Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fit for a Clunker

Back in June, when the Cash for Clunkers program was first announced and then signed into law, Joy and I talked it over and decided to participate. We had been saving towards a new car to replace the truck so we'd have two safe cars for the boys to ride in and felt $4500 from the government was too good a deal to pass up. Since we were gone most of July, we planned on going as soon as we returned home.

During that time, we followed the news about the program with interest, watching the lines of people collect at dealerships to cash in on their old cars. We fretted that we might not be able to participate, but when the extra $2 billion was signed a week ago, we made plans to go test drive and buy.

We looked at several different cars, but ultimately settled on the Honda Fit for its size and gas mileage. This car will basically be my commuter car and needs to be able to haul the boys and their ever-expanding gear a few days a week as well. If you haven't been in a Fit before, it has almost as much room as our CRV, is amazingly fun to drive, and gets in the mid-30s for gas mileage (though friends and my brother who have one all report regularly getting in the upper 30s). So last Thursday we loaded up the boys and headed to the dealership.

Now, up until now my truck has not really been a clunker. Sure, it gets around 12-13 miles to the gallon and has almost 200,000 miles on it, but it still runs great. At least it did until we we to replace it. The truck must have known it was being thrown over for a shiny little upstart, and so on our way back from the dealership, decided to overheat. On the interstate. In 90+ degree weather. Turns out that not only does the car leak oil (a problem I had known about but didn't monitor since we were gone a month), it also was basically out of coolant. I limped it to an exit and finally got it a nice drink of coolant and drove it on home Thursday night. Now it is getting evil glances from the family and is a bit of an outcast until our deal is cleared by the government, at which point we'll go swap it in for the new car.

Of course, with the way the program is going right now, it may be out of money by the time our request is processed. If that happens, I'm afraid we're in for a bit of the Exorcist in our household. Stay tuned.


Stephen Granade said...

Yeah, the truck clearly knows what it's in for.

Liz said...

so did you get it traded? Finish the story, Granade!!

Andrew said...

Still waitin on the gov'ment to send a check to the dealer. Never fear, I'll post pictures as soon as we hear.