Everybody Needs a Crappy Car

There are certain experiences in life that everyone should probably go through at some point to make you more appreciative when things get better and owning a terrible car is one of them. A few years ago I bought a 1994 midnight blue Honda Civic with dents all over the car including the front left headlight being smashed, a bad paint job trying to cover up a peeling paint job, and no air conditioner. That’s right, this genius bought a car with no air conditioner while living in South Florida. I bought it pretty cheap and I’d never had a small car before so I was excited for the change.

I don’t exactly remember the first time it broke down on me because it happened so many times. Many stress free nights were ruined by smoke pouring out from under the hood or sometimes the car not starting altogether. Thankfully my dad had signed me up for Triple A which came in handy. You know you have a terrible car when you use up all of the Triple A service calls and towing mileage within a couple of months. Luckily my brother in law is a mechanic and he generously helped fix my disaster of a vehicle on many occasions and if it weren’t for him and my dad I’m sure the civic wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. There were times when the car wasn’t working that me and my wife and her mom all had to share one car which meant a lot of unnecessary time spent driving dropping each other off.

The last time my car ruined my day smoke came pouring from under the hood and out of the exhaust pipe simultaneously. This would happen any time you tried to drive it. I don’t remember exactly what the problem was but it was going to be pretty expensive to fix and so we decided to get another car. We lived pretty close to the Honda dealership where we bought our new car which turned out to be convenient because after we had picked out the car we wanted I was going to go the next day to sign papers but unfortunately my old car couldn’t muster up the courage to drive me the one mile. Like a seen out of a movie I showed up to the dealership drenched in sweat ready to sign the papers and drive my car home. Seriously that could possibly be a car commercial with someone journeying to get their new car.

So far we have had no trouble with the new car and absolutely love it. We’ve had it for almost two years and plan to keep it for a long time. Owning the terrible car with all of its problems makes me appreciate the new car so much more than I’ve ever appreciated a vehicle before and that is why I think it’s an important struggle that everyone should go through at some point because in the end you come out so much more thankful for something as simple as a car that doesn’t break down every couple of months. It has also taught me to take better care of the car I do have whether it be checking the oil and coolant levels on a regular basis or actually doing a coolant flush and changing the oil, two things my wife actually knows how to do. Having a terrible car is not fun at all believe me but in the long run it’s probably better that you had one if even for a short time in your life.


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