Monday, November 24, 2014

Ready-Made Pile Of Manufactured Grief

Writing last week’s post about being cold, reminded me of a car my wife and I once had. I should point out that we haven’t always had the best of luck when it comes to vehicles. And this particular vehicle, a Pontiac 6000, was exceptionally problematic.

There’s an old saying that goes, “If it don’t come easy, let it go.” We should’ve heeded this warning. Just buying the car was a chore in and of itself. It took the better part of a month due numerous delays from everything imaginable, from the dealership to the bank. But we were persistent because it was such a good deal—or so we thought.

We paid $3,500 for the four-year-old car with relatively few miles on it. But that, as we discovered, was just the initial buy-in fee. And what we bought into was a classic money pit. This car was a lemon of the sourest variety—and a very expensive one at that.

From the moment we drove off the lot, the car began having problems. Some were small and rather insignificant, others were major. The cost of the car immediately began to skyrocket. In the four years we owned the vehicle, we replaced nearly everything that could be replaced; alternator, regulator, power steering pump, injectors, air conditioner, master cylinders, wheel cylinders, wheel bearings, the list goes on and on—and on. We also had to do major repairs to the transmission and engine, multiple times.

I used to spend practically every weekend working on that car, fixing something, and then hoping it would run for another week. Usually, it didn’t. Yes, this vehicle was the source of much frustration; exasperating is what it was.

But perhaps the most annoying feature was the car had no heater—and we lived in Wyoming and then Wisconsin. In case you aren’t aware, it gets down right cold in both of those states. Neither are the place to be in the winter with no heater in the car.

I guess I should clarify what I mean by no heater. When the outside temperature is -25 degrees or colder, and the car is blowing out air at 0 degrees, technically, that would be a heater. But that is a rather meaningless, and ultimately useless, technicality.

Of course, I tried to fix it. I bought several new thermostats, flushed the cooling system several times, replaced the radiator (twice), and installed a new water pump as well as a new heater core. Nothing made a difference. We finally decided that as long as we had that car we were going to freeze in the winter.

Once we were finally able to trade it off, just for fun, I compiled a list of all the parts I’d replaced or repaired, and then listed the price. Adding it up, I found the total was over $10,000! Our $3,500 car had cost us $13,500. No, that didn’t include regular maintenance items like tires and brakes.

After this aggravating experience, I decided I was through buying used cars and our next vehicle purchase was a brand new pickup—a pickup that lasted exactly eleven days before the ignition broke. Like I said, we’ve not always had the best of luck when it comes to cars.

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at Amazon Profile - Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club


Current Reads

Deceived: Soul Keeper

by L.A. Starkey

How To Get Anything You Want
by Mike Nach

Living With Grown-Ups
by Nadege Nicoll


Harmony Kent
The Glade

No comments:

Post a Comment