I feel like I’m noticing a trend here, but the past week has been busy and stressful, and we haven’t had time for projects or blog posts! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my computer died (after I dropped it…go me), which has made posting somewhat difficult.
As if that weren’t enough stress (and cost) for us, last week our trusty (or not) ’98 Nissan Altima, Friedrich, decided it was at the end of its rope. It is 17 years old with over 170,000 miles, but we thought we’d have about 6 more months with it, and hoped we could sell it for at least $1000. Imagine our surprise (and dismay) last Thursday when Norm the tire man told us it was toast. Or a giant paper weight.
Yeah, ok, so the paint is totally oxidized and splotchy (looks worse in person!), it has a hole in the front bumper from where someone (cough, Andrew!) ran into a trailer hitch (We glued the piece back in. If you squint you hardly notice!!), the Nissan decal on the back fell off, technically the compressor is broken so the AC could stop working at any time, you have to unlock with the fob because the lock on the driver door is broken, the driver side visor falls out and hits you in the head when you try to open it, the trunk doesn’t stay open very well, resulting in several banged heads…AND we’ve gotten locked out countless times because it randomly locks all on it’s own (but hey, that’s been happening since it was new!). So what…our car just had LOTS of character!! Nothing we couldn’t deal with…
Until he told us that to get it running again could be up to $1000 and there was no guarantee that would even fix the problem. Kelley Blue Book value was only $1500, so we couldn’t sink any more money into it and had to say goodbye.
Initially, I was pretty upset about the timing and angry that this had happened. Like crying upset off and on all day Thursday and Friday. We had just spent quite a bit to try to keep this car running, and now we weren’t even going to be able to resell it. Bummer. *hugs*
Plus, this was also this my first car, so I was a bit attached, and we were just not ready to make the plunge into car shopping! The used market is horrible right now, so we knew it could present a challenge.
I don’t currently work, so we could deal with one vehicle for a while, but our other vehicle is a 2000 Ford Ranger. It’s a tiny truck so you can’t fit very much in it (unless it can get rained on), yet it also has terrible gas mileage (It is fairly old, after all). Since we have several holiday trips coming up, we knew we’d need something “travel-friendly” fairly soon. Everyone says September is the best month to buy, so we started looking.
Fairly quickly, we realized we liked the newer Nissan Altima’s much better than any other car in our price range, particularly over the Toyota Corolla, which we were also considering. I suppose I may have been a bit biased from the beginning.
Isn’t it pretty?? I still just couldn’t wrap my mind around having to buying a new (to us) car. I even had a mini break down while one salesperson tried to sell us a car. Sorry ’bout that, Keith.
But my awesome husband, who’s great with numbers, did all the math (factoring in things like depreciation, maintenance, and potential resale value) and showed me that this car will actually cost us about the same or less to own each year than the previous car. Can’t get me with the emotions of special new features or horsepower, but talk to me about numbers and you might have me convinced.
So, this weekend we bought this 2014 Nissan Altima in Storm Blue.
We also stopped by to say goodbye to Friedrich and get all our stuff (since he would never be coming home again). The shininess of the new car certainly made it a bit easier to let go. No offense, Friedrich.
Then we had quite another task in front of us: cleaning out the garage!! No way was this car is going to hang out in the driveway like the last one. Garage parking only!! So…that only took us like 4 hours. (You can kind of see the mess in the background.)
Need to keep that paint shiny, though!
We don’t have all the fancy features, but almost anything feels fancy to us at this point! We do have push button start, which is awesome! And blue tooth capabilities for our phones! Woot! Also, great gas mileage.
I’m sure it has tons of other features, but here’s what I care about: the driver side visor doesn’t fall out on your face while you’re driving, the car doesn’t lock us out, and we haven’t had it long, but I’m guessing the alarm won’t start blaring at 2 in the morning just because it feels like it. Oh yeah, that happened with the old one. Sorry neighbors. We have a trunk button on our key fobs, and the trunk actually stays open, even when parked in our sloped driveway! Which it never will be…cause it will be in the garage. But still, it’s the little things.
Oh, and did I mention it’s pretty?
I still feel a bit emotional about saying goodbye to Friedrich and about the timing of all of this, but I think we thoroughly researched our decision and got a good deal. We did buy it from a dealer (which we didn’t think we would) because no one is selling these private party (that we could find.) Luckily, we found the exact same car at two different dealers, so we were able to do some decent negotiating.
Then when the finance manager gave us the paperwork to sign, we noticed that the final amount was for $1000 less than we had agreed on! Andrew and I both mentioned it several times, but he insisted it was right! We even got a $500 trade in for our non-working vehicle (are they insane??) and they said they would go pick it up with their trailer if we just dropped off the title. Win win.
The real question is, do we name this car? The old car really only had a name cause I was pressured into it in high school. The truck is still nameless. Eh, we’ll see.
So now that all that craziness is over and we’ve got the computer stuff sorted out, too, maybe we can work on some unfinished projects (like staining the deck if it would just stop raining!) and blog posts won’t be so infrequent and random? Well, one can hope.
Auf wiedersehen, Friedrich. You were a good car. I’ll miss all your little quirks and random honking. Xoxo.