Thursday, February 21, 2008

There comes a time...

When it's time to replace your old car. The replacement is the picture above, a new Honda Civic. I must say, after about three weeks with the car, I'm enjoying it immensely. When filling the tank, I can usually manage to squeeze just under 7 gallons of fuel a week - just about $16 a week less than a fill up on the old Passat. Also, the insurance is less AND I don't have to worry about major repairs for at least 3 more years. Something about peace of mind, I guess.

It really was finally time for my old Passat to go. It’s been causing this sucking sound near my wallet every time I head over to the garage recently. Last fall it had the timing belt replaced. It needed a new electrical card for the ABS, it had leaking journal bearing seals replaced, It had a new timing belt tension control arm, and about 3 weeks ago, a new ignition control module. OUCH! I figured I should sell the car while it was in good running order.

Nobody (and I mean nobody) at the car dealers was going to offer me anything close to a fair trade-in. They were offering numbers that were way below what they should have based on condition. (Kelly Blue Book Fair/Good condition) Methinks they were writing themselves a quick $$$$ profit.

I must say, I don't care for selling used cars privately. It's a hassle and I hate to haggle. I put the Passat up on Craigslist and within 3 days I had 12 interested buyers. Everybody wanted to be first, but I took them in the order they replied. The day that I was going to show the car, I opened the hood to check that there weren’t acorns or something under there. I opened the hood, looked around and then closed the hood. Snap. The plastic lever that released the catch broke. I was able to put it back in place and repair it. The first guys who saw the car were some Master’s students from a local university. They test drove the car and gave me a deposit on the spot. Good. I felt that I got a fair price for the Passat – what would be a fair dealer trade-in value less the cost to get the ABS fixed. In the long run, I think they got a very, very good deal on the car and certainly hope that they enjoy it as much as I have.

Last night was the night for us to deliver the Passat to the new buyer. I went to get the plates off the car (I’d put WD-40 on the screws the night before.) and while the front plate came off easily, the heads of the two screws holding the rear plate snapped off.


So I get out my drill and an easy-out to try to get the screws out. I get the holes drilled in the screws and put the easy out in one. The insert spins in the trunk’s sheet metal.


I pull it out and put it in the second one.


I broke off my easy-out in the screw.


Nothing I could do about it. I guess the car just didn't want to leave. So I delivered the car anyway and told the guy who bought the car about the problem. I gave him some money back so that he could get the plate mounts fixed. He was very happy with the situation, just the same. Am I just too nice to be selling used cars?

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