My Used Car Nightmare, Essay Example

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Essay

Several years ago, it became apparent that I needed a new car since the one I had owned for about four years had broken down. After taking the car to the shop, our family auto mechanic told me that it could not be repaired, due to a crack in the engine block. So, on a bright and warm Saturday afternoon, my father and I drove down to the local used car lot to see what was available. When we arrived at the car lot, there were many models to choose from–some were in pretty good shape, while others appeared to have been involved in an accident. Since I only had about $1200 to spend, my choices were quite limited, but after looking around the lot, I picked out a 2003 Ford Escort which the car lot owner said was very dependable and worth more than $1200.

However, after buying this car and taking it home, things began to wrong with it almost immediately. For example, since my father was at one time a certified auto mechanic, he decided to do a general inspection of the engine and once he began tinkering around, one of the bolts that held the valve cover in place broke off. Fortunately, this was no big problem but it took my father more than two hours to remove the rest of the bolt from the engine and replace it with a new one. Then, when my father tried to adjust the belt on the alternator, the belt broke. So then my father had to drive down to the nearest auto supply store for a new alternator belt that cost $20.

At this point, I was sure that nothing else would go wrong with the car, so the next morning, I drove to my job several miles away, but when I got to work, I noticed that something else had gone wrong with the car because it was making a strange sound that was coming from under the hood. When my shift at work was over, I got in the car and started it up, expecting the worse, and sure enough, about halfway home, the sound became worse and finally the car stopped running. I then got out of the car and opened the hood, but I couldn’t see anything wrong with the engine.

So I had to call for a tow truck to take the car home, and once there, my father began checking out the engine and discovered some kind of electrical problem that had caused the car to stop running. My father eventually found the problem and fixed it which cost another $50 for parts. For the next three months, I had other problems with the car and today it is sitting in my father’s garage gathering dust because it still does not run properly.

After reflecting back on this used car nightmare, the old expression “You get what you pay for” remains true. I also can’t really blame the used car salesman who sold me the car because he told me upfront that I should purchase a limited protection plan warranty to cover anything that might go wrong with the Ford Escort. Ironically, after telling the used car salesman what had happened, he told me that the warranty would have covered the broken alternator belt and the electrical problem. So, in hindsight, I would suggest that if you ever plan to buy a used car, get the warranty because it will save you a lot of money and some future headaches.

Also, I believe it would be a very good idea to educate oneself on the basics of auto repair because in the long run, even a bit of know-how will save money when it comes to replacing a part. In fact, my father suggested this to me not long before I bought the Ford Escort, but of course, I didn’t listen to him. Lastly, I keep thinking of another old expression, “Buyer beware” which also rings true today, especially when buying a used car. Overall, this used car nightmare taught me a valuable lesson–always plan ahead, for you never know when things will go wrong.

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