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Friday, April 17, 2009


We had to spend $630 on our car this past week.
Did we even have $630 to spend on the car?
Especially after spending $480 on new tires a couple of weeks before
and another $130 a few weeks before that.
Grand total:
That number makes me so happy.(pfffft!!)

Let me tell you a little bit about our car.
We bought it shiny, black, and new in the fall of 1999. It's an Oldsmobile Alero and that was the first year it was made (advice: don't ever buy a vehicle it's first year of production). We'd been driving an '89 Mazda 323 before that. The Mazda didn't have power steering but had a sunroof and was an automatic. It was a great car but not very suitable for road trips, which we needed.
Trevor had just got a new job so we bought the Alero.
We loved and still love our Alero in itself. It is a 2-door sports car, V6 engine, with power everything; it's fun to drive. Everything ran smoothly for the warranty period.
Of course.
It seemed like within days of the warranty expiration things started to go wrong.
We have replaced:
- ball bearings
- steering rack and pinion
- heater/ac fan
- power window assembly
- cv boots and joints
- some internal gasket thingy (the most recent)
- the steering fluid hose twice
- then of course standards like tires, rotors, breaks etc.

Things we have not replaced but don't work:
- rear defrost
- driver's side power window assembly (yes it broke again)
- ABS system

I should not even have to know what half of that stuff is! I'm also sure I've missed some things. Did I mention that there's this mysterious "clunk" that occurs at slow speeds often when turning? That was the reason for many of the repairs and yet the "clunk" has never been fixed. No one knows what it is. Maybe it's a ghost with a hammer just having fun with us.
Fortunately my dad helped us fix the majority of the problems so the cost was kept way down compared to shop rates. Since purchasing the car we have learned that the Alero is somewhat of a lemon in it's design. The stuff we've had to fix? Many people who own Aleros have had to fix as well. We have contemplated and threatened to sell it many times, then we spend money on it and just can't seem to part with it.
When this last stint of repairs began with a faulty hose we almost sold it again and bought a different one. But things just kept going wrong! Now, once again, with all the money we've just put into the Alero we might as well keep it.
We keep it and drive it until it dies completely. That's what the mechanic who did the most recent work advised. We'd probably only get $1 for it anyway.
At least we still like the car and still feel cool driving it. (does this mean we're old if we need a car to feel cool?)

Disclaimer: This picture is off the internet because Trevor has ours currently, but it looks exactly like this!

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