Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Clover's long, slow breakdown

We're getting ready to say goodbye to our car, Clover the Atrocious Beast. I bought her in 1999 right out of graduate school, and these days she's feeling her age. She's 10 years old now with 170,000 miles, and her repairs are getting out of control. Last weekend she spent 22 hours in the shop, and now she's got a strong gasoline smell, bad alignment, and creaky/squeaky sounds coming from both hood and muffler. Also, she runs hot even after last weekend's marathon radiator flush. Poor Clover!

We've been anticipating her breakdown for a while now, and we've had our eyes on the Corolla and Yaris from Toyota. We test drove a Yaris last weekend, and we planned to buy one at the end of this month. It looks like we might be moving up our date of purchase, depending on what the mechanic says tomorrow about the gas smell. (We're renting a car today, so don't worry about us going up in flames!) After hearing the mechanic's verdict, we'll also decide whether to sell Clover privately or to try to sell her to a junkyard. Her blue book trade-in value is a whopping $250, so we're not even going to mess with that unless the dealership wants to give us a great deal.

I've been spending all my free time researching car buying and getting us preapproved for a low-interest loan. If y'all have any tips for us, please share them! We need all the help we can get.

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