Saturday, June 5, 2004

Car, ice cream and Prince

I bought ice cream but ate a banana instead.

Car troubles again.  I knew there was something my mechanic was missing.  Perhaps it wasn't noticeable then, but it's pretty bad now.  The other night it nearly overheated as I coasted to a stop in front of Cheryl's house.  The coolant was completely dry.  We loaded it up with water.  I was able to get home safely and start my dogwalking day on Friday.

By mid-day, the coolant light came on again.  I dropped off most of my troops and Hunny, Marley and I made a pitstop to my mechanic.  It's possible there's a small leak in the radiator.  But without further investigation, there was nothing blatantly obvious.  My mechanic topped off my fluids.  He expects to see me Monday morning.

I was on my way.  No problems again.  Until today.  Not even 24 hours later - low coolant.  The engine is running hot.

I spent a couple of hours visiting car dealerships.  My thought is, if I'm going to put money into a car, I should probably put it toward a reliable longer lasting car.  The one I'm driving now has over 118,000 miles on it [4 cylinder].  I'm the third owner.  It's been a great little car.  I've been blessed.  It probably has a good few years left.  But summer is coming fast and furious.  My business is going strong and getting stronger.  I need a reliable, comfortable and bigger vehicle.

The dumbasses at the first dealership kept me standing in the blazing sun while the partial-English-speaking boy went to fetch the keys to a used Xterra.  He returned 20 minutes later [as I was walking off the lot] and said he had the wrong information on the car.  I was about to leave then when he said he'd quickly run my credit and let me know what I qualify for - which was the whole reason I was there in the first place.  After waiting another 20 minutes he came back with "good news, you qualify but I can't tell you how much your monthly payments will be until you have a car picked out."

I rolled my eyes and stood up, thankyou-goodbye!  And [this is why I call him boy] he said, "What's wrong? Are you mad at me?"  Oh please, you man-child, cut the umbilical cord already!   I reminded him ofthe first wasted 20 minutes and followed up with the most recent wasted 20 minutes.  I shook his hand and with a blank smile, thanked him for being no help to me whatsoever.  I turned to leave and he still had the nerve to ask for my cell phone number just in case the perfect car arrived for me. With my back to him I waved, Nope. I've been here way too long.  I'm going to the dealership next door.  Buh-bye!  I thought he was going to cry.

I went to another dealership.  I purposely pulled into the used lot across the street to take a look for myself.  After seeing a few possibilities, I headed to the main building.  Off in the distance stood seven vultures just waiting to reel me in.  By the time I got to the front door, there were only two left.  [I have that affect on sales people.]  I gave both of them the skeptical eye and only one put his hand out to me.

I said exactly what I expected from them - "and if you can't tell me what my estimated monthly payments will be, then I don't need to be here."  I got exactly what I wanted.   I've been in sales.  It makes a huge impact when you treat a customer like a person.

When I got home my roommate made a phone call to a good friend of his.  Apparently they know a thing or two about cars.  So tomorrow we're going to a place they trust.  They can be my advisors.  Then again, my roommate is trying to convince me to buy from eBay Motors.  I dunno.  How many times have I received an eBay item only to find it's not exactly what I thought it was?  A fifteen-dollar mistake is very different from a fifteen-thousand dollar mistake.

Besides, I've never even driven an Xterra.  Actually, I don't think I've ever been inside an Xterra.  There's a pretty good chance I'll be in one tomorrow.

Newsflash:  Just got a call from Cheryl.  We've acquired two 8th row tickets to see Prince at the Staples Center tonight.  Now I'm eating ice cream!  Gotta hop in the shower.  Have a great night everyone!


diannevan said...

Woo hoo!!!  Such exciting things for you!!  But I still would be irritated to no end at the mechanic who charged you $300 to tell you nothing is wrong with your car, when obviously something is.  

indigosunmoon said...

8th row Prince!!!  You dirty dog!!!  LOL
I'm so happy for you!  Let us know how
it was!

krobbie67 said...

Good luck on the car shopping!! One of the dreaded tasks for me. I still haven't started looking. I keep telling myself, one more month. And, I am so fricken jealous. Hope you have fun at the Prince concert. I heard (from him on a talk show on PBS) that he's really changed his act. No more over the top sexuality or his old bump and grind songs. :-( I guess we all have to grow up sometime. But, not me, I'd be eating ice cream too. :-D ---Robbie

punky5678 said...

Cars UGH! I hate the thought of having to buy a car. Great luck on the PRINCE tickets I have heard his concerts are incredible.

ondinemonet said...

I really like Prince. I hated to admit it but "Raspberry Beret" is one of those songs that haunts me at times and "Delirious" always makes me laugh...long story why...LOL. Take care and hugs to Hunny! Love, Carly :)

sonensmilinmon said...

I don't envy the car buying situation.  And I know I wouldn't want to buy a car at e-bay. I've only bought a couple things from them so far.   Just little things.

8th row PRINCE tickets! Wooo Hoooo! I wanna hear ALL about the concert ~ how cool is that!  Yes, I like Prince. :)


ggal3133 said...

ooo Prince, lucky you!
Car shopping is never fun, good luck.

deabvt said...

Prince, a new car & Hunny, Lucky freee. Enjoy!

grassriver said...

OMG....Have Fun - with everything!!!!!

grodygeek said...

I am soooo jealous about you seeing Prince. I mean first the Lakers have to win and now you get to see Prince there and I didn't have a snowballs chance in MN June to see him in his home town. Just stinks. I hope you had a great time.

My father was a life long mechanic. As a youth, when I needed to use a car, I had to learn to repair it first. He forced me to learn a lot about cars. I know a fair amount, some the hard way. If you'd like some questions answered I'll do my honest best. I suggest you start wtih consumers reports, but that is my attitude. I already own the magazines so I can look up stuff if you like.

I'm not a big fan of e-bay for a big purchase. I don't like dealers either. I prefer if you can find a mechanic you can trust and pay him to look at a car for you to make sure it is okay.

freeepeace said...

DIANNE - I am pretty upset about my car.  But the work my mechanic did a couple of months ago was necessary.  I don't even know if the rattling and the radiator are related.  I'm going car shopping today - we'll see what happens.

CONNIE - Yes, 8th row - but not quite 8th row on the floor.  Great seats though.  Great show.  Not sure I would've paid the asking ticket price though.  Too much.

ROBBIE - Maybe you and I could get a two-for-one deal if we go car shopping together. :P

PUNKY - I'm actually excited about the prospect of getting a new/used car.  But I get annoyed with the process.  I just want to walk in, pick out a car, charge it and drive away with it.

freeepeace said...

CARLY - I love old-school Prince.  Starfish and Coffee is one of my favorites.  It was never a hit of his but I think it's on that same record with Raspberry Beret.  And who *isn't* haunted by Delirious?  lol

MONICA - Yeah, I'm pretty sure I won't go the eBay route.  Unless someone car savvy does it for me.  Prince was great - high-energy!  More about the show later.

GGAL - I'm determined to make car shopping fun. [who am I kidding? I need all the luck I can get.]

VINCE - You really are a Hunny fan.  I'll have to post more pics of her for you. :)

KELLI - Having fun so far... let's hope it stays fun. Woohoo. :)

GORDY - Well, now I know where Prince is from.  Cheryl and I wondered that last night.  Thanks for your help via email today.  I'll keep you posted.

slowmotionlife said...

Agg on the car troubles, love.  I'm glad to see you're being proactive about it, though.  118,000 miles is pushing it.  It's time for a new car! Exciting!!!   I can't stand car salesmen.  Ugh.  I just don't do well with people hovering around you, smiling, and telling you how much you "need" something. I know what I "need", thanks.  I don't need you to tell me.  What I DON'T need is the hefty monthly payment if I buy the car YOU want me to buy.  Grrr..

I don't think I could trust an ebay car purchase. Sorry.. I'm just not that trusting of the internet yet.  

Have fun on your test drive!  And have fun at Prince!!  Rawrrr..  Fun!!  Love you!  

musenla said...

I've been in sales, too and I have to say the bad rep salespeople get is often well deserved.  They are so busy giving their schpiel they fail to listen!  Good luck on the car hunt.  I'm so glad to see this tough negotiator side to you, way to go!  You gotta show them who's boss from the get go.

OMG, you got Prince tickets?!    I think Purple Rain is the best album that came out of the 80s.  You have to tell us how it went.  And show us pics!  =P

alphawoman1 said...

See if youcan secure your own money from a Credit union etc....then purchase accordingly.

txsguinan said...

God ~ I hate car salesmen!  I don't care that they're people too; they should act like it, instead of smarmy, oily little snake men.  It took me 5 hours to buy my Rav 4 in '96, & I had already ordered the car & made the deal in advance!  Sheesh.  But, on the upside; YAY!  A new car!  I saw an Xterra yesterday ~  banana yellow.  They're cute!  Good luck!   :)

dockart said...

Shoot! I bought bananas but ate ice cream instead.
Good luck with the car thing. I HATE car dealerships. It seems they take forever to make any transaction. Hope the Xterra works for you. Have fun at the concert!

babyshark28 said...

Woah....don't mess with Freee!  ha ha.

I hate to mess with sales people, I'm like you. I will smile but my eyes will glare and say...don't mess with me. :)  It's the only way to go.  there all vultures.

have fun at the prince concert!  my very first concert was Prince.  great entertainer that guy. :)

andreakingme said...

Yo, I'm back!!!!!

I have a lot of catching up to do (I'm only checking out the latest entry of a few Journals here ... it's 1:30 a.m. and I've got to get up and go to work tomorrow), but I just wanted to say:

Poor you for having to go car searching! (Suck, suck, suck-aroo, huh?)


I'm so jealous! I'd love to see Prince in concert.

Details, sweetie. Deeeeeeetaaaaaails. Okay? Okay? Okay?


Missed ya! Smooch.

miarenee24 said...

First, I so envy you, getting Prince tickets! My SIL and I wanted to go SO bad when he was in B'ham in April. I am looking forward to your entry on that!

I hate car shopping. The last thing I bought, a jeep, was a lemon and died a few months after it was paid for. Next time I buy, I'm going to take my time. That's my best advice. Take your time before you buy. Trust your gut. :)

clarity4today said...

LOL, I've had nothing but unpleasantness involved with buying a car.  Do they train these people to make things difficult for the customer?

I'll be hoping that things improve in your car-search. :-)