Saturday, May 1

On to the Next Task ...

Buying a new car.

Let me tell you a story. Tom and I bought the '95 Saturn in 2003 for $3500. And then again when we came home from China for $1500. Now it is dying. The process has been slow but not painful. We've put very very little money into this car over the past 7 years. Over the last year its manifested a series of strange problems: the check engine light came on, then off. It stalled as Tom came off the freeway last fall. It stalled earlier this winter in the same place. I thought it was Tom's driving. So I banned him from driving it and then replaced the fuel filter, thinking maybe that was the problem -- an easy $50 fix. I've been babying it ever since.

But last week it started taking longer and longer to start. Time for another $60 fix -- a new battery. Today, however, as I was driving home, it did to me what I thought would only happen to Tom: it died on the side of the road. I thought I felt it shudder as I decelerated, and then as I went to turn I could tell the power steering wasn't working. And neither was the car. I was able to use my momentum and get it into a 7-Eleven parking lot. I waited a couple minutes, started it up, and drove it home.

I figure that I have, at most, one more week to drive this car. Let the search begin.

Here are the two cars I'm seriously considering:
The Toyota Yaris
Really cool interior
Awesome gas mileage
Super cute and little but with BIG storage capacity
Obviously I wouldn't get red. I would get white or black.

Or perhaps this:
The Ford Fiesta
Yes, it's back in style and back in the U.S.
More horsepower than the Yaris (we all know how I like to speed)
Also has awesome gas mileage.
Push-to-Start engine (NO KEY!)
And remote keyless entry (not sure if this is available with the Yaris)

Both are small five doors. I like the five doors because it makes room for most anything when the back seats are folded flat. I'll admit, I am leaning towards the Yaris. The price difference is practically nil between the two, but Toyota is offering 0% interest for qualified buyers, which would probably be me because I have fantastico credit and they will probably want to give it since their brand has suffered such a hit. Also, from the pics, I like the lighting and layout in the Yaris a bit better. I'm not a fan of red dashboard lighting (which the Fiesta has). It makes me an angry driver -- which I tend to be anyway. I know that Toyota seems to be a reliable brand but you can never decide until you drive it. What if it's really loud or shaky at high speeds? I know that the Fiesta is getting really good reviews. I'll have to see how loud the blinker is. Tom and I test drove a Focus before we were married and the blinker was insanely loud.

I'm going to try using the Costco Auto Program because I hate hassling with car salesmen. I will say, though, that Tom and I have a good dynamic. He's the nice guy and I'm the bitch. It throws off the salesman, disarming him with charm and then hitting him hard with an immovable price I want to pay. But if we use Costco's authorized dealer we get a certain amount off the MSRP and don't have to deal with all the bullshit. 

At least I found a place to live.

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