Thursday, May 31, 2012

Brand new used car notes.....


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With my teaching career going away, so does my sweet five mile commute to work. Now, I'll be driving 45 minutes each way, twice a day, five or six days a week. Obviously, the ancient Danger Ranger, utterly base model and elderly as it is, would be a challenge for this task. Thus.... a brand new gently used vehicle has entered that stable.

Meet.... Scooter II.

Scooter 'I' was a 1994 VW Golf, used for the last several years as a daily commuter car and all round economical putt putt mobile. It was sold to a student this year, who needed a cheap ride to work each day.

Scooter II is a 2004 Hyundai Elantra, bought for well under Blue Book from an engineer who's expanding family demanded a larger vehicle. Being an engineer's vehicle, it was decently cared for, but in quirky ways.

The service schedule was followed, with every required maintenance service done on time and to spec. That means it had a timing belt and water pump replaced at 60K, the trans serviced at 90K, etc. It also means the work was to spec, but not over. Every oil change was done on time, but the cheapest oil that met spec was used. It also means the air filter is now a K&N. Not because it's a zoomy car (It's NOT)... but because the K&N serviceable filter meets spec while being cheaper to use.

I've got some minor work ahead of me, but nothing demanding. A new battery, as it still has the original (8 years old!!). A new washer pump. A new steering wheel cover. Some minor cosmetic stuff, like making the headlights look like new after removing eight years of haze, and shooting the wheel covers with snazzy silver wheel paint so the look decent.

That's about it. Scooter II has arrived, and now I can travel where I will, as I will, in comfort, while getting 31MPG and listening to audio books in the air conditioning.

Oh... on the headlight thing.... yesterday I wet sanded them with 600 grit and bribed our collision repair instructor to shoot them with a few coats of clear. What would have been a $100 pair of replacement headlights cost me an iced tea. Whoo Hooo!

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