Talk of the Trains: Car Saga

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Car Saga

This weeks challenge came in the form of a black truck.

Let me rewind. Back in September, while CT3 was out west, his car was overheating and acting all crazy. We had it worked on then and dropped around a grand on it. About six weeks ago the durn thing was acting funky again but this time it was something else. I forget what it was cause I know nothing about motorized vehicles but I do know that we spent just under another grand on it.

If you can do math, this means that in 6 months or so, we had dropped around $2,000 on his car. It is a 2000 and had around 180,000 miles on it but CT3 really wanted to ride it for at least another two years and preferably til he had cleared the 200,000 mile mark.

This brings you to last week. His car was being all crazy again and his naggy wife starts telling him I think we need to get rid of it.

{Wives, this is something you should think about how you communicate! Especially if your men are as attached to their trucks as mine was!!}

We took it to the shop and the guy basically said that he had made a few tweaks so that we could keep driving it, but that the engine wasn't doing so hot and major things would need to be replaced. The estimated cost for this would be around $4,500.

I am not sure about yall, but money sure as heck doesn't grow on trees around here and at that time, I felt like we were just driving around on a ticking time bomb.

The research on new cars began, however CT3 held on to the fact that the guy had tweaked his car a bit and that it was now running well, while I turned into the uber naggy wife telling him we needed to get out while we could.

I should clarify myself here stuff scares me. First of all, we don't have money to just go and drop on whatever we want. Secondly, I always think that cars are going to explode. I am scared of having people look under the hood with the car running and I am especially scared of smoke coming out of cars. I am even more scared/annoyed at the prospect of my husband being without a car, which would result in me having to drive him to and from work. While this doesn't sound all that bad you say, he sometimes works a swing shift and this week he has been going in at 3 AM....not my ideal taxi time!

Anyway, CT3 agreed that we should begin looking and so he started keeping his eyes peeled for the perfect car. We wanted something that had better gas mileage than his truck yet still had a truck like feel. We needed something that can haul fire gear, dogs and baby and would be the perfect fit for CT3.

After looking around for a bit and going back and forth on a handful of cars, his sight fell upon a Ford Escape. Once he said he was interested in those, I took off running with it. He and I both started searching like crazy and I kept long lists. From Craigslist to dealerships, I found every used Escape within a 100 mile radius. I had narrowed down the list of the selected cars based off of price, mileage, carfax reports and lastly aesthetics such as vehicle color.

Last weekend we printed everything from the internet on the handful of cars left and I ran numbers on them. I will have to tell you more about how we do this in a separate post, but we go in to car dealers armed with NUMBERS before we talk to sales people. We negotiate on the OUT THE DOOR price {not the listed vehicle price} and we go in prepared. It really is an empowering feeling to have done your research after you realize how badly car dealers are trying to pull a fast one on you. I always feel like we go in with the upper hand and that's a good feeling.

On Saturday we were at car dealers from 1:30 pm til 9:00 pm only breaking for dinner. AM was with us and was a trooper. You have never seen such a patient 18 month old...nor have you ever seen one eat as many puffs or cheerios as she did in her life!! We were with finance at one point on two of the cars and ended up walking out - both times. It was sort of a defeating feeling not getting the car we wanted, but it was also good to know that we were willing to stick to our guns {and our budget!}.

On Sunday most dealers and car places are closed so we went back to our computers and made more lists.

Monday rolled around and though we were tired of the whole car saga, we decided that we would try to go see a few more. CT3's car seemed to be running fine, so no pressure there. He came home early from work that day and as we were packing up our stuff to go, he realized he had left his wallet at work - 25 minutes from our house.

We piled in the car and I drove him back to the plant. On the way there, we heard a hissing sound under the engine and again, I freaked out. We pulled over to find steam coming off of the engine where coolant had leaked all over creation.


With no other choice, we get back in the car and proceed on. We get his wallet, he takes over the wheel and we head to the car places. Long story short, we find a car we think is the one and begin the negotiating. CT3 gets grumpy at some point in there while I continue to push. They aren't willing to come down any {though they make it sound like they are doing us all of these favors} and after an hour and a half, we leave.

That night we shopped lots til just after 9:30 pm. We were both exhausted and had one tired baby and a neglected dog to take care of.

Tuesday, CT3 headed off to work and I went back to the drawing board. I found two more cars and went and checked out one and was about to call to make an appointment for the other when my phone rang. It was the salesman from the night before wanting to talk to us about making a deal.

After me continuing to push for our number and after three or four back and forth phone calls, I told them we would be by around 4:30 to sign papers.

That day, I was nervous but excited. We needed to get CT3 a new car and today was the day. CT3 and I decided to meet half way and leave my car so that we could go together to the dealership. When I pulled up to meet CT3, the hood of his car was up and I panicked. It really wasn't as big of a deal as I had made it but on the way there, his car began overheating again. Now its also 90 degrees in south Georgia so I don't blame it for being hot, but this was just one more sign that it was time to get rid of the ole truck.

The drive to the dealership seemed like the longest three minutes of my life as we just prayed that they would keep their word on the numbers and give us what we wanted for his car on the trade in. We prayed that there would be no complications and we thanked the Lord for bringing us to this point.

Within an hour and a half, CT3 and I pulled out of the parking lot in his new-to-us vehicle. We both honestly think that that day was literally the trucks last.

In the midst of all of the other craziness that our life has been full of, having car problems was not something else I wanted to tackle. CT3 later confessed that he has been praying that the Lord will teach him dependency on Him and I just laughed as I asked him if he could be more specific next time and ask for the dependency not to be around car or child issues!! Ha!

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  1. Car trouble is the WORST! I am glad it works out for you and that you got what you were after :)

  2. Glad you got a new car! I think car buying is one of the most stressful things in life! Seriously!

  3. Wow! you have gumption!!! I need to take you car shopping with me the next time I go. I literally just walk onto the lot, find a car I think is pretty, and pay what the dealer says to pay. I'm AWFUL at car shopping


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