Monday, August 22, 2011

Personal Gripe: Used Cars

Normally this would be an interruption in the blog due to circumstances in real life. However, since literally no flow has been established yet, there's nothing to interrupt. Instead, I will use my current problems and headaches to introduce a topic that will certainly come up again - driving.

I like cars, but I really love driving. The difference is that one is the means to an end, and the other is the end. Driving is the end all, be all. I research and check out cars when I have to. I think I understand the basic factors that combine to make a car good or bad. High horsepower and high torque is good, one deals with the power of the car and the other might deal with how effectively that power is used (?). Handling, brakes, fuel economy, number of cylinders in the engine, all these things are important.

However, numbers don't interest me. Numbers are used to measure phallic sizes. Quality, as opposed to quantity, is so much more exciting! The quality that is better described in paragraphs, but best described by sitting in the driver's seat, that's where my heart will always be.

Numbers lie like dogs. Feelings might be misleading, even wrong, but they're honest in a way statistics can't approach. I'm sure a lot of people might believe the exact opposite is more likely to be true, but that's just another feeling! Prove I'm wrong with numbers, and I'll prove you're a liar with words.

Which all leads to the present: me spending day after day on Craigslist, dealership websites, and the phone with lots of different types of people. Things I've learned so far: you only need five minutes and two separate road conditions to tell if you like a car (love at first sight is a lie, at least for me with regards to cars), your gut might be good for hunches but not for final decisions, and while not all car salesmen are smarmy, all dealership owners are.

At this point in time, I've passed on a very fun Mitsubishi Eclipse that guzzled gas, a lackluster Mercury Cougar, and am getting a Hyundai Elantra with under 100,000 miles on it inspected tomorrow. My two saddest passes have been on a BMW 328i and a VW Golf. The first I can't rationalize buying with the almost complete certainty of needed repairs, the second I can't rationalize buying with the need for diesel.

That being said, I still have yet to put any money down on the Elantra,
- John


  1. Penn & Teller did a Bullshit episode about numbers that was pretty great. And I agree, fuck numbers. There was a reason why I studied English in college, besides of course, the enormous amount of job prospects and high paying salaries I've earned with said degree...

    With that said, I have a Hyundai Accent, that besides being made really cheaply in the interior, has had no real problems engine wise in the last 3 years, and gets decent gas mileage. Best of luck to the search being over soon!

  2. Finished! Thanks for the luck. I think it paid off, I'm currently in the honeymoon phase with my little Protege, although the neurotic side of me (heh, reference to the new post) flips on every couple hours and is positive I bought a lemon.