Finances & Money

Do we miss our car?

A few weeks ago, we sold our 2005 Chevrolet Malibu sedan. Basically, it was cheaply made and we wanted something projected to be more reliable. Oh, and it didn’t have a number of safety options like side-curtain airbags and ABS. I saw the crash test and that was the trigger to sell it. And yes, that means we offloaded our problem onto someone else, but I don’t feel bad.

Anyway, our relatives asked us this weekend if we missed the car. Both Stacie and I answered with a resounding NO! We’re doing just fine with our old Pontiac Grand Am and newer Honda Ridgeline. The Grand Am has 126,000 miles and is running strong. We just got 2 new tires for $150. The rear tires were dry rotting and scared me since it would be Stacie’s primary car.

Generally, we put about $600-800 into the Pontiac each year, which is far, far less than a new car payment. Now that we got rid of the Malibu, we’re itching to get Stacie the Mini Cooper she’s been wanting since it debuted, but we’re sticking to the plan of at least 1 more year with the Pontiac. We’d like to pay cash in full for the Mini, but I have tuition to pay next year, which will be above my company’s yearly reimbursement limit (they cover $5,200 per year, which will be spent in the first semester of 2008).

Who knows, we might decide to keep the Pontiac for another 2 years instead of just one, and focus on saving even more towards that shiny, new blue Mini. During bad weather days, Stacie can always take my truck, which has all-wheel drive, so we’re not worried that she’ll be stuck.

My Acura

In March of 2006, I parted ways with my precious Aegean Blue Pearl Acura TL Type S. The car was fast as lightning, and I loved the color. It had black leather interior and was very comfy on the long, monthly trips to PA, especially when I worked up there for 5 months. I traded in the car (for about $3,500 above KBB trade-in value) for my 2006 Honda Ridgeline. Stacie has asked a few times if I miss that car. Usually it’s when we see the same color TL-S on the road, but I always respond no.

It was time for a change in my life. I didn’t need that speed tempting me, although I never got a speeding ticket in that car for the 5 years I owned it. We already had 2 other sedans, so I didn’t need another one. I wanted something more useful, hence the Honda Ridgeline truck. I’ve slowed down my driving considerably now, and rarely push above 80mph on the highway. For comparison, I regularly hit 90+ in the Acura, and even got it to 147mph back in 2003 (on a totally clear highway). I was young, stupid and risked my life and many others’ in the process. I was lucky not to die or been seriously maimed, and that’s why I needed a change.

You might ask what is the purpose of this post? Heck, I don’t know. Probably something to do with holding out on buying a car when you have a perfectly working one already. Or saving on car insurance by not driving like a jerk. Or maybe that you shouldn’t be so attached to a material possession, because once you sell it, you’ll move on. There’s something financial in here, but I also felt like giving you something personal too.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I’m trying to keep my car as well. It’s a 2002 mazda protege 5. It went well for the first 4 years. We are now in our 5th year and I just had to put 3K on the car (bearings, brakes, 100miles tune up, shocks, etc).

    Since your Gran Am is at 126 miles, did you have to put that much money a year ago? I was a bit disappointed when I came back from the garage this week!

  • FB: Last year, we had to get new wheel hubs and some other work, but it topped out at about $800. This year, we got 2 new tires and new suspension, so another $800 or so. A few years ago, we got a new water pump, serpentine belt, timing chain and new tires, which in all ran about $1100.

    I’ve also done minor things like getting new headlights ($120, replaced myself) because the old ones were fogged up. I also replaced the transmission fluid myself and I replace the oil on all my vehicles myself.

    So for 3 years, we’ve spent about $2700 or so (not including regular maintenance like oil and filters), which is about 5-6 months of new car payments. The car is only worth about that much now, but it runs great and there’s no reason to sell. If we needed something major like engine work, we might consider donating it or selling it, but not now.

  • I have the ’99 TL and am very happy with it. I’ve had it for two and a half years, and it’s paid for now. The great thing is that I got it with a salvaged title so it was a great deal. I know,.. most people wont touch a salvaged vehicle with a 10 foot pole, but I did my due diligence and it’s never given me any trouble. In fact, with what I’ve put it through, it’s doing great. Love this car.

  • Realist (Chris, why don’t you just use your real name?), that blue is sharp and not the normal navy blue. Get off it man. You drive a bronze Grand Am, a white Taurus and a gray Sonata. YOUR the old man, regardless of age.

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