Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Car Talk

I like cars. While I wouldn’t exactly call myself a car nut, I do posses a little more than a passing interest in automobiles. As such, I actually own two cars, one of which I drive every day and other of which has sat in my garage unused for the past year. It is currently nonfunctioning.

Since the one car has been out of service I’ve come to realization that I really don’t need two cars. It is almost the same realization that some owners of swimming pools get when the kids grow up and move out. The fun factor begins to be outweighed by the expense and the hassle.

This past weekend I decided to simplify that part of my life and divest of a vehicle. Now I need to figure out which one.

The car that is currently functional is a 2004 Ford Explorer with about 70,000 miles. The dysfunctional car is a 2000 BMW 323i with about 40,000 miles. The Explorer has proven handy for bicycle outings and yard work. The BMW is just a fun car to drive. Right now I’d have to say that it’s the emotional favorite.

This morning I had the BMW towed to Benchmark Motors. When I got there I spoke with the owner, Danny Grant. The last time I had this car serviced I took it to Russell BMW in Catonsville. To say that I was disappointed with their work would be an understatement. Benchmark had come highly recommended.

“I need you to help me decide which car I should keep,” I told Danny.

He’s supposed to give me his prognosis by Friday.

Stay tuned.


Freemarket said...

I don't understand the problem. Fix your Beamer and sell the SUV to some soccer mom. Eat dessert first.

PZGURU said...

You gotta keep the beemer!!! You can always put a bike rack on the back.

Anonymous said...

I hear your voice. I feel your pain.

I am a semi-car-nut.

I have owned Ford Explorers and BMWs. And several MINIs and several Honda Civics.

This may be controversial, but I'd dump the BMW.

I've heard good and bad things about both the BMW dealer and the independant garage you mention--things like, how to diagnose oil in the coolant. Tens of thousands of dollars later, everyone is just pissed off.

Meanwhile, my 2003 Ford Explorer has: crossed the country several times; taken several children to and from colleges; gone off roading for fun; carried 250 M-16s as part of a National Guard/Reserve training exercise; made it through a ND winter; kept my aged father from being snowed in; been a comfortable commuter; afforded the confidence that whatever I get into I can get out of; it's never broken down and always started.

Granted, it gets 19 mpg around here, 21.5 mpg on the best recorded trip ever. But it never got stuck and always hauled whatever I needed to bring along on some interesting trips. Oh, and it can tow.

Every BMW I've ever owned has cost me a minimum of a thousand bucks for a visit to the dealer. Outside of gas, oil, and tires, the Explorer has cost me about $2500 over it's lifetime.

What's wrong with your BMW? My guess is that you have between five and ten grand you don't have anything else to spend right now. That's the problem.

Oh, and I gave my Explorer to my daughter...who lives in North Dakota. Remember that snow we had this winter here in Maryland? They get that much snow EVERY WEEK. She told me, "Wow, I never really liked the Explorer until I got here. Now I get it."


I'd sell the BMW for whatever you can get and then trade the Explorer in on either a Chevey Tahoe Hybrid, or a Fored Escape Hybrid...good choices to keep the functionality of the Exploder, while getting a big mo' better MPG.

BMW? Nice car. Not practical, cost, fuel, or functionality wise.

I'm just saying.

Lou said...

Sell them both and get a fuel efficient (hybrid?) suv.

Anonymous said...

Better yet, sell them both and ride your bike :)