Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New (Used) Car!

After nearly 9 years, it is finally time for my lovely 1997 Nissan Sentra GXE (aka Edward) to retire.

We went car shopping on Saturday just planning on doing some test drives. We wanted to see how the online reviews we had been reading matched up with the real world cars. By the end of the long day, we drove this baby home.

(photo from the dealership's ad)

Edward and I have been together just slightly longer than Paul and I have been together. Paul and I shared him for all of our time in Boston and after. Edward drove us on the move to Boston and on the move back, on many road trips, on errands and on the occasional joy ride. Paul and I both felt attached to our little blue engine that could and a little sentimental about letting him go. But, we both admitted that it was time.

a little side by side shot

How did we know it was time? Well, I posted about the most recent trouble a little over a week ago. But, even before that, we had seen the writing on the wall for Edward. Here are a few examples:

Proof The First - The Animal Admitting Hole
On this camping trip, after the bear visited us at our campsite, we decided to sleep in the car. During that restless night, I awoke to scratching sounds. I couldn't figure out what it was but I figured out the sounds were coming from the trunk. The next morning, I inspected the trunk and found that the wheel well for the spare tire had a rusted out hole big enough to admit small creatures. The sound I heard was these creatures feasting on the food we were keeping in the trunk so as to avoid feeding the bears.

Proof The Second: Body in the Trunk
Over the years I have noticed an increasing, yet sporadic water problem in the trunk. Sometimes after it rained, I would find a soggy trunk (and trunk contents). I'd tried to figure out the source of the leak myself, but couldn't identify where it was getting in. Once, I even brought it to the mechanic to have it fixed. My technique for figuring out the leak was to take note of where the wet things in my trunk were located and then to try to match that up with possible sources. His technique was much more interesting. He grabbed a flashlight, climbed inside my trunk, shut himself in and had someone douse the car with a water hose. Despite risking a claustrophobic attack, he could not identify the source of the leak either. So, from that point on, anything that was in my trunk was fair game for getting soaked.

Proof The Third: Hello/Goodbye
The cd/radio in the car has been getting progressively worse over the last year and a half. It has gotten to the point where it can perform a slew of tricks.
Included in its repertoire of tricks are the following:
1. ceasing to play music, but instead running alternate "Hello", "Goodbye", "Hello", "Goodbye" messages across the screen
2. ceasing to play music, but instead repeatedly ejecting the CD
3. playing music, yet simultaneously incorporating a hideous squealing noise

There are others, but let's just leave it at that so that Edward can maintain his last shred of dignity.

I am especially grateful for Edward's last great act of kindness to us. He netted us a trade-in value that was twice what I had hoped for. Thanks, Edward! We hope he finds new life with some high school kid.

Paul and I are now happy to have a brand new used car, a 2005 Toyota Matrix (personalized name pending). Feel free to leave Matrix/Trinity comments below ;)

Part of the reason we bought our car so quickly was that we found the right car at the right price at a dealership that has a 3 day return policy. These days afforded us time to take the dogs for a ride to see how they like their hatchback space.

We got to test the cargo space with a trip to my Dad's house for a giant tomato cage and a trip to Menards for gardening supplies.

And, lastly we got the car inspected by our mechanic. He gave it the thumbs up, so now we can drive places again without the fear of a car on the verge of busting. It is such a relief! And, truth be told, I didn't really want to knit that emergency knitting project anyway!


  1. Hurrah! How marvelous to have a new, reliable ride. And one that will generate endless Matrix jokes.

  2. I am going to have to watch the Matrix for real now.

  3. It's obvious - the new car must be named Neo! :)

  4. I have to admit, I only watched the first Matrix movie and I watched it a long time ago. I think I should probably watch it again so I can get all of the Matrix jokes and references people make.

  5. edward must have been friends with my last car--a kia named something like "piece of shit" or "loser." she had radio problems, too, like continuing to play cds/cassettes even when the keys had been taken out! it was frightening! but she found a home with a great teenager and has given us lots of laughs about the past. i'm glad edward was so good to you as to give you your new matrix as well :) welcome, "neo/trinity/matrix."


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