Talk me out of another car, please

lkihlk hiffmpequt

OK. I have a 2005 Honda Civic. It has about 56,000 miles on it. I've had it since 2008 when I bought her with 9400 miles. It pretty much runs like a top, but it needed an O2 sensor $500 (check engine light came on, I didn't notice a difference in the driving)


The local dealership told me that in about a year, I will probably need new break lines because the ones in the car are starting to show signs of rust. This repair will cost about $1300 and they just wanted me to be prepared. The break pedal is starting to do this thing when I depress it, it stops, and then goes a bit farther. The car still breaks well, but they told me this is a warning sign.


Otherwise this car has had a 30,000 mile service, oil changes (2 per year) and new tires. A Honda afficionado has told me the engine isn't even broken in yet. That I could get 200,000 miles on this car. Doing the math, I'll be approximately 372 years old by then.


I am weak. Two years ago on vacation the rental car place gave us a Buick Encore and I've been obsessed ever since. I don't know why.


OK, I do. It rides higher offering better visibility which is lacking in the civic, now that there are so many SUVs on the road it's hard to see around them from the sedan. I bought the Civic I have because it had side air bags, which were difficult to find at the time. The Encore has 10. Add some safety tech, particularly blind spot and a back up camera... My Civic has 110 horsepower. I bought it for around town milage, which is great, but I do occasional highway driving and it is seriously lacking in the passing department.


I guess I'm just starting to feel that my car isn't as safe as it could be.


The Civic also isn't particularly good in snow, which is a real concern where I live.


We do have a Subaru Forester for road trips and if the snow is bad we can usually work something out without me having to drive the Civic.


I've got the money in the bank to buy another car without a loan, but cars are such a terrible thing to spend money on, that I'm having difficulty moving to actually get another car. I haven't even gone to a dealership and taken an Encore test drive because I don't want them hassling me.


I know nothing about Buick, as I've always had reliable Japanese brands and not American ones that need so many repairs. So I'm not used to a car that periodically won't work. I'm used to turning the key and driving.


I'd defiantly buy used, as I'm not into taking a hit on the depreciation.


Am I crazy? Thoughts?


Thanks.


PS-- The Civic has no 'lx' or 'ex' on the back and is so basic it has empty spots in the dashboard where interesting stuff would go. I can't even find the trim I have listed anywhere. The Encore is pretty darn nice in comparison, inside and out!

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Lucille

but cars are such a terrible thing to spend money on

I no longer drive for health related reasons, but I don't think cars are terrible purchases depending on circumstance. If one is located in a place where there is not much public transportation, sometimes a car is almost a necessity. And if you decide that a car is going to be part of your household, safety and comfort are valid concerns. Only you know whether upgrading to a safer more comfortable vehicle is the right move for you.

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Elmer J Fudd

Car buying isn't only a rational decision, it's an emotional one too. And it doesn't always have to make sense.


If you have snow in your area and you're familiar with a Subaru, why not buy another one?

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terilyn

I’m a car junkie, if you want one get it! Only if it’s cash paid. I usually buy one or two years out from the new model, new, but get a great deal. Always fully loaded.

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Elmer J Fudd

" Only if it’s cash paid. "

That's one way to get a new car, but not hardly the only way. There are at least two others that immediately come to mind, none of the three more clearly better than another nor clearly better in all circumstances.

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FinallyHome

Enabler here. I just brought a new to me car that I definitely didn't need. But so glad I did. I really wanted the blind spot function. Love it.

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Texas_Gem

I can't help but wonder how much you would get using the Civic as a trade in.

I realize it's an older model but (at least in my part of the country) it has insanely low miles on it which would fetch a higher price.

You could get even more for it if you went through the hassle of selling it yourself.


The reasons you list seem like perfectly valid reasons for getting a newer vehicle.

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jane__ny

I'm driving a Honda Pilot, 07. Haven't put a dime into it and its 4 wheel drive. Moved from NY to Florida. The car has not cost me a penny except for normal maintenance. Lot of mileage.


Always had SUV's and would never go back to a normal car because of the space and storage.

I bought the Honda new for $37,000 in 07, and feel I got my money's worth. Before I bought the Pilot I always had Ford Explorers. When we lived in NY we had Rottweilers and would show them. We traveled all over the Country showing them. I gave our son the old Explorer and bought the Honda Pilot. I loved the Explorers. Had two and sold the first one when I bought the second.


I would like to get a new one but am torn between American vs. Japanese. I know I put more money into the Explorers than the Honda. But, I wonder if they build them as well as they did long ago.


I want the new technology but have read on Consumer Reports that many of the new cars do not do that well. Some are all touchpad which drivers find distracting. Some of the controls are awkward. I plan to wait another year until they get the technology down pat.


BTW, my hubby drives a old Toyota Scion which has never cost a penny either. He loves it. Its an 02 and runs like new.


Whether the American cars can compete with the Japanese cars is the question.


I would say to look the Buick up on Consumer Reports and see what people think about it and how their repair record is.

Good luck, and get a new car!

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always1stepbehind

Also check out carcomplaints.com Honestly, being a Japanese car driver too for the last umpteen years, I don't think I'd buy American. Sure that Buick was nice....compared to your older civic, but if I was making the jump, I'd test drive over suv's...and definitely check reviews, consumer reports etc.

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joyfulguy

"New car smell is highly over-rated",

is a slogan on a number oi billboards in the area ...

... sponsored by an auto repair place, "The Mufflerman, I think.

ole joyful

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desertsteph

do you live near AZ? I've been planning to look for a used honda crv in the next few months. don't know how much smaller a civic is to a crv. I've had 3 buicks and liked all 3. have one now and I like it too but can't seem to find a good mechanic to work on it - it's a 96.

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arkansas girl

If you decide to keep the old civic, please have the work done at a different shop than the dealership. You are paying way too much for the work. An o2 sensor should not cost $500 and brakes shouldn't cost $1300! I think the new O2 sensor on our saturn was less than $200 at our shop that we use. Ask around your neighbors and see who the best shop is in your area. A dealership is notorious for being very expensive!

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arcy_gw

Buying a BRAND SPANKING NEW car is a terrible thing to spend money on--they lose sooo much of their value as you drive them off the lot. Buying a gently used car only a couple of years old is a necessity for most of us.

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Elizabeth

I think it is time to replace the Honda. The Buick may be the one for you or maybe you just like the feel of a bigger car. Shop around a bit first. It can be difficult selling your old car, there is always some sentiment isn't there?

I love buying cars but out of the several we own, I always drive a full size SUV. Living in a snow belt it is a necessity. Once the old car is gone, I never miss it a bit!

P.S. New car smell is perfume. Just buy a spray bottle and enjoy.

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summersrhythm_z6a

I’d go with Japanese cars for reliability.

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Hot Rod

I'm an enabler too. I buy a new car every couple of years. Sometimes cash, sometimes financed at 0% interest.


I always buy new cars. I don't want to inherit someone else's problems or suffer from their misuse or abuse of a car. But I generally buy high-end sports cars, so there's much more risk of their having been driven… spiritedly… shall we say.


Just because a car depreciates when you drive it off the lot doesn't mean you shouldn't buy new. If you keep a car for a LONG time, then that depreciation shouldn't matter at all.


Watch out, too, for used rental cars. They're treated like trash by the people who rent them.


Life is short - buy the car you want. Like Elmer said, there's always emotion involved in buying one. :)


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graywings123

At 4,000 miles a year, you are a low-mileage driver. For me, it would be hard to justify to myself buying a new car that needs only minor work. But you want something bigger for safety and more power on the highways. Those are good enough reasons. I too am a Japanese car aficionado so a Buick would not be my choice. You might want to take a look at the Hyundai (Korean, I think).

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Jasdip

I bought my previous Hyundai Sonata in '02 brand new. I sold it in 2015 with over 330,000 km on it. Loved it, and there was no doubt we'd buy another Sonata.

We picked up a 2011 with only 88,000 kms on it. Heated leather seats, dual heat and a/c controls, sun roof. It's a 4 cyl with more horsepower and oomph than the previous one which was a 6 cyl. Just love it. It rides and handles like a dream. Side air bags, rear air bags, etc.

I didn't want a newer model with the gps etc. I hate that big screen. While the car was in the shop for a few days we rented a Mazda with a back-up camera. Only when it was time to return it, did I feel comfortable using the camera. I can't get used looking down to back up. And I back into the vast majority of parking spaces.

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quasifish

I have to laugh at your post because I am a 4000 mile a year driver with a 10 year old Honda. This car is only our 3rd. The other two were/are Hondas as well. One made it 32 years and 400,000. The other is still driving 70 miles a day and has over 400,000 miles (we've had that one since 89).

I won't keep the 10 year old as long as the others. DH has maintained the others, and as I get older, I have less tolerance for dealing with repairs and down time. At this point, I want a grab-and-go car. That will be the deciding factor for me as to when it's time to get a new car- when it's irritating and feels like more trouble than it is worth.

A few years ago, a Honda dealer told me that parts for Honda start becoming unavailable around 20-23 years. I can attest that this is about true, though as time goes on, the availability for parts seems to start drying up earlier and earlier. The guy who does any auto work for us, that is above and beyond what DH wants to do, has complained that he's been unable to easily repair some vehicles as early as 5 years old due to unavailability of parts (both OEM and after market). These were not Hondas, but I can't think of what makes he mentioned offhand.

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colleenoz

We have a 2009 Hyundai i30, had it from new and have had it serviced as required, replaced the clutch once (I admit I can be hard on the clutch), it’s done about 250,000km/155,000 miles and never missed a beat. It’s got great acceleration so it’s good for country driving (we live in the country) and we’ve never regretted buying it.

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liira55

I work at a Ford Dealership and I drive a 2016 Escape. It has 41000kms on it. We got a MB ML320B in on trade with 92000km on it, leather seats, moon roof, fully loaded. I was thinking of trading in the Escape for it and took it for a test drive last night. Not for me. I had difficulty getting in and out of it, too many blind spots and with all the buttons to press was to confusing for me. I then thought of repairs on it and how much that would cost me, (an oil change alone on an MB could be $500.00) considering I can get my Ford serviced at my dealership for staff price. I think I will stay with the Escape.

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summersrhythm_z6a

MB C 300 is a very good reliable car, good on gas too.

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maire_cate

Buy a new car - or a certified used one. Just thinking about the improved safety features alone is enough reason.

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always_beezee

Just remember, you can't use the money when you are six foot under.

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always1stepbehind

yes, certified used.

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Elmer J Fudd

When the time approaches to be six feet under, you could make arrangements to buried in your car. So you can take it with you.

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maifleur01

Recently I purchased a new car and purchased for several reasons. I felt comfortable when driving. I needed something smaller. Buying a new car although I now have a car payment will mean that I no longer need to expect major expenses that older cars seem to have between 7-9 years old. I normally keep mine for 9-10 years so trade in value by then is little or none. Only thing I regret with the new ones is that many do not have CD players. I do use the map feature and will probably always look over my shoulder in backing up.

I had been looking for several months for the right car/vehicle for me. One, for me, drawback that I found on many is that there is little ground clearance. In this area we have heavy snows which would make handling very interesting.

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georgysmom2

Not sure I would trade in a Honda for a Buick. JMO..........My last Buick was a Buick Riviera and I loved it. My son has it now, it's still going strong and it's 23 years old, but they don't make them like that anymore. I have an Acura MDX and it's 13 years old with less than 100,000 miles on it. It will definitely outlive me.

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socks

Go drive a Buick. You might find you still love it or maybe not. They'll probably need your driver's license, but state ahead of time they are NOT to contact you in any way. Otherwise you'll go elsewhere. Those people can hound you! Make sure you get this settled ahead of time.


One advantage could be that a newer car could would have safety features you don't now have. Also would be safer in weather, maybe. Lucky person who buys your "old" car.


We are big Honda people, have driven them for decades.

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chisue

No 'infotainment' on our '05 Jaguar X-Type either. No 'rear projection'; warning beeper is useful. AWD is great in snow. Alpine sound system (w/CD, lol). ZERO expenses beyond tires and maintenance on this car for 43K miles. It was a demonstrator w/2K miles sold with 6-year-everything certification; $32K less trade.

We'll need brake work in a year. Bucket seats could be rebuilt. We're 100 and 180 lbs, but upholstery does fail.

The sole reason I'd consider a larger (thirstier) vehicle is for *defense* if I had to do more highway driving. I don't like the appearance of any. (What's the one that looks like a hearse?)

I'm still happy to 'claim' this car in a parking lot. If you really LIKE your car from the start -- maybe pay more for it than similar size, etc. -- you'll probably still like it years later. We'd gone to a dealership to trade in a larger Jaguar and planned to buy another large one, but didn't see the appeal at the price. This one had 'appeal'.

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lkihlk hiffmpequt

Ok. NONE of you are helping! :) Well, some of you are. I could drive my little Civic into the ground as they say, but it's really the feeling of safety. And the notion that I'd be 375 by the time the car dies. And that I've had it for 11 years and that it is 14 years old. Garaged most of the time. Seriously, I have people ask me if I want to sell that car all the time.


I've literally become that (young) little old lady who drives her car only on sundays. Who'da thunk it?


And yes, Mr. Fudd I could be buried in my car. Why not get the most use out of it possible? When the archeologists dig me up in 2000 years, they'll think I was some kind of priestess. :)


The Honda HR-V is also an attractive option, but maybe a bit too small. I've never driven one. The post was prompted by a dealership, somewhat local advertising a 2018 Buick Encore Essence, with a bit over 8000 miles for 19,357. I like the 57. A nice touch...


I'd always get a used one, similar as long as there were no accidents.


Leather, heated seats, 10 airbags, and the blind spot alert. As a 2018 it has a back up camera. On our Subaru I find I use the camera in conjunction with the mirrors. The rest of the stuff I really don't care about. Don't care about the leather seats either as I have a dog and I'll have to cover them anyway. But heat in the winter would be nice. We had them in another car and they were better than the actual heat. By the time the heat kicked in I was already at work.


I can use my iPhone (also bought used, I am a cheapo to the core!) to navigate in a pinch. It talks to me in the voice of a lovely, dishy Australian dude. Sometimes I make him Irish, because who can resist that? So Nav isn't important.


Because of this thread I actually emailed the dealer about the price, and whether that was "Out the Door." Which I knew it wasn't. There will be taxes and 'fees' but no response as to what those fees might be. I'll discuss it with the DH this am. We'll see what he thinks. It's a far way to drive to look at it, but the drive is a pleasant one.


Thanks to all for your good advice and car stories. You really helped me focus on this. I'll keep you posted!

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arkansas girl

I would just say that buying the new car is just up to you because the car you have now is not at the point that it needs to go. We drive our cars until the wheels fall off of them(ie, not worth fixing anymore).

As far as needing to have your brake lines replace, I really doubt that is the case on a garaged car with that low of miles. I have a '92 chevy truck that has the original brake lines, just now getting to the point that the mechanic said they will need to be replaced in the near future. My '96 Tahoe has just had rear brake lines replace last year, front said to be still looking good! They both have around 150,000 miles. The dealership will tell you stuff to get your money. My ex used to work as a car salesman and would tell you stories about the dealership garage! We had the Saturn dealership tell my husband that his car needed all kinds of work done, took it to a different Saturn dealership and they said the car looked great! The O2 sensor doesn't need to be replaced unless you have emissions testing where you live. This is according to our mechanic that said we didn't need to have to O2 sensor replaced "don't worry about it" he said. If your car is a front wheel drive, it should handle fine in snow. You probably just need a better tire. Our little Saturn SC2 was a beast in the snow, handled way better than my four wheel drive Tahoe!

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mike_kaiser_gw

The greatest benefit I see to newer cars is better safety technology, but some of those features are only offered on the higher trim lines. Beyond that, if you can afford a new car and want one, then buy one. As for your Honda,

  • Civics of that era are generally very reliable and inexpensive (relatively) to repair.
  • Find a reliable independent shop, they tend to be less expensive doing as good or better work than the dealer.
  • AWD isn’t significantly ”better” than FWD in winter weather. Buy a set of winter tires. For an ‘05 Civic, a set of Michelin winter tires and new wheels would cost less than $1,000..



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nicole___

I say if you have the cash, your not over extended and you'd enjoy owning it....GO FOR IT! You only live once. Let us know if you get it.....waiting for an update.....

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maifleur01

A comment about the brake line needing to be replaced while I agree with Arkansasgirl I also know it depends on where you live. Heavy snow as you mentioned in many areas also mean lots of deicing chemicals on the roads which can eat into anything metallic. I second or third the suggestion that you take it to another place to be looked at. If the brake line is corroded I would also have them look at the floor of the car when it is on the lift. It is embarrassing to put your foot through the floor.

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always1stepbehind

I am curious...we've gone how long without all this new "safety technology"...how much of difference does this new technology make . I'm sure there is a study somewhere about it. But I guess with everyone on their phones, the cars do need to stop for themselves since no one is actually watching the road...right? LOL

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mare_wbpa

My son just traded in a Civic with 400,000 miles on it. The miles were mostly highway, he had a long commute every day and he maintained it meticulously.

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bob_cville

> The local dealership told me that in about a year, I will probably need
new break lines because the ones in the car are starting to show signs
of rust.

I agree with arkansas girl

> As far as needing to have your brake lines replaced, I really doubt that is the case on a garaged car with that low of miles.

Car dealerships are in the business of selling cars. One way some of them do this is to say the vehicle needs (or will need) some expensive maintenance. One dealer said my Nissan Sentra (which was coming up on 120000 miles) would need its timing belt replaced in the near future, which was a surprise to me since I knew that it had a timing chain, which would never need servicing or replacing.

Honda Civics of that time frame regularly last for 200000 miles.

Additionally many people gravitate in the direction of a SUV for the reason that they perceive it to be "safer" but the taller body which does allow better visibility can make the vehicle much more prone to rolling over.

I just looked and the Buick Encore does have a good rating for rollover although as far as I can tell the IIHS tests only rate how well the roof will hold up if there is a rollover, but not how likely a vehicle is to rolling over in the first place. Furthermore I did find this page which notes other problems that model has had.

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Buick/Encore/2017/engine/engine.shtml

Little things like :

  • The engine turning itself off while you are driving
  • The engine turning turning itself on while its parked in your garage
  • The brakes failing while driving
  • The brakes failing while it is parked
  • The engine bursting into flames!!!

Of course those problems were all reported for the 2017 model year. I'm sure the 2018 model is just fine.

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fran1523

I have a 12 year old Hyundai Tucson with about 92,000 miles on it. I just put new tires on it and had the brakes redone for a total of about $1300. Last year I had the timing belt replaced for about $600. The car runs well, has no rust and in my opinion the only reason to get a new car is for more features. Even though I've put some money into it it's still cheaper than car payments. I'm hoping for two more years on this one.

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Judy Good

I would love to buy your Honda Civic!! LOL We have had Honda's for a while now and they never give us problems! If you decide to sell, make sure to sell privately and do not trade it in. Your Civic can get you some nice cash towards a new vehicle. I drive a Honda CRV and love it. It is my second one, first one was totaled in an accident. Son has a 1998 Honda Civic and just starting to give him a few issues, mainly due to rust related issues, We live in Michigan. Good Luck!

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lkihlk hiffmpequt

maefleur01-- yes, "It is embarrassing to put your foot through the floor." I've kept a car so long My foot got wet when I drove in the rain! I actually once drove to my sister's house wearing a climbing helmet inside the car (didn't want to get a head injury if I was in an accident. My sister said the helmet wouldn't have helped, because apparently my head came pre-injured) I've also got into a car and had the front seat inch through what was left of the floor. Pretty dang embarrassing, especially the stares on the highway when I wore the helmet.

Ahh, my twenties. When my judgement was green.

I'd forgotten about that until I read your comment. So maybe I do deserve another car.

I test finally drove a Buick Encore. They have an arm rest that is attached to the driver's seat like it is on an airplane. You can slide it ups but otherwise you can't adjust it at all and it is too high for me. I'd be driving around with one hunched shoulder. There is no arm rest for the passenger. I didn't like the Encore as much as I thought I would. Could be because the kid from the dealer rolled up one for me to try that "had just come in" and it was filthy. Dust and dirt everywhere, literally chunks of mud on the driver's floor mats. Yikes. Freaked me out thinking that all the cars on their lot were totally abused. I actually rejected it. And asked him to get another one to test drive. I knew more about the car than he did, so I directed him to some internet resources to help him sell 'em to other people. I was probably the weird test driver of the week. Ah well.

I'm now thinking of a used Mazda CX-5. a 2017. They drive well, and are on the smaller side, although bigger than the Buick Encore. Who knows when they will start to come off lease? I know nothing about this.

The local dealer sales people don't work on commission, so I don't mind buying there. And I drove one and mostly liked it. I should have spent more time adjusting the seats first. I need to go back and give it another go.

I've got to say the Mazda CX-5 feels big compared to my 2005 Civic. They have a CX-3 model that is smaller, but perhaps too small. Looking around, the CX-5 also seems to mostly come with black interiors, which is kind of a yuck. The dealer has one available now with every bell and whistle for a decent price and milage, dealer certified, but it is black with black interior. Sadly, I am not Batman and choose not to drive around in the Bat Cave. We have 7 months of cloudy weather where I live. It's dark enough thank you!

And the saga continues!

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graywings123

My sister said the helmet wouldn't have helped, because apparently my head came pre-injured

Snort, snort. :)

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Lars

In case you change your mind about being Batman:


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jupidupi

I get what you mean about being unable to see around SUVs. They should have a law requiring those big-butt SUVs to stay in the far right lane unless making a left turn. It's one thing for trucks being used for work to block others' vision on the road. But it's totally unfair to make people in normal sized cars to lose visibility just because someone wants to drive an ObeseUV. ("Sport Utility Vehicle" -- yeah, right. How many of those drivers are athletes?)

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maifleur01

I am glad my comment triggered memories. When I was younger even the older more secure financially people who purchased used to save money actually spent more money maintaining their vehicles than they would have spent on car payments so I vowed not to buy anything used. Only one used Saturn waiting for the a new model I liked. I recently purchased a Kona Ultimate as perhaps my last car. It is a little bigger than I wanted but to visit friends in New Mexico I needed more than a 5 inch ground clearance. If anyone drove and loved how Saturn's felt the feeling is similar. On my two trips to Minneapolis both averaged 42 mpg but I have a very light foot.

I too wanted color being so tired of black and every other car was black or white so mine is Sunset Orange. At least now I can find my car without setting off the emergency sound.

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joyfulguy

I bought a Mazda hatchback, made in about '88, if I remember well, bought it when about ten years old and ran it with few problems for about seven years. When the independent repair people, one a friend, said that it was time to scrap it, I almost told them to fix it.

Then a little Dodge "Colt", made by Mitsubishi, they tell me, for six or seven years, I think, including when I moved here 15 years ago, after which it and my old mid-80s Ford van died, and I got an old Chevy "Cobalt" that hauled me around with very little hassle for about 6 years, then developed terminal engine issues: local charity gave me a $400. receipt as a charitable gift for it, which helped at income tax time.

I bought an '07 Pontiac Grand Prix from an acquaintance at church for $2,500. just over a year ago (registered on 9-11 last year) with about 110,000 mi., put slightly more than 6,000 enjoyable miles on it in the year with no problems till leaking gas line last week.

I bought my most recent (almost) new vehicle in 1976 (a '75 Rambler that had sat new on a dealer's lot over winter).

My vehicles haven't cost heavy money, and haven't been big drains on the wallet to keep rolling.

ole joyful

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