my trusty old 1993 Saturn SW2 wagon has been a real workhorse. we’ve had it for nine years and have put 150,000 miles on it for a grand total of 195,000 miles. it’s consistently gotten 30mpg since buying it and we’ve put almost no money into it except oil changes and routine tune ups. youth group teens from years past have nicknamed it “The Recycling Bin” because of how much garbage and junk i keep piled in it and i typically, affectionately call it “the wagon” or “the piece of junk” – it’s been a good car for a long time.
and someone’s but is always getting in the way, isn’t it?
but about a month ago i started having trouble with acceleration and herky-jerky-ness. i knew something big was going down but i wasn’t sure what. fuel pump? a gasket? and then it dawned on me: it’s the clutch. a major thing. uh-oh.
so i kept driving it and praying. and then wednesday we took it to saturn of western hills – a most awesome place. they’ve been great to lise and i with our two saturns over the last five years. we turned the wagon over to cary and i told him: it’s the clutch.
and he calls an hour later and says, “you’re right.”
“what’s the damage” i ask him.
“$800+ and there’s more things that will need your attention in the next year.”
i jokingly told lise we ought to just ditch the wagon and get a new car. and she said, “let’s check what they’ve got” so i ask the lady on the floor, “what’s on the lot under $10,000″ and she says, “only one thing – a 2004 Saturn Ion 1 with 27,000 miles for $9,995.”
out we go to check it out – and it’s a nice car!
5 speed manual, 4 cyl, 2.2 ltr engine with power NOTHING (the way i like it – why pay all that money for power windows, locks, etc?) except steering. CD player, A/C, 28mpg city and 36mpg highway, soundproofed to keep road noise out, a year left on a bumper-to-bumper warranty AND a lifetime powertrain warranty included. payments would be under $200/month and our insurance would only go up $20/month.
what’s not to like?
so we went in and as we’re filling out the paperwork, i said to becky, our saleslady, “you know what would make this a definite deal?” “what’s that,” she asks. “give it to us for $9,995 INCLUDING titles, tags and taxes.” “hmm. that’s asking a lot,” she says, “but i’ll run it by my manager – he likes teachers!”
10 minutes later we’re finalizing a deal on the car for $9,250. woo-woo! my philosophy has always been, “the worst they can say is no, so you may as well ask!” but this, coupled with my borderline paranoia keeps my expectations low.
talk about being thankful for things – this has been a real surprise and blessing to me. that wagon’s been great, but when you’ve been driving something for almost a decade, you don’t really realize what a piece of junk it is. this new car is so sweet and it really rides well. and it’s QUIET which for me is a HUGE deal. engine’s quiet. the ride is quiet. and smooth.
it’s our fourth saturn. if they keep treating us like this (and they will), we’re gonna end up with a fifth when lise’s is ready to go in a couple years.
come on over. we’ll give you a ride in it while the new car smell is still in there.