wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
Last weekend was a lot of fun with the Fire Sand Jaguar F-Type convertible. My post about it just went live a few minutes ago, in which I purposefully left a thread hanging from the story. It was left from the story because, frankly, it well deserved its own focus.
  1. It seems that my 2004 Passat is cantankerous. 
  2. It wasn’t good writing to distract from the previous post’s theme.
  3. The previous post’s theme was AWESOME!
  4. This current theme is about a jealous Passat.
When I plopped my little butt into the Fire Sand Jaguar F-Type convertible on Friday and drove away from my office for the weekend, of course, my 2004 Samoa Red Passat had to be left behind. After all, no one can drive two cars – safely – at once. It’s either one or the other. I took the other, hotter, faster car out for the weekend.

I’m frankly not sure what, if anything, transpired with my car whilst I was away traipsing around the countryside in the hottest thing on the NJ and NY highways and byways. My old guy was parked all alone in a Mahwah corporate parking lot for 2.5 days. 

Granted, there’s 24/7 parking lot security at my office, so my Passat was fine. He was safe. I’m certain he felt lonely and neglected without so much as a “See ya!” from me.

After turning in my Jaguar from the weekend, my Fire Sand was watching me throughout the day as I walked from building to building.  After work, I got into my old 2004 Passat, happily content with his practicality.  Happy that he’s paid for and that, in large part, I don’t really have to worry about him at all.

Work ended and Matthew was waiting patiently for me at his office 5 miles up the road on the NJ/NY border.  I got on the highway and was carefully navigating traffic, across lanes to the left and back to the right - the normal ebbs and flows of evening rush hour traffic. I kept noticing that my right side passenger rear-view mirror was wobbling.

I used the little turn knob on my side to push the mirror upwards, downwards, sideways and back to get the mirror to snap back into place. I didn’t realize that the actual glass was the wobbly bit. I didn’t realize that the wind was getting behind the mirror and loosening it from the flat plastic base. In an instant, as I was pushing the position knob back upwards, the mirror popped off and flew into the air behind me! I feel like I heard a “clink-clink-splatter” on the pavement to my back right as I sped away unable to stop and make sense of it all.

I exclaimed, “There it GOES!” to no one in particular with my windows open. “THERE IT WENT!” I screamed again to the gas station sign I was passing. Just really to myself – albeit loudly.  It was sort of a helpless feeling, witnessing my 2004 Passat turning into a zombie before me – with me inside!

I smacked my right hand onto the top of my steering wheel and rested my forehead against my left hand with my elbow on the window sill.

“Hope they have a mirror!” I said out loud to the air whipping around through my car, speaking, of course, about the VW dealership on the way home. What an inconvenient and odd thing to happen after such a nice weekend with my Fire Sand Jaguar!

And there it was. My old 2004 Samoa Red Passat was JEALOUS!  Jealous that I took another car home. Fuming that another, younger, hotter vehicle got to see the hilly countryside in upstate NY. Stewing all weekend by himself in a lonely parking lot, scheming of ways to say, “See?! How’s THIS for leaving me behind?! Huh?! You need to pay attention to me!  Spend time with ME for a change, why doncha?! IN FACT, I want something new for ME because I deserve it.”

And so he made me spend money on him.  To the tune of $100!  Honestly, I’ve done the same thing before with a previous boyfriend in a similar situation. I get it.

Needless to say, the parts department at both convenient VW dealerships were either closed or closing before we could get to either. I had to wait to check with the dealership closest to my office till today, but we met “RD” along the way.

“RD” is a short, beefy (clearly) Italian bulldog who works at the Mahwah-local dealership.  Good arms, great tats, and excellent eye contact. Buzzed hair and furry belly. Yes. Furry belly. More on that later… “RD” explained to me yesterday, “Make sure that you push in the new one like this (demonstrating and checking in with me that I was watching him): In the middle… not on the sides. OK?”

“Yes, sir! Not on the sides, but push it good in the middle there.” I quipped without cracking a smile.

“Right! Grab onto the sides here (checking in again with me) and once you have it seated and plugged in just right, push it in the middle till you hear it snap. Hear that?” I nodded studiously. “That means it’s in place. Then you can get in and move it around.”

Yeah. I’m not totally sure if those were all the words or phrases he used in that order, but they seem plausible. In that order. In my head. Right? RD did show me and instruct how to insert the new mirror once I got it and his demo yesterday was totally cute.

On the way home last night without knowing whether I’d be able to get a real replacement today, we scooted by Pep Boys to see if they had a mirror I could glue onto the old plastic base.  “MacEnroy”, a handsome 50-yr-old, Latin fireplug, told us about a glass place “around the corner” that could cut out a perfect fit. Sounded good, but no dice; the place was closed – in fact, it closed at 4:30PM and at we got there at 6:15PM.  Ugh. So, we went back to Pep Boys and got a set up for about $10 that would get me through about 2-3 days of traffic, in case I had to wait a couple of days for the replacement mirror to be ordered - better to be safe than sorry!

Turns out the local VW place had one in stock and I picked it up today.  And RD installed it!  Oh, yes. And about his furry belly. I saw his furry belly today when I picked up my mirror from the dealership during lunch. I asked if “RD” was around cuz, after all, he’s the one who explained yesterday; I needed him to make sure it was pushed in just right - from in the middle, not the side.

He installed the mirror and made sure I heard it snap into place.  He wiped his fingerprints slowly off the mirror with this t-shirt and, in doing so, exposed his furry little belly.  When he was done with my mirror, he stood there holding his belly button (for no apparent reason) under his t-shirt as we finished talking. Of course, I couldn't leave until he turned to go back to work. It's only polite. ;-)  Plus, meeting RD and MacEnroy were fun silver linings,

It’s also good to know that my Passat’s got a jealous streak. For the next time I leave him behind for a different car…
wwcitizen: (Car in the Country)
Matt and I have had a long discussion over the last 2-3 years about my car. Every once in a while, he'll pick it up again and we start deliberating.  Yesterday, I picked up my car from Firestone, where I've gotten a few things done on it over the last month:
  • New battery, 2 new tires (with rotate/balance), Oil/filter change (synthetic oil and recycle the old)
  • 2-3 different electronic and systems diagnostics
  • Brake fluid and fuel line flushes (good to do if unused for 2-3 years!!)
  • Coil, spark plug, and belt replacements: alternator, power steering, and fan (check engine light was on)
We've been using my car more and more over the last 2-3 weeks, too. Matt still complains that, "It's not new and flashy and 'modern'" (i.e. no Sirius/XM, no steering wheel volume/radio channel control, no GPS, no dashboard screen display, manual headlights, etc.).  But, I think he realizes that it's a good decision and my car's fine - not awesome, but fine. From my point of view, we can go on more vacations happily without a new monthly car payment hanging over my head.

In total, all repairs ran me about $1400. I've not spent more than $500 on my car's maintenance in 4 years, also paying it off 4 years ago. That means, insurance and registration notwithstanding, I've retroactively spent around $40/month for the last 4 years to have my car. My car's now good to go for at least another 70-90K miles; aka 5+ years. That means, too, that without further repairs, the monthly "charge" for my car would work out to be less than $20/month for 8+ years. Why get rid of it, if it does what we need it to do - get me from point A to point B safely and comfortably?

I don't need a new car and I'm happy about that. I love VWs and I love my Passat. They're good, solid cars.  Last week, I even got about 28-30 MPG (miles per gallon) to go to Princeton for dinner with a friend.

When I pulled my car away from the car wash a few weeks ago, it sparkled and made me smile. I kept looking at it thinking, "Wow, what a beautiful car!" 
The only problem with VWs is the VW service department. VW service departments SUCK! They SUCK big time. I've told a couple of them how badly they suck, why they suck, and why I couldn't wait to go somewhere else because their service department sucks - all of them that I've dealt with. They suck because 1) they won't take you right away, 2) you have to schedule an appointment, 3) if you don't schedule your service appointment, you get "punished" and can't pick up your car for DAYS. DAYS!!  4) when you leave your car there for service for days, the charge goes up exponentially - not for storage, but because 5) they keep "finding other things" to do. 

With Firestone, the first time I took my car in for a battery, basic diagnostic, oil/filter change, and new tires - on a Friday at about 1PM. I had the car back by 6PM.  When I took my car in this last time, it was at about 4:30PM when they close for the weekend at 7. I knew it was going to take some time, so I told them, "No rush."  They got it back to me at the end of the very next business day. How great is that?!  On TOP of that, Firestone gave me a $125 discount (!!) for being "inconvenienced" once (the shield underneath had come unfastened the first time I went there and they gave me a coupon for my next visit). At the VW dealership's service center, I would bet $10K (tee hee) that the work would have taken 4-5 days and cost me an extra $2000 at least.

I'm very happy with my decision.  If the car lasts me another 5+ years, then, that's $25K+ that I will have saved. One thing that my father taught me that I've learned is about choosing a car wisely and not spending too much money on them, because from the moment you drive them off the lot, they become a quickly depreciating asset.  Well, I appreciate my VW and it's sticking around with me as long as it'll have me.  :-) 

My battery

Aug. 6th, 2008 03:58 pm
wwcitizen: (Car in the Country)
It's wonderful being free for a little while. Jumped my car today (haven't driven my Passat since Thanksgiving - almost 9 months!!). The battery has been completely dead and was practically empty of water, too, which lessens the possibility of keeping a charge. I'm going to see how long this charge lasts - when it dies - even if I can't start the car - I'll know whether I need a new one or not. Hopefully I won't need a new one; this one I just got last year, but haven't fully charged it enough. I need to take it out tomorrow for a good drive to charge up the battery. I figure we could drive out to the Delaware Water Gap and go walking/hiking either tomorrow or Friday. We didn't get to Great Adventure on Monday cuz I slept too long, so we're hoping to do that tomorrow with Matt's sister and her kids. Should be fun.


wwcitizen: (Default)
Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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