05 September 2012

Our Cars

We have two cars. One is a gold 1996 Mazda 626 that has over 215,000 miles on it. (Pictured on the right. On our wedding day, in case you couldn't tell.) Eric bought the car in 2004 with 96,000 miles for $2600. That car has rust stains on the driver's side door, which is why he is called Rusty. The other car is a red 1996 Plymouth Neon with at least 150,000 miles on it. We aren't sure of the exact mileage because the speedometer often doesn't work, and when the speedometer is not functioning, the odometer doesn't work either. We bought the Neon in December 2009 at an auction and promptly named it Dudley, fearing that he might be a dud. As it turns out, he has served us well considering how little we paid for him ($900 at an auction, and then another $800 immediately for repairs).

As I've mentioned before, both cars are in questionable standing right now. Ever since we bought Dudley he's had small oil leaks that haven't been worth repairing. We've had all sorts of repairs done on him, and eventually he won't be worth repairing any more. Rusty is just old and tired. Back in November we were informed that he had a cracked radiator and could go at any time. Thankfully, his time has not yet come. (We seriously did not expect him to live this long after being diagnosed with a terminal illness nine months ago.) We are grateful we've had plenty of time to build up our savings so when we have to buy a car it won't be a horrible experience.

I've spent a fair amount of time looking online at cars. One thing I'm really going to miss about Rusty is his amazing gas mileage. He gets about 36 miles per gallon. Consistently. Granted, Rusty spends most of his time on highways or other fast-moving roads. We don't do a lot of errands in that car. I've looked through ads that advertised cars with 30 MPG fuel efficiency as really great, and it makes me sad in advance.

One thing I am really looking forward to are the safety features of having a newer car. I really want a car that has the LATCH car seat hooks. They make Ike's car seat fit so much more snugly than I can ever seem to get with our seat belts. I'd also really like a car with automatic locks and possibly a little remote to unlock the doors and the trunk. I know that sounds so simple, but I've had a few times where I'm trying to unlock doors manually and my toddler goes bolting out into a parking lot. Usually the parking lot is not busy, but one time when leaving the hospital after doing some blood work he ran right out in front of a large truck. You would have heard from me if there had been an accident, so obviously there wasn't one, but it was still scary. I could use a little help from modern technology that could help me in preventing this sort of thing. (I know it wouldn't solve my problem, but it would be nice if I could hold Ike's hand with one hand and unlock his door with the push of a button using my other hand. This is my daydream. Do not ruin it.)

Dudley doesn't have a working air conditioner. So obviously the thing I most want in a replacement car for him is a working air conditioner. Dudley also doesn't have a radio, so it would be nice to have a radio in the replacement car as well.

In the meantime, we are enjoying having two functional cars for however long we have them. Fingers crossed that neither of them dies at a really inconvenient time - like on the way to have a baby or something.


Melanie said...

It's so scary to buy an inexpensive used car and hope that it runs for a while...but it's great when those cars last for miles and miles. My first car purchase was a little red Civic with tons of personality. I like the security of having a newer, nicer car now, but I'll always love that Civic.

allicat4 said...

In response to Melanie's comment...my first car was also a little red Civic with lots of personality! I finally had to move on from it after both the heater and air conditioner in it died. Ahhh, but I have fond memories of that car!

Good luck with the car search! We're in the middle of that too, although only one of our cars is in the process of giving up the ghost. :) That particular car almost died when my mother-in-law was driving it home from the hospital for us last week.

Janssen said...

I'm driving Bart's car this week, which has a clicker, and dude, it's AWESOME. You are not living in a dream world.