The last week has been a whirlwind of emotions and feelings of every kind. To say the least, Steven (my fiancé) and I just purchased not one, but two vehicles total this week. I had five days off work due to my ankle injury and that has been stressful because if I am not working, I am not getting paid; simple as that. I haven’t been with the company long enough to accrue vacation time, so I might use some of my sick time ( I think I have like 25 hours… might deplete that to make up for lost time.)
I can only work graveyard at the moment because the other shifts are too strenuous on my foot and my injury and pain level is only getting worse with time. I rest as much as I can but shit still needs to get done, I still have to go to campus for school or I get docked points for missing class no matter why I am not there. So I missed last week both of my classes and my grades are suffering a bit, but no time for self pity; just time for self improvement!
The long story is Steven and I had last Friday off work and he had to return his rental car that day which we did and then proceeded to get a car loan through his bank which took some time. He needed a car because he totaled his brand new (to him) Ford Edge in a snow storm about a month back. Luckily gap insurance covered the old loan so he could finance yet another vehicle. (now mind you, he wrecked his Malibu two months prior to this accident in the same exact location.) So he asked for a modest loan amount just so he could get into another vehicle on that day.
Of course, 6 hours of negotiation and waiting and tears and yelling, ya know the drill, we find ourselves the owner of a new to us 2016 Chevy Equinox. I hate the car but I hate Chevy and I told him that but I wasn’t gonna say no you can’t buy what you want; it’s his fucking car, I couldn’t care less what he drives as long as he is safe and happy with it.
So that brings us to Tuesday of this week. I spent the night at Steven’s and left about 9am and I get almost home and my check engine light comes on in my 2017 KIA Sportage SX. It reads across the screen, ” E N G I N E C O N T R O L S Y S T E M E R R O R “. Not knowing what that meant, I took it to our local car fix it guy who was a mile away from me at that point. They didn’t have availability til February to even run a code. So I called my mom and my dad and said I was gonna take it to the dealership to see what was wrong. Ironically enough and luckily enough for me, Steven took a spontaneous vacation day so I asked him to pick me up at the dealership for KIA because they couldn’t have it looked at until 2pm.
When I got there, the technician said the check engine light can come on due to a faulty gasoline cap. As much as I wanted that to be the quick and easy fix to the matter, I knew that wouldn’t be the case but I also didn’t know how bad it was going to be in reality either.
It’s 10am and the sales team comes over and tries to sell Steven and I a KIA and for me, another KIA. I said no thank you but if you bring around one of your finest Toyota 4Runner’s I would love to see it. We test drove it and I was obsessed. I almost bought one a few months back but financing was an issue so the deal fell through.
I get back from the test drive and the technician asked how it went and I said good I really liked the 4Runner and he whispers in my ear that the engine is fucked. And I surprised and wide eyed him saying what how? He took me over to his desk and said I could leave here today because there is no active issue but your engine will inevitably fail and you won’t know when or how or the safety of you or your passengers.
FUck, I had been wanting to get rid of this car for years but I never dreamt this would be the day. I kept saying I will trade it in and he kept mentioning catastrophic engine damage because it just eats oil and starves the other systems which can cause fire and for shit to burn up. So here’s the dilemma.
I don’t own this car outright; it is financed and technically owned by a local credit union because I owed something like $20,700 on it still. I had GAP insurance but that only covers collision repairs, damage, and replacement. This 4runner is about $31k and I have no idea at this point if I can trade in my KIA even for scrap parts.
The other main issue is this. I have shit credit, Steven’s is better and he agreed to co-sign with me but it’s still not great. We just bought a car together in the same week so our credit is getting dinged and it’s gonna show I already own a car with Steven and this all makes it hard for the bank to want to give approval because there were so many odds against us. The bank has to assess the equity of the vehicle itself compared to its selling price and compared with the year, make, and model.
So to put it in nice words, the 4runner simply was never going to work in a million years.
At this point we are five hours in, we’re exhausted and just want to be told my options for cars that the bank will agree to finance without putting $5k down in cash. The manager picked out this deep gray Honda Pilot that was just taken in on trade-in the day prior and wasn’t listed on their website yet.
It had leather, heated seats, sunroof, arm rests, three rows, all wheel drive, good sound system, good safety features, back up camera, etc. It essentially checked all the boxes. I sat in it and I didn’t even test drive it because I stated and I now can testify for this: Once you have driven one Honda, you have driven them all.
Surprise surprise, the bank approves the equity (value) of the vehicle and the purchase price and after EIGHT HOURS of investigating and fighting each other and it took til Wednesday morning (today) to pick up this new to me 2016 Honda Pilot EX-L. I drove it today for the first time and it literally drives like my ’00 CR-V and is just long in length. So I finally financed that car for $23.5 plus all the other shit they added on.
Happy to be home and I am falling asleep so I will catch ya’ll on the flip flop.