After last week when my car engine seized up on me I was without a vehical. My lovely girlfriend let me barrow hers for the week to get to work. But I knew that by this weekend I wanted to try to find something for myself.
I had no money aside from what was coming in my paycheck on Friday. My brother, upon hearing about my situation, called me up and said he would loan me $2000. He said “I know you’re good for it, you’ve been at your job for nearly three years, you show up every day and make decent money, just don’t buy anything that’s junk”. So I had roughly $2000 to spend either has a down payment on a newer car or to find one for $2000 or less.
I had been browsing craigslists and a couple other websites. I went out to drive a few cars that all ended up being crap. I went to several dealers seeing what financing a car would cost me. Finally Sunday morning I spotted an ad on craigslist for a minivan that looked like it was in decent shape.
I wasn’t looking for a minivan, in fact I was kind of against the idea at first. But as I was looking at cars people were selling in that price range I was having a hard time finding something decent that didn’t have over 150,000 miles on it.
The minivan I spotted had 130,000 miles on it and was a newer model (1999). Yeah I know that’s ten years old, but still newer then any car I’ve ever owned. The newest car I’ve owned previous to that was a 1992.
I’m not one of those guys that has to look good driving down the road. I don’t mind driving a beater so long as it’s reliable. But really it’s more that I don’t want the payment and insurance cost of a newer car.
After test driving the minivan it seemed like it was in great shape, just needed to be vacuumed on the inside and cleaned up. The exterior body was perfect and the engine nice and quiet. The guy we bought it from seemed like a decent guy, had told us all about it’s previous repair work and even had paperwork. After checking it all out I handed over the money and signed the title and now I have a set of wheels again.
After thinking about it, a minivan might suit me well. I do lug around alot of lights and camera equipment for location shoots for my job, and I do have a 5 year old who might like the extra room. Plus it makes for a great tailgating vehical.
Last night Melissa, my friend Dan and I took it to Pine Knob for the NIN / Janes Addiction concert. It drove pretty well, nice and smooth, no real problems other then getting used to driving a mini van. On the way back after dropping Dan off, Melissa and I started heading to her house and we both noticed the transmission was jumping into gear. Not the worst I’ve ever experienced but pretty noticable all the same. I went to bed last night feeling like I got swindled. Not knowing what to do.
This morning I got in the van to go to work and it seemed to be shifting fine again. I didn’t noticed any serious jumping. So I don’t know what’s going on. But I’m feeling like maybe I need to sell it and see if I can get my money back and once again try to find something else. But I’ll drive it for this week and see how it goes. Or as long as it takes me to resell it, unless it starts acting better and it was all just a weird anomoly.
You know what really sucks though. After I just bought it I was pulling into a car wash and a black dude in a jaguar pulled up next to me, seeing the price on the windsheild that I was just about to go have washed off. He asked me if I was selling it. I told him, “no I just bought it” and he asked me a few other questions and what I had paid for it. Had I known what I know now, I would have said “yes, yes I am selling it” and tried to make an extra $100 off the deal.