I managed to keep my old car (a Toyota Corolla) for 14 years. In the last 2 years, however, I no longer used it for long trips, preferring to rent a car. I was afraid that it might suddenly croak right in the middle of a busy highway. It was running well right up to its 14th year and for sentimental reasons, I wanted to hang on to it for longer; I secretly hoped I could keep it for at least another 3 years.
But one April afternoon before attending mass, the car started to tremble and I got scared. All I did was pray hard we'd get home safely. We did make it home, but that was a sign from above that it was probably time to let go. Why push my luck?
I wasn't ready for a new car, but I didn't want to face another year of expensive repairs either so I bit the bullet and went shopping. With a pint full of dread.
I learned a lesson: don't shop for a new car when your old one shows signs of serious trouble. Two reasons: (a) out of desperation, you could settle for the first offer that comes your way, and (b) the trade-in value is a sorry pittance. You know that old advice to stars about making an exit from the celebrity circuit while they're still hot? The same advice applies to cars, no doubt.
Because I was afraid that my old car would suffer another relapse and leave me with zero mobility, I hurried up the buying process instead of taking my time to compare offers from at least 2 other dealerships. In my rush to close the first deal, I ended up with a cost that was far greater than the cost posted in the papers. What I should have done was to do my own calculations instead of taking the salesman's word and relying on HIS computer to spew out the figures. That was so unintelligent of me! When I drove out of the dealership with my new car, I had this nagging suspicion that I'd been had.
As for the trade-in value, Toyota Corollas have good resale value - but only if they're in good condition. Mine had a lot of rust on the underside. Plus it was 14 years old! If I had sold it on its 7th or 8th birthday, I probably would have received a higher trade-in value.
That's all behind me now. My new car won't give me reason to worry for at least the next 5 years. My sister once said that her own experience shows that cars start showing trouble just when their warranties expire. My brother also told me that I should get rid of that mentality of keeping my car for as long as I can. "Get rid of it when it's past its prime," he said.
And with the kind of Montreal winters we have, I learned another lesson: I'll have my car rust-proofed every year. That way its bottom belly stays well-lubricated!
|levier d'ouverture de capot||hood release lever|
|interrupteur de phares antibrouillard||fog light switch|
|bouton de commande de luminosité du tableau||panel brightness control knob|
|régulateur de vitesse||cruise control|
|sac gonflable||air bag|
|commutateur de lave/essuie glace||windshield wiper/washer switch|
|commutateur de feux de détresse||hazard warning light switch|
|montre à affichage numérique||digital clock|
|interrupteur de dégivreur de lunette||de-fogger switch|
|boîte à gants||glove box (compartment)|
|panneau de commande de chauffage/climatisation||heating/air conditioning control panel|