Monday, October 27, 2008

::lemon::

Wasn't there a Stephen King book/movie about a killer car? Well, my car isn't so obviously murderous; it's much more cunning. It wants to kill me slowly. Death by poverty.

This car (a Volvo Cross Country) is my dream car. I have wanted a Volvo station wagon ever since I was 14 and babysat for this very cool German couple who drove one. The mother's name was Helga; she and her husband were hip, progressive and had great style. So when I finally got my Volvo station wagon, I even named it Helga in her honor. I bought it from my former sister-in-law for "a steal"; they had had it for three years and loved it, but they have a thing against driving any car with more than 50,000 miles on it. (WTF, right?) Anyway, they'd taken perfect care of it and it was immaculate and I could not have loved it more.

I think my (at the time future) husband might have mentioned something about Volvos being very expensive to repair, but I was blinded by it's creamy leather interior, heated seats and steering-wheel stereo control. I think I said something to the effect of "But honey, it's a Volvo! It won't NEED to be repaired, thanks to it's superior German engineering, silly! I'll drive this car until the day I die!" Which, if this car has it's way, will be sooner rather than later.

Not three weeks after I bought it, the transmission freaked out. I could NOT believe my luck; after all, it had less than 60,000 miles on it!!! My sister-in-law had NO problems with this car whatsoever. And believe me, she could easily afford to pay for repairs. Luckily, that time, all it required was a mildly expensive "software download". Then there was the oil change that turned out to cost $1800. And then it needed very expensive new tires. A few months ago (immediately following the $1800 oil change), I had to admit that I was in over my head and that the car had to go. I tried to sell it; I did....but it didn't sell and then we sort of decided that SURELY we were done pouring money into it and it would now last forever, right?

Guess what? Last Thursday, the transmission died. Yes, it needs a new transmission to the tune of $6000. Unheard of for a car with less than 70k miles on it, right? There's really no explanation other than that the car is possessed. And I have been forever broken of my desire for fine German engineering.

I'm looking at Toyota, Subaru, Honda and possibly Nissan. Anyone have any experience and/or advice on any of those?

12 comments:

jpogue said...

All I can say is - OH MY GOD...

jpogue said...

Oh, I can say this too.

I'd get a pony.

Maggie said...

I've had a similar experience with a car attempting to kill me by bleeding me dry (financially) - why no horror writer has ever covered that topic, I really don't know.

ANYWAY, I don't really have any car recommendations because I have a Prius that I love, but it's only two years old so that's not really enough time to make a recommendation. We also have a Passat station wagon that's been very reliable, but it's not cheap to maintain. Freakin' cars...

Fancy Schmancy said...

Holy crap! $6000 is about what I paid for my WHOLE car, not just the transmission.

Toyotas are awesome. I'm driving a used Hyundai Elantra station wagon right now. But it very used, have had it for 3 years, not one problem with it EVER. It's got 120,000 on it and still going.

Betsy Bryan said...

Hi Kate, I found you from Robyn over at pocket aces. I've had two Honda civics, and I loved both of them. The first one I drove until a very old lady pulled out in front of me two days before Christmas in the pouring down rain. At the time my car had about 120K miles on it. It was totalled, her car was fine. The second one I drove until I decided I had always wanted a Jeep Wrangler, so I sold it and bought one. Now, I'm going to sell the Wrangler and buy another Civic.

kate said...

Jod, do you have any idea how long it would take me to get to work on a PONY?? But you know that would certainly get Anna's vote...

Maggie, I'm jealous! A Prius is exactly what I want; I drive 80 miles a day and the fuel efficiancy is sooo attractive. BUT there are many months of icey, snowy roads so I think I must go with an AWD of some sort, for safety.

Fancy, I know; it's STUPID, $6,000 for a transmission. No more high-falutin cars for me. Back to a good old trusty Japanese car for me.

kate said...

Welcome, Betsy Bryan! Thanks for the input; I'm considering a Honda Civic; they look like fun, zippy little cars.

Dee said...

You were sooooo excited when you got that car-----it was so beautiful and you were so happy to just be driving it ! Sexy !

What a shame that it turned into a beast----a money hungry beast !

About the Honda Civic, or any small car----Betsy said, referring to her accident and her Civic, "it was totaled , hers was fine." There is NO protection in a small car, they collapse in an accident, and you need to think of yourself and your family. Please do some auto safety checking on the computer.
I am so sorry that your lovely car is "out to get you". Those Germans are certainly proud of their repair parts.

Imez said...

"I have wanted a Volvo station wagon ever since I was 14"

see, that is why you're cool.

Also, my Toyota Camry is a good-sized car and has gone constantly, literally trouble free, for 12 years.

kate said...

Imez, I don't know about cool; what kind of DORKY 14 year old wants a STATION WAGON?! But yes, as my family will tell you, I've always had Volvo taste and a Subaru budget! :)

JACKI said...

I'd just go with a subaru. My subaru was BY FAR my best car and you can bet yur ass I put that thing through hell & back! 'IF' I can ever afford to buy a brand new car one day it will probably be a subaru of some sort.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. A Buick Electra 225 with the powerglide will get you through times when you need expression.