Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Car Blogging

Ugh.  Used car shopping at the junker end of the market is no fun anymore (I guess to less sick and twisted people, it never was).  I had $1500 to spend, cash and knew it would be a crapshoot no matter what I got.  I needed something cheap and fairly reliable/comfortable to get me the 3 miles to work every day.  But due to the economy and the cash for clunkers program the used, beater car market has dried up.  After coming up empty on this side of the river (and on craigslist) I turned to the old standby for cheap used cars - 82nd Ave in Portland.

I took the Monkey because who would want to screw over a nice woman with an adorable 4 yr old in a Tae Kwon Do uniform?  And he gave me an excuse not to play the old game of "please sit around and wait while we pretend to consult with The Boss in The Back".   He had fun having balloon fights (the Monkey, not the boss - or if he did I didn't see it).  I encouraged him to run around.  Play tag, hide & seek under the cheap desks.   Generally annoy the sales guys as much as possible.  All's fair in love, war and Used Car Haggling.  I have a hyperactive 4 year old and I'm not afraid to use him, Buster!*

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Their favorite trick is to make you sit and waste your time in a barren waiting room making chit chat with a gap-toothed babysitter.  I don't do small talk.  If they're not going to do me the courtesy of having some old magazines laying around to occupy my mind, I'll find something else to occupy it.  Like call Mr. Stang on the cell while I'm sitting there and have him look stuff up on the internet.  Especially True Market Values on .  Love Love Love  He reads me all the bad owner reviews, which I can share with the babysitter.  Then I call other people.  Ask their opinions.  Gossip.  Nothing gets the Boss In The Back out front quicker than you picking up the cell phone and "stepping outside" to chat. 

I ended up buying a 1994 Honda Passport EX SUV like this one (only black, with a bug shield & faded paint ont he hood),  4wd, 4 doors. Automatic.  130k miles.  Pretty clean, no major structural/cosmetic issues.  Maybe a leaky moonroof.  We'll see when it rains.  Needs a new starter.  But has a tow package so could be used to haul stuff in the future.  It's got power everything... with the usual power problems on a 15 yr old car (passenger door lock, driver side window...).   Engine and tranny don't sound great but hopefully nothing major a tune up won't fix (knock wood.... knock entire forests.....) . If it lasts a year I'll be happy.

Pray to the Used Car Gods and wish us luck!!

*No actual pre-schoolers were psychologically harmed or exploited in the purchasing of this vehicle.  Well, maybe a little exploited.... but he had fun doing it.  And kept the kids of another woman buying a car at the same time well entertained.

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