Don’t forget to kick the tires

Don't forget to kick the tires
Normally when I buy a car, I opt for a new model to make the folks in Detroit happy.

But not this time!

I listened to my advisors who told me I lose a lot of money as soon as the new vehicle leaves the showroom. So when I bought one recently, I selected a "previously owned" car to take advantage of the cost difference.


The salesman revealed the intimate details of the vehicle: how much horsepower the engine had, the type of transmission involved (as if I cared) and the gas mileage we would enjoy.

He even mentioned something about torque. I always thought that was a French turkey.

He lifted the hood to show us the mish-mash inside. I wondered how Mr. Good Wrench could figure out what wire went where and what they all did.

I kicked the tires � which was the only part of my inspection � and signed on the dotted line. The glib salesman smiled a friendly smile, said something like thanks a lot � and then went happily off to the bank. (I'm stretching the truth here in keeping with my quest for poetic license.)

I liked the color; the seats were leather; and there were less than 8,000 miles on the odometer. We obviously got a good buy, as I drove my almost-new vehicle out of the used-car lot.

I was also pleased that I avoided the price fall-off of a new model. But then the negative comments began.

A friend asked: "How come you bought a rear-wheel drive car? Don't you know it snows here, and front-wheel power is the only thing to have here?"

Another one said: "It's a gas-guzzler! And with three dollar gas you haven't got a bargain there."

"Those leather seats get hot, and I've heard they crack a lot," a third one offered. He also implied that the odometer was set back.

I began to think that once again I'd been taken for a ride (pun intended). That doesn't happen when you by a new car!

But I'd made my choice on my counselor's advice, so I was stuck with it. The moral of the story is: don't let well meaning friends second-guess your purchases.

I'm satisfied with my second-hand rear-wheel drive gas guzzler, no matter what my friends say. After all, I didn't lose my shirt when you consider what happens to your money when you buy new.

Besides that, I made sure the automobile was okay when I kicked the tires!

© 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz

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