Last week, my car took a dump. I’d been having problems with it for a couple of months, had replaced the water pump, the timing chain, the radiator and several other parts and it still didn’t run right. The “Coolant” light kept coming on randomly, even though the coolant level never changed. My mechanic, who I dearly love, checked it and couldn’t figure out what the problem was, it was intermittent and could have been a faulty sensor, but so long as there wasn’t a physical problem, we decided to watch it and see.
So I was doing some driving at work and the engine started making some noises. I pulled it into a parking lot near work and it wouldn’t start again. I checked the radiator and it was bone dry, even though neither the temperature sensor or the coolant sensor showed anything wrong. In fact, it showed that the engine was in the perfect temperature range. My mechanic, once I towed it down there, said the engine was dead and it simply wasn’t worth it to replace it. Pick-a-Part can have it for $350.
See, it was an old car that I only used to drive back and forth to work. It does 10 miles a day. That’s it. We bought a brand new car less than a year ago that gets used for everything else. The funny thing is, in the 11 months we’ve had it, it’s only done 5700 miles. We just don’t do a lot of driving. Therefore, instead of buying a new car to do that 10 miles a day, I figured I’d just get a late model used car. After all, we’re thinking about buying a new house later this year, having $800 in car payments would generally suck. Luckily, I’m taking a vacation this week already so I’ve got plenty of time.
And so… off to the local car dealers. I really love the Chevy Cruze that we have, it’s the highest-end model with all the extras and to be honest, I’m spoiled. Automatic everything. I absolutely want some of those features, especially since the old car I had had none of them. So I did my research and decided on a couple of models that I could get. I also knew I wanted only certified used cars, I’ve had far too many lemons in my life. That’s where the problems started.
When did used-car dealers stop carrying used cars? Seriously, every lot we went to, they had 10-15 cars period. It took us mere minutes to walk from one end of the lot to the other, find they had nothing, all the while fighting off the vultures. I hate car salesmen with a passion, they’re just obnoxious and won’t leave you alone, even when told to. Sorry, if you’re going to hover, I won’t be buying from you and I’ve told them as much. If I want your help, I know where you are. Until then, go the fuck away.
When the local dealerships came up empty, I hopped online and did some searches. There are quite a few cars supposedly available, although the majority are low-end models that I don’t want. However, this online stuff now caused even more headaches. Apparently, car dealers are stuck in the stone ages. Why? Because I’d call a dealer out of the area and ask if they had a particular car on their web site available and none of them had any clue. Seriously guys, you’re in the used car department, you have 15 cars on your lot and you have no idea what any of them are? These guys always have to go look and call you back an hour later. Where are your cars? Las Vegas? Why don’t any of them have computerized inventories? Nobody can look anything up, they have to walk out and look at the sticker on the side of the car! This isn’t the dark ages!
And when they did that, they can’t be honest about it. We drove about 50 miles to see what seemed like the perfect car online, only to find that they entirely misrepresented the car. It’s supposed to have blutooth connectivity, we get there, we test drive it, then I’m poking through the computer and it has none. It’s listed as a feature on the side of the car, but it isn’t actually on the car. Too bad but that’s a deal breaker, I want that, and even if I could live without it, I won’t go to a dealer I can’t trust and they’ve proven I can’t trust them. So… 50 miles back home.
This is 4 days of looking now and I’m frustrated. I may have found the perfect car online last night, I e-mailed them to see if it’s still available and if so, I’ll go get it. Otherwise, I’m seriously about to throw in the towel and just buy a new car. It’s a waste, it’s like buying expensive running shoes to walk to the mailbox, but my time is worth more than this.
One way or another, I’m going to have a car today. I’m tired of this. It shouldn’t be this hard or this frustrating and you shouldn’t have to deal with complete asshats to get something you want.
Update: that “perfect car” I found… well, it was a former rental with Hertz and I was supposed to pick it up about 100 miles from my house. It was the only one available anywhere and, of course, they don’t transfer cars. So I make the appointment, have a confirmation and they’re supposed to call me before I go to get it. They don’t. So I call them, about an hour before I’m supposed to leave the house. Oh, not only can I not go get it, it’s been damaged and no longer available. When were they going to let me know? Who knows? Bunch of fucking assholes. I complained, they were supposed to get back to me within 24 hours. This is 5 days later, still nothing.
Luckily, I did find a fantastic car, much closer to home, and am loving driving it.