Monday, February 28, 2005

A new bug for the programmer.

Remember that milestone? A few hundred miles later, the engine halted at a stop light and refused to restart. Towed to the shop, it started. The mechanic there couldn't see what was wrong with it but did notice it had no oil.

I hadn't changed the oil in a long time. I'm not proud.

Another commute or two later, I notice it's making a sound I don't like. We drop it off at a different shop, and they tell us at the end of the day, the engine is shot. It'll last a few hundred miles more, and then it's kaput. That sound I heard is some shaft, and they could fix it, but there's no point.

That night, we car shop. I have a Beetle in mind, and that's where we focus. My sister has one, so we talk to her for some pointers. "Don't get a '98 or '99," she says. "They have problems. Even 2000 is iffy." With that in mind and CARmax floating around my screen, we call some dealers in search of (what else?) a deal.

In Orland Park, there's a 2002 Beetle with 15K miles on it. I compare it to the price of something somewhat comparable on CARmax, and this deal is looking just a little better than that. The next morning, we pack up the family in the minivan, pit stop for a fast-food breakfast, and ride off for some big decision-making.

I'll skip the harrowing experience at the car dealership. Suffice it to say we made it out with our lives and a car. At home, we discovered clues linking this car to its previous owner (bills stuck in the owner's manual). Also, there was a dead cell phone in there.

We've discovered a couple of warts on the car since getting it, but mostly we really like it. I thought seat warmers were for wussies, but I'd forgotten how much colder leather is compared to cloth. I'm sure I'll have more to say about it after I've commuted with it more than twice.
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