Tuesday, February 14, 2012

our new-to-us car

About a month ago, we purchased a new car. Say hello to [insert name here].

Why yes, that is a car seat. We don't have a baby yet, but we did purchase a car seat and wanted to make sure it would fit okay in the car. And then we left it there because it seemed like as good of a place as any to store.

It wasn't exactly a planned purchase. Our dear Jetta had started acting up (again) and we decided it was time to give up on that blasted vehicle once and for all. We had taken it into the shop two days before Christmas because the engine had been completely disengaging. They recommended clutch replacement, a costly fix. (Merry Christmas!) We wondered if it was worth it to pay so much to fix a 2003 VW Jetta with 97000 miles on it, but we figured we'd go for it and just hope the Jetta ran perfectly for us for many more thousands of miles. 

A couple of weeks later, the same problem started recurring. Instead of occurring intermittently, though, the problem left us stranded when we were visiting Tim's mom. She helped us tow it back to the shop. This time, they found problems with the fuel injection system. They knocked 50% off the cost of the fix due to the misdiagnosis, but we were told the clutch had been quite worn out and needed to be replaced, even if it wasn't the specific cause of the problems we were experiencing. As the Jetta was refusing to run at this point, we had little choice but to go ahead with the repairs.

It's too bad we went through that series of repairs, though, since we decided to trade it in after that and get something that would hopefully be much more reliable. The cost of the repairs wasn't really offset by the trade-in value we received. But the Jetta has sort of always felt like a time bomb. Ever since Tim bought it, it's had quirky issues and generally been a finicky car. So it was a relief to be rid of it. 

I was convinced we should get a Honda Civic, a car with a reputation for reliability, perhaps because of the strained relationship we'd developed with the Jetta. So we landed a 2008 Civic with about 35000 miles on it. 

Buying a car felt like a rite of passage for me since I've never made such an adult purchase in my life. It was stressful! I don't really like cars, mechanics, shopping, spending money, or adult responsibility in general. But we made it through okay and hopefully it was a good decision. Cross your fingers this car will last for us.



  1. Don't you feel like such a grown-up, buying a car? I know I sure did--like I was a legit over-18-year-old finally. Sam's itching for that next adult step--buying a house--but I think we can safely say that is a bit in the future. Considering we aren't even living in the States.