Every drivers right of passage…

While not /quite/ as time consuming as my grandmother dragging us across F.O.R.D. motors cica 17 years ago, it seems almost the entire day has gone to procuring a car. Didn’t think there would be any savings on time >_>.

Went down to a dealer called Navigator up in Marietta this afternoon, nice little drive actually. Spent the morning at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Since I wasn’t able to get a ride up there, and well, being a stubborn, gundanium headed person, I’m not gonna skip out on an appointment (and a good deal) that easily, no matter how much my mother complains. I didn’t push the old car into work tomorrow because I was worried it would damage the vitals; if the mechanic is giving it a death sentance however, well I know how far she can go. We’re both tough old, crazy birds in that way. I love that car.

To make my mother ‘happy’, I got a rental for the day instead of tempting fate. Can’t say that the Kia Spectra is particularly inspiring as a car but it’ll do the job fine when you need one. Took long enough between my mother and Enterprise, that we were running lateā€”so for a change I drove like a proverbal bat out of hell.Yeah, just like one of my friends likely does… I’m thinking of you Escrt!!! Usually I go around the speed limit and let people going much faster than that pass me at will. But hey, if people are making me almost an hour late and everyone else on the express way is doing 80+, I’m riding with traffic when safe to to do so.

Must admit, I’m used to driving a car that only has a passenger side view mirror: so having a driver side view and rear view mirror, is almost like having a HUD :-/. Coming home,  it felt alien to use the mirrors, instead of having to drive straight and look over my shoulder whenever changing lanes to the left. I guess it’s fitting, as someone whose usually the train harder, fight easier type, that I’ve had to deal with a car that has next to null driver aids (unless you count power steering and good breaks, hehe).

Financing a used car is a lot of paper work, I probably signed and or initialled my name a good 40 times today. Overall the interest rates I’m getting are so miserable that after everything is said and done, it’s like paying for a new car instead of a used car, but I’m fine with that. If I had the cash laying around un-needed, I would just buy the car outright like my grandmother, instead of paying double that when everything is said and done.

My main concern was the drive away costs, because I’d like enough of my pay left over to drive into work after the holidays ^_^. One reason I tried the dealer I did, their way of doing the down payment is you pay about the normal price but it’s split into 3 chunks instead of an initial lump sum. Basically 50% of the down payment followed by a pair of cheques for 25% in place of the regular payments. The regular payments ain’t so bad either, so it’s just the interest rate is very high, thus making the cost more a lot more than the cars resale value. I’m fine with that. I just want a good car, not extra wealth.

In the end I got a white 2007 Ford Taurus SE. Breaks ain’t as good as Rosy’s, nor does it quite have the pick up of that old ’93 Tempo GL, but it is more to my taste than the other cars I’ve taken on a test drive. The best of which, was rather like my brothers car, and I don’t really like his car lol. The Taurus has a lower fuel efficiency ratings than I would like, but by contrast it’s a Vulcan V6 rather than an old HSC straight-4. It’s also an American car, which means it’ll stay put together with duct tape and chewing gum, which is kind of cool.

Except for the fluid levels, I inspected it as thoroughly as I could without having a tool kit on me; and I’ll check the fluid levels tomorrow when I get a chance. I liked that the tyres are in great shape (I’m used to having steel showing). Ironically a lot of things have changed: shifter is on the steering column (old style) rather than on the floor like every car I have ever seen. The parking brake is even a foot pedal/pull release instead of the lever type I’ve always been exposed to. For my mother, it’s reminiscent of 1960s fords lol. Engine and car body is what I really focused on with the Taurus – I can seem direct similarities to the Tempo’s engine, especially the alternator and belt design, but it is a rather different beast. I’ve spent enough time staring down Rosy’s engine, that it ain’t hard to figure out what is what, in as much as I know what I’m looking at that is. I’m a programmer after all, not a mechanic.

Much to my distaste, this Taurus also has the same “Power everything” mentality as my mothers Tempo. Power locks, power windows. I remember when those were optional “Luxaries” on cars… yeah. If you’ve got kids or something, I would recommend it but other wise I view power windows/locks as just another moving part that can break down. Modern key less entry systems are kind of nice though. To the interior, the only thing I really car about is that the radio works, so I can stop using my phone and ear buds :-).

Me being me, of course looking at the trunk space, all I could think of is “Wow, you could fit three bodies in this thing”. Yeah, lol. Seems that newer cars really go for a snub noise, big engine, and large ass compared to the things I grew up with; which were rather more like cardboard boxes on wheels.

Either way, I am happy. Got a car, it’s an improvement, and I ain’t totally broke yet. While I really don’t care much for FORD in general, I’ll admit, I would rather have a car that rattles with a good engine than have a car with a shitty engine and no rattles. Even if this Taurus rides pretty dang silent right now, I have never known a ford that didn’t start to rattle eventually. It’s not a sign of trouble, it’s a sign of FORD engineering lol.

Tomorrow if things don’t totally Murphify, I’ll take some pictures of both cars. Need to go pick up the old Tempo from the parking yard at Enterprise, so ma will be driving my Taurus and I’ll coax the old girl home. Now as long as my mother doesn’t crack up my car and Rosy doesn’t halt and catch fire, we ought to be O.K.

I love that damn old car…