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Jan 182011
 

Late Friday afternoon I go out and jump in my car, heading to the bank because I’m not very good at using internet banking. I started my car, letting it idle while I brushed off the snow off the windows. Approximately 30 seconds later, the engine started to hiss, the car started to shudder, and it promptly died. I swore a couple of times and kicked my tire for good measure. That’ll show my car.

I drive a 2002 Ford Focus. According to Google, the engine flooding when it’s cold is a very common problem, with half a dozen websites offering a half a dozen fixes. I’ve taken it to the shop a couple of times, each time having them tell me they can’t figure out what the problem is. They stick it in the heated shop, the flooded gas evaporates, it starts just fine, they charge me $150 bucks. Maybe I need to stop taking it to the Ford dealership.

This happens once or twice a winter, and it’s really starting to get to me. Twice a year my car is having some sort of giant issue that requires me to borrow a car for a week. As far as I’m concerned, that’s unacceptable. I’m okay with doing normal repairs, I’m okay with paying to change the oil or the tires- stuff you’d have to do with every car. I’m not okay with going out during the winter and being stranded because it’s too cold for my wuss car.

I currently have $5k in my car replacement fund. I’ve neglected this fund a little, instead focusing on pouring my excess cash into other investments. I can quite easily put $1k a month into my car fund, getting it up to $15k by the end of October. I could get a decent used car (or a basic new one, but I’m not too excited about buying new) for that much.

My other option is to wait until I find a car that is approximately 10 years old, with very few kilometers on it, driven by an older person who hardly ever left town with it. I could get the car for $5-7k, hopefully getting a car that isn’t a few months away from major repairs. If my car is worth $3k, that would make my cost $2-4k once I sell my car. I could put a lot of money in an older car before it even gets close to the cost of a newer one.

I don’t really care what kind of car I drive. I want something I like and something that’s reliable. I want to step out of my house, turn the key, and go. Well that, and a remote starter. If you lived where I do, you’d want a remote starter too.

I do like the idea of driving something relatively new. I understand that it’s a horrible thing to buy, but I’m willing to pay a premium for not having to worry about repairs. Since I know so little about cars, I have to ask all sorts of questions about any sort of repair. I take it to the shop, and since the repairs are usually relatively minor, I just tell them to do it. If the repair is more major I thank them for the diagnostic, and get a backyard mechanic to do the actual work. This system has worked relatively well for me, I’d just rather not bother.

Readers, what is your experience with cars? Do you drive something pretty new or an old beater?

Tell everyone, yo!

  15 Responses to “My Car Is Pissing Me Off. I Want A New One”

  1. My car is a 2006 Mazda 3, and I love it. Still looks sporty enough, but because it's five years old now I didn't have to pay very much for it. Bought it with about 57,000km on it. I got some flack on twitter before for buying used with a high interest rate (I'm stuck with 7.09%, booooo) instead of buying a clunker in cash, but I need something that looks good and is reliable since I'm in sales. I bought an additional 3 year warranty.

    The way I see it with cars is that since it's such a huge liability anyway, there is no right way of doing it, and if you advocate one way over another, you'll get a huge flock of negative comments. If people lease, others will dig at them for not owning, and vice versa.

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd buy a very recent model at a zero percent financing rate…even though it'd lose 30-40% of its equity almost immediately, as long as I drove it long enough, the money I'd save from not having to pay interest combined with the fact that it'll be worth more long term than used, would make it the best option for me. But it only makes sense to do that if you can afford the monthly financing payments, which I could only do if I bought used (which I did).

    Bottom line: I dunno, do what sucks the least.

    • You're right, most people have a method for buying cars that works for them, and absolutely HATE any other ideas.If you're making all the right choices with money, a 7% interest rate isn't bad. Think of the great guaranteed return you get as you pay it off early.My Grandpa wants me to lease. My Dad wants me to drive a clunker like he does. Everyone has an opinion. I should just do whatever the hell I want, everyone else be damned.

  2. As you know, my mom bought a new car and took some heat over it in her article. Personally, I have a '98 beater with zero options. Then one summer a few years ago we took a trip out to interior BC and it was 40 degrees out. The car is black with no a/c, and we got stuck in construction for a few hours (yeah, BC in the summer time!). The only relief we got from the heat was to stop at the Kokanee Brewery on the way home, they give you a free beer after the tour.

    Anyways, the day after we got home we went out and bought a new compact SUV…not fully loaded but with some options including a/c. I had to stop living like a student at some point, and we could definitely afford it. I guess it just took some major discomfort to finally pull the trigger.

    I still have that beater though…

    • I'm okay with people buying new, providing they pay cash. Paying interest for a liability just annoys me.My dad drives a car from 1979. That's right, his car is older than me. I mock it pretty much continually.I had the same sort of thought you did, the “I'm doing pretty well, so I'll reward myself with something decent.” As long as I pay cash, I think it'll be okay.

  3. I've had the whole range of cars from total crap to brand new.

    I can't say what is right for you – but at this point in my life, I just can't see spending the time necessary to buy a used car. You really have to look around and get the thing inspected etc.

    Mike

    • In Alberta, you have to get it inspected if it's more than 10 years old. Definitely an annoyance.Like you, I don't want to spend tons of time on this. Which is why I'll probably buy an almost new used car.

  4. I drive a 2002 Mazda Protege5 that I bought used in 2004 with 46,000 km on it. It's up to 145,000 km on it now and showing some rust but it should last me another five years at least. When I buy my next car, I'll definitely look for another 1-2-3 year old car to avoid paying the initial new car premium and then drive it into the ground. I'm totally a fan of saving up and buying the car with cash and I don't mind doing a little research to find a good deal.

    • I wanted to drive my car until it fell apart, it's just doing it earlier than expected. 2 votes for Mazdas are noted.

  5. […] Uproar from Financial Uproar presents My Car Is Making Me Angry. I want a New One, and says, “I’m thinking of getting a new car. My thought process of what I want to […]

  6. […] Financial Uproar is tired of his old car, He Wants a New One […]

  7. It’s a good thing that getting a new car isn’t all that difficult these days then. You can even avail of http://www.blueskyautofinance.com/instant-auto-financing.html online if you’re short on cash.

  8. My friend owned a vintage car a few years back. But instead of enjoying it, she always felt bad about the purchase. She decided to sell it and buy a new car, which made her very happy. =)

  9. […] Financial Uproar wants a new car. So do I, and mine’s older than yours! […]

  10. […] Financial Uproar wants a new car. So do I, and mine’s older than yours! […]

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