the gears, making sudden stops in the parking lot, and then takes it on the highway.  I was praying the light wouldn't come on.  Meanwhile me and the salesman are looking up the bluebook value and he said he'd try to get me $2000 for it.  I was elated and still praying. 

Guy comes back, drops of the keys, and the salesman looks at me with a sober look.

"We weren't able to get you $2000 because the tires have a small flaw so we took $200 off of that for a trade-in of $1800.  Is that okay?"

Boof (on the inside):  HELL YES!  SUCKERS!!!!
Boof (on the outside):  I suppose.

So I picked out this phat looking Honda and started the paperwork.  I had to wait for the car because they had to repair the roof after a previous storm had dented the roof. 
Whatever.  As I drove off the lot in my Grand Am it was no more than a mile down the road when the orange "check engine" light came on again.  I held my heart, took a deep breath in, and said "holy fucking shit!" as I went home.

Now I have a new vehicle and I'm kicking ass!

1 comment:

Aliecat said...

Yay for new cars! And yeah, I've heard that Grand Ams for that year are a money suck after they get about 10 years old. Everything goes at once.