January 2015

January Editor's Note

Author: Maggie Washo

I’ve not had the best luck with cars. My first vehicle was a BMW and it was always sick. My second car was a Mercedes and it got broken into at the shop while it was there getting something else fixed. My third car was a Lexus SUV. I named her “LuLu the Lexus” and I loved her. I loved her so much that I ignored the yellow warning lights, never gave her oil to drink and blew her engine a year before I was finished paying for her.

Enter my current car, Vixen the VW. I may require learning things the hard way, but I definitely learned my lesson with Lulu. I have done everything in my power to ensure that Vixen would have a long, healthy life. I changed her oil every 3,000 miles (even though, four years in, a mechanic finally told me it only had to be changed every 8,000 miles). If a light came on, I was running it out to VW to get her checked out. Just a few months ago, I dutifully did the 80,000-mile required tune-up that most people think is unnecessary.

It was a few weeks after that the dreaded Check Engine light came on. This is no casual “check your spark plugs and replace the fuel injector” light. This is the light that has, so far, stumped all the mechanics at the VW dealership. As I write this, they are currently in agreement that the first cylinder is misfiring, but why is a big mystery.

In the meantime, Doozer, Sophie and the folks at VW have been nice enough to let me drive their loaners while they figure it out. I was in a new Passat last week. This week it’s an Audi A4. Thinking that my car might not make it to 250,000 miles like I was planning, I’ve started the process of trying to figure out what car I would want to buy next. Overwhelmed is an understatement. There really is such a thing as too many choices.

Does anyone have a car they absolutely love? A reliable, attractive, vehicle that did not cost them over $45,000? A car that made it past the 150,000-mile mark with minimal repairs? Please write to me and tell me about it! I’m phoning a friend.

Happy New Year!

  1. Love your story!
    Funny thing as a woman I know a bit about cars, have helped friends buy cars for themselves or for their kids. Many, many stories to tell on that! As far as a car recommendation, I own a Toyota Avalon that has 200,500 miles on it and it is and has been a great car. (Minimal repairs) I also have owned a 240DL Volvo (older model) that went up to 383K. I currently own another Volvo that has 253K. When I need to look at a new car I will probably lean towards a Nissan (Altimas’ are 4cylinder/Maxima V6)and they have had great feedback with Consumer Reports and Edmunds. The Altimas have a sleek look, yet that depends on personal taste. (*Like Toyotas just not the newer Avalon body style).
    So there is a bit of info :)
    Best regards in your car searching process.

    — Laura R. Wilson    Feb 10, 07:22 am   

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