Cars, Commentary/Opinion, Fatherhood, Money, Part Deux

Downsizing, Part Deux


The nice thing about buying a car from CarMax is that if you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you can return it within 5 days–no questions asked. If it turns out you don’t like the color, the radio, anything…just take it back and exchange it for something else.

Under our neighbor’s advice, I drove the PT Cruiser on the freeway to, in his words, find out if I “really loved the car.” Not liked, but loved. (He’s a Dodge mechanic so I believe him.)

I got on the freeway and I didn’t like it. No, I didn’t love it. It had interior whistling coming from somewhere, it was pulling a bit to the right, and there were a few other things that didn’t agree with me.

To make a long story short and bypass explaining everything I dealt with at the Torrance, CA CarMax location (where I was lead to believe I could return my car in exchange for a newer PT Cruiser), let me put it to you this way.

Thursday: Left home at 6:30 a.m. Drove to work in El Segundo. Spoke with some at Torrance location. Drove home to Long Beach to pick up Ann and the paperwork. Drove back to Torrance CarMax, where I was denied returning my vehicle. Drove to Buena Park CarMax and completed the deal. The good thing about all that driving? The PT Cruiser gets surprisingly good mileage.

The folks at the Buena Park CarMax…I can’t say enough good things about them. They took care of us from beginning to end and, after hearing our story of grief and disappointment, tried their best to get us out of there in a hurry.

By the time we left Buena Park, it was nearly 11:00 p.m.–and Ann was behind the wheel of a 2007 PT Cruiser convertible (I was too tired to drive it home). The money we had left from the first transaction went toward this vehicle and we owe such a small amount on it that it’s almost laughable. Chances are out stimulus check will pay off the thing when it gets here.

It’s got low miles, still under manufacturer’s warranty and has that lovely new car smell. So never mind all the nonsense I said in my previous post about convertibles being noisy; I test-drove it on the freeway and it’s damn quite inside.

And with that, we’re done buying cars for a long time. I’m just glad to get out of my gas-guzzler and finally have something that not only gets better mileage, but looks cool, too!

We’re off to the Long Beach Grand Prix practice and qualifying today. It’s also Pro/Celebrity Race practice so we get a chance to see some fantastic C-List stars up close if we’re lucky. Be sure to watch for phone-cam images live from the venue later today.

See ya šŸ™‚

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