It’s That Time…

pic courtesy of rearviewed.com

I’ve been putting this off as long as possible but it is inevitable.  I have to buy a replacement for my P.O.C. small SUV.  With this decision looming in front of  me, I am becoming a total nutcase   a raving lunatic  quite the interested and savvy consumer.  ack

I bought my current car because I was a little peeved   rather angry   totally torked off  flippin’ furious at the Saturn dealership servicing my much beloved Saturn Vu.  I found out by accident that service they claimed to have done hadn’t been done and I was actually driving a car whose engine was about to explode from lack of care.  But that’s another story.

Given my past history, I’m a little car-shy… I don’t know what to buy…or how deeply should I put us into debt for the car that takes us all over the country since I now refuse to fly because I don’t wish to have my private parts fondled nor do I want to be x-rayed till I’m nude and visible to Bubba-in-the-back-room (but again I’m straying…)   It’s time to buy a car and I’m perplexed…what the heck do all those symbols on the front of cars today actually mean anyway? Why can’t this just be simple?  Point and click simple?

I went straight to my Ace Mechanic (I know he’s Ace because he’s the nephew of Buffy the Mane Slayer who, you may recall, takes such wonderful care of my flowing tresses – apparently Buffy told her nephew to take very good care of me or she would hurt him.)  So I say to Ace Mechanic….”This P.O.C. car is starting to nickel and dime me to death and now you tell me my next requirement is a new ($$$$$) air conditioner/heater compressor and a new battery….I’d just as soon sell this puppy and buy another car; what would you suggest?”

Ace Mechanic hooks his thumbs in his belt (he’s very cowboy-ish) and says: “Well, I’m a Dodge man, myself, but I’d think seriously about a Toyota or a Honda.  You can’t go wrong with a Honda — I got a Honda Pilot that comes in here for regular maintenance and it’s got over 400,000 miles on it.”  To that I replied:  “Even given all the media about the recent recalls (and I think my eyes bugged and I also gasped)?”  Ace Mechanic nodded his head and simply said, “Yup.”

Big help…Ace Mechanic.  So I turn to my next best resource….Devoted Spouse.  This is how it works.  I sit on the family room couch watching tv.  He reclines in his comfy chair with his laptop on his lap.  I arbitrarily holler out the name of a car I see on  a commercial and he immediately looks it up online; telling me the safety ratings, customer reviews, gas mileage, colors, price, and how many Weight Watcher points it has — no wait; that’s food.  Sorry. 

What’s happening is I’m on vehicle overload.  I need to test drive some cars and I want something that will last for a long, long time.   I want my old Saturn Vue back.  But that isn’t going to happen.  I need reliable transportation that isn’t as small as one of those teeny Smart cars nor as big as a gas-guzzling Suburban — something in between.  That’s a lot of leeway.

I’m putting it off because I don’t know if I can summon up Evil-Linda (I put her in storage after buying my current car).  When I bought my Kia Sportage, I intimidated the heck out of the saleslady because I was so belligerent (in a quasi-nice way) about getting what I wanted for the price I wanted that she got to the point she would have given me anything just to get rid of me.  I know she drank her supper that night – but I drove away with a car on which she didn’t make a monstrous profit — bwahahahahaha. 

So back to the symbols on the front of the cars — what is that on Toyota?  A skinny face with a bad cowboy hat or a small sombrero?  I don’t get the Chevrolet symbol either — it’s a weird elongated T shape – what the heck is that about?  Subaru has stars on the front of their cars; both Honda and Hyundai use a variation of the letter H and I keep getting them mixed up.  At least Ford says FORD right on the front.  My Kia say KI…and then it looks like an upside down V which I guess is their cute version of an “A”?  Just put an “A” in it and spell KIA for goodness sakes.

I’m so confused…I have until the end of the year to find a really good deal on a new or sort of new car and I’d rather suck a diet pepsi through my nose than have to go through this trial…sigh…

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13 thoughts on “It’s That Time…

  1. Personally, I think you’d look good in a brand new Mustang there! LOL!
    I know I’d look good in a new ‘Stang or a new Camaro – but I simply must think practically too. I hate it when I have to be practical – takes all the fun out of it. Devoted Spouse got to buy a Mazda Miata… I have to buy the practical vehicle. No fair….

  2. Hey Linda!

    Buy a VW Bug and we’ll take our show on the road.
    P.S. I’ll bring the Flower Power Music–you bring the Hippie Jeans.
    I’m embroidering as fast as I can…daisies on the bellbottoms!!! Now where are my love beads and that granny dress? snort

  3. Hyundai all the way….loved my first one so much that when Steve’s car died….went and bought another one for me and gave him mine…LOL… over 100,000K and still happy with it! Hidy Hyundai is the best….walked in with a paper that I pulled online and told him I want this…in blue for this price….he came back and said how bout this price (which was only 200 more than mine. I took it, he found me one in blue and 2 days later I had my new baby!
    Hi baby – Funny u should mention that – I know someone who just got a new SantaFe and absolutely adores it – FB email me some tips & pointers on dealing w/Hidy folks – I’m a tad nervous for some reason – I mean I absolutely blew away the Kia broad, but this time I don’t have the greatest trade-in going – also which model did u get? thx!! 😉

  4. I would give you some advice but I gave you some advice about your laptop and you just ignored me, and I could be so terrible to say, “I told you so!” but then I know you will totally ignore me again. LOL

    So here is my “no advice”. Listen to Ace!!! Honda Owners Never Drive Another vehicle because they don’t have to. Out here in the Land of the Cars, one cannot drive more than a block without seeing a Honda on the road. There is a reason for that, Honda’s last longer than any other car. Yes, they initially cost more but you save more in the long run because no other car has a greater resell value out here. And because you have less that goes wrong with them, then you also save on maintenance costs.

    Our ’89 Honda Accord had over 200,000 miles on it and if it had not been totalled in an accident, I am not sure how many more miles it would have gotten. And it still had it’s original clutch which always made the mechanics look at me with awe. About 5 years after we got our first Honda, other members of my family started buying theirs. My one brother will check out everything for a few years before he commits to the purchase, and since he bought his first Honda, he has not bought any other vehicle. If you came to one of our family get togethers then you would possibly think you are at a Honda dealership. Even my mom bought a Honda and she loves it.

    So I would give you some advice to buy a Honda Pilot but then I would be so jealous that you got one before me, so I will keep that advice to myself. But then again I cannot get a Pilot until my Accord dies and since I only have a little over 70,000 miles on it, I have a long way to go. Although oldest Granddaughter keeps trying to have us give it to her. She might get it sometime but I am still breaking it in and she will just have to wait.

    Anyway, I just want you to pick a vehicle that makes you happy and keeps you safe. I do like the look of the new Bugs but I don’t think I would like to travel across the country in one. And I think some of the FORD’s look cool or you could buy one of the Government Motors vehicles but with their workers doing drugs and alcohol on the job, I am not sure if I would choose one of theirs. But then again, the Mercedes have a high safety rating and lots of power, while the Beamers are pretty much the same. I do not see a lot of SAAB’s on the road but they are cool when I see them.

    Wow, I am glad that you are the one who has to make the decision and not me.

    God bless.
    Later in the week I will test drive some of the Nissans, Hyundais, Hondas and maybe a Ford – Fords are too popular right now so I won’t get as good a deal. A Mercedes is OUT of my price range – period! Can’t afford a Beamer either – I’d truly LOVE a Porsche Cayenne – Snort – yeah, like THAT’s gonna happen!!! The new Kia Sorrento has gotten some very good marks – but I don’t know that I want another Kia since the Sportage I need to ditch has about 60K miles on it and is falling apart – I don’t think I trust them. I have several friends who swear by Hyundai (see above comment for example) and some also swear by Honda and I have another friend who is in love with her Chevy Equinox so you can see why I’m a total basket case over this decision. I truly want to keep this car for a very very long time (as in forever if possible!) ack Somebody send me some money please… lol

  5. I hate having to buy new cars! Good luck!
    I so dread this experience….If I could teach myself to vomit on command, I might get a really good deal coz they’d want to get me out of their showroom!!! ROFL yikes 😉

  6. Volkswagen!!! I cannot say enough good things about their products and their service. Oh, and the symbol on the front of the car is VW, so not too much guessing or wondering involved. 🙂 Whatever you decide, good luck, and have fun car shopping!
    I like VW too – I looked at their SUV model and it’s a bit pricey for me and the only thing I don’t like is they don’t offer satellite radio – I know that’s not a big deal, but still for that much money…. VW is on my list anyway. Thanks sweetie!

  7. I recommend a used Honda CRV. It is a great mid-sized SUV without the gas guzzling of a Bronco or Suburban or the sticker price. That is going to be my next vehicle. I have owned Hondas for a number of years now and am always happy with them. My current Accord is a ’97 with 62,000 original miles on it, previously owned by 2 little old ladies. I had a Chevy S-10 extended cab pickup that was 2 yo and had only 18,000 miles on it. The sticker price was $13,800–GASP!! I went in with cash and offered $9000 for that truck and ended up paying $9500 for it, so low mileage young vehicles are out there, you just have to look, and having cash for the car definitely is a plus as you can pretty much write your own receipt. Only gave that truck up because it was a 6-cyl. and I couldn’t afford the gas. Toyota used to be the expensive middle America car, but had a good reputation on longevity and low maintenance until the bottom fell out from under Toyota with their recall. The Honda recall is nothing compared to the Toy. As for the H in Honda and Hyundai…Hyundai’s H looks like it will collapse at any moment, LOL, so go with the more “solid” H (Honda), hehehe. Other tips, Do NOT reveal the price you want to pay. Instead tell them you’ll talk price when you’ve found a vehicle you like. If you give them a price, 1) you’ll be locked into it, cuz that’s the range they’ll show you, and 2) it’ll leave you little room for dickering. Also, the first person to speak will lose so don’t go up to a salesman and say “I’d like to look at _____(fill in the blank). Keep your information to yourself, be nonchallant and don’t commit yourself to anything specific to them, even if you’ve already decided you want “that little red car over there”. Tell them you’re not sure and don’t let them know you’re going to pay cash till you “get in the cage with the gorilla”. When you’ve decided on the car you want, that is the time to say what kind of deal can you offer me?

    Good luck with your quest my dear.
    WOW now THAT’s what I call givin some good advice – thank you so much – I will keep your negotiating tactics in mind – I need to put on the “I don’t give a fat fuzzy rat’s butt” look on my face and be prepared to walk away from any deal I’m not happy with – I AM THE ONE IN CONTROL. (practicing in front of mirror rofl) thanks hon!!

  8. Out of all the vehicles I’ve had (and I’ve had many), my favorite was my 1990 Honda Accord. 2nd favorite was my 2001 Ford Excursion, which I traded in on my 2008 Saturn Vue…which I can’t wait to get rid of. Crappy mileage, that Vue gets. I’m stuck with it for 1 more year.

    Everyone I know who has a Hyundai seems to rave about it and you get A LOT of bang for your buck with them.
    Hyundais are getting good reviews from those I know, too. I loved my Saturn Vue; it was an earlier version than yours. I simply hate going through this nonsense. All the play-acting tires me out. Oh..and I will be a good actor, trust me – I have a marvelous poker face… 😉

  9. Yes – do NOT give the first offer. In any negotiations EVER. (Kind of ironic, though. I mean, if everyone followed this, we’d have a bunch of very quiet staring contests in every car dealership, job interview, home buying – you get the idea. But it’s still essential advice.)

    My experience with buying cars has been mixed. When I first got my license, I got a black convertible hot rod (I’m blonde and looked good!) and I got to keep it for about two days.

    My second car was a pink thing (ugh!), also used and as my Dad drove it over to my house for me, someone crashed into him (their fault) and totaled my car. It wouldn’t drive, the back end twisted into the back tires so badly. (Dad was shaken up but fine.)

    My Mom, sister and I went to a Saturn dealership to get a car and Mom just picked the car she’d done research on online. The dealer tried to get her to do a test drive. She asked, ‘What for? Just give me the car.’
    He insisted and Mom politely trooped us all outside – freezing December weather.
    That poor man never should have insisted. He asked us to wait in the room after it was over and didn’t come back for a while. A lady came in his place. When he did come back a little later, his finger was wrapped up to kingdom kong.
    Turns out I accidentally slammed the car door on that finger.
    Mom said I need to work on my negotiating tactics but they were VERY easy to wheel and deal with afterwards so…
    That Saturn was a GREAT car.

    My next car was also used – this was 2002. A 1980’s Toyota Celica stickshift that kept me on my toes. I never knew when it would start. I also found out I got totally ripped off by the mechanic I brought it to every week or so – turns out he got shut down by the government. I never got any sort of restitution.

    My next car was driven for 7,000 miles by a 90-year old man who’d already gotten like two oil changes. I bought it sight unseen, took a Greyhound from Hollywood to Phoenix, AZ with my Dad, picked it up and drove it back.
    I had no money at the time but the car was part of this gentleman’s estate and the family – good friends of my Dad – wanted to liquidate as quickly as possible. My Dad paid them the fair amount with a no interest loan and when I got on my feet (using the car to get to work), I paid Dad back.

    Best. Way. To. Get. A. Car. Ever.
    I had NO choice in the matter. I didn’t even know the color after I signed the paper’s, now the owner. Best way ever! It’s a Chevrolet but the body of a Toyota and I’ve had it seven years now and never have a problem except twice and I got it fixed. (The brakes but I think it was more a maintenance issue, the brake pads and rotar.)

    I’d rather put myself in a coma than have to research getting another car. I hope this one lasts me ’til I’M 90!

    I can’t WAIT to read more on this – I love your Blog so much
    Aw sweetie, you’re so good to me!! I love your blog too – I just don’t visit as often as I should – bad Linda, bad!! I actually am a very savvy negotiator – my problem is I’m not in the mood even though I have to do this by the end of the year or I’ll simply keep dropping tons of cash into this P.O.C. Kia. I need to work on more research; this blog asking my friends and readers for their opinions is just the beginning. Now I start the spreadsheet where I compare all the models – research all the little interesting items like what the dealership REALLY paid for the car, what the manufacturer kickbacks are and some other interesting tidbits – then figure out a reasonable amount on my car based on what they’ll turn around and sell it for. Then after finding the one that lights my panel I’ll go into SuperNegotiator Woman mode. I’ve been known to walk away for $50 difference if they tork me off. I need to get my head in the right place and remember I’m in control and make them work for their money and squirm a little too. Should be interesting…. but it would have been a lot easier just to win the lottery and go in and throw down the cash on that new Camaro that I would look so hawt in…. rofl 😉

  10. You’re welcome hon. Have some things to add here. I was always told “take a man with you to negotiate”. LOL, what a crock. A woman can negotiate as well if not better if she puts here mind to it. Case in point. I had an ’86 Subaru XT Coupe, loved the car. Had it for 2 years when things started to break down (was only 2 yo when I bought it with 29,000 miles, paid $7000 cash for an $11,000 used vehicle. Saw an ad in the local paper at a dealership offering cars and trucks from $1000 up. So I walked in with my young son and saw my dream vehicle (a truck). It was a ’72 Datsun pickup. They wanted $1599 for it and the mileage was 60,ooo. I traded in the Subaru for that pick up and drove out of there with $150 cash in my pocket for my trade in. That is the only time I’ve ever made cash on a deal but was I ever pleased with the result. Had that pickup for 5 years. It was a 4-cyl. stick with 2-55 ac on it. You know, 2 windows down, 55 mph, LOL.
    Funny you should mention taking a man…when I bought my Kia my Devoted Spouse came along as he was looking at a Mazda Miata (at the same dealership) – he sat at the table with me and I had to continually kick him under the table as he was ready to give in to something I WASN’T! Finally when the saleslady walked away I turned to him and told him Just Sit There and Be Quiet! I’ve got this handled. Turned out I handled it just fine – I dickered and dickered and drove her insane to the point even the manager got sick of me haggling over this and that and then when we finally got down to brass tacks I bullied them into installing front seat heaters and installing my portable satellite radio for free. It was so much fun – I just irritated the daylights out of them – I got louder and louder and people were leaving the showroom – not that I was obnoxious – I just wasn’t going to budge from my bottom line and I was ready to walk away – snort. It pays to do your homework – and I fully expect to know what I’m up against when I start the negotiations aspect of this upcoming journey. I just don’t have to look forward to it! lol

  11. Oh, gosh. It’s the minority report here, just a timid little whisper in the back: “Toyota. I’ve had three Corollas since…. 1977. Two were murdered, and the last one I sold because I was afraid it might commit suicide. Sold it to a single mom for $500. It was an ’89 that had 395,000 miles on it and she was headed straight for 500,000.

    Now I’m driving (are you ready for this?) a 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera that belonged to my mom. She’s 92 and not driving any more, so I play Driving Miss Daisy with my car made of steel. I love it. Closest thing to a tank on the Houston roads.

    Obviously, I’ve got a pretty utilitarian view. The last time I bought a car I walked in and said, “Gimme five on the floor, drink holders and a good sound system”. And that’s what I got. Well, that and 395,000 miles.
    I wondered who would weigh in with the “T” word. LOL I would love to get a car that would give me 395K miles – oh how I would love that…. sigh

  12. The last two times I bought a car I took DH along only for pretty. He kept his mouth shut and I made the deals. he told me that I did better than he ever could.

    I loved my Toyota Tercel wagon but someone stole it so I didn’t have it near as long as I should’ve. Good luck on the car hunt.
    I will take Devoted Spouse along too so he can check out things – I want him to ride in the demos with me and I want him to sit next to me for moral support while I lean on the salesman and do my best “relentless woman on a mission” impression. But he has to be quiet. It should be fun since salespeople still tend to address the “important” stuff to the man, not the woman. Oh, I don’t think so…. lol

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