Run the equator: Sell your "other" car while you still can

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sell your "other" car while you still can

How many cars does the average American family own? Two? Three? I don't know the statistics and I didn't bother to look for them, but just based on common sense I would say two cars is the minimum number of garage tenants per couple (unless one or both partners are hippies and refuse to pollute the atmosphere with fossil fuel gases). There's his car and there's her car - their individual possessions from before marriage, and sometimes there's the car they bought together (ah! the unavoidable and horrendous family minivan), or that he bought for her as a ridiculous token of his undying love - a Mini or a VW Beetle, these seem to be the brands that trigger the "I want!" syndrome in most chicks nowadays.

So anyway, we had three vehicles, I shamefully admit - my Jeep, her old, battered, Ford Escort, and my 1988 BMW 3-series, which - of course - belongs to the generation of coolest cars ever made on Earth so I had to get one.

After we moved together, Angela started to drive my Jeep, I soon bought the BMW, and the Ford started to feel a little unloved. Since we only had two garage spaces at our building I had to find a suitable place for it, and that turned out to be... the Microsoft garage. I kept the car there from November 2005 until last week, although storing cars it's against parking policy. As long as they didn't figure it out, I'd be OK, I had the parking registration.

As we drew near our final stages of preparation for the trip, it became clear that we had to get rid of that car fast, because there wouldn't be a place for it once I quit my job and we didn't want to abandon it either. Last week, on top of all my worries, I received an email from parking security that started with "It appears that you're storing this vehicle in the garage... blah, blah... it is covered with a thick layer of dust...". Just in case you were wondering how they found out... By that time however I had found a buyer (Angela's sister's roommate) willing to pay $500 for it, so I knew there was a way to get out of this. One minor thing was in my way though: the car had expired tabs. Fortunately the DMV offers short-term trip permits, which cost $24 and are valid for three days.

So now I had the permit, but the car didn't start - no wonder, since I hadn't driven it in a few months (I used to move it around in the garage every now and then for fear they would discover it if it sat in one place for too long). That meant that I had to jump it off the battery of my other car, which ended up with lots of smoke and molten cables, because I had hooked the polarities wrong. New cables, new jumping attempt; it worked fine the second time, one just has to pay attention: red to positive, black goes to negative, etc. After that, it all went smooth - I washed the car, cleaned it, took out and threw away most of Angela's forgotten junk, changed the oil, prepared a few sale documents and closed the deal with the buyer. No more green Ford Escort!

Now we're down to two cars like everybody else. I feel normal again. The 500 bucks that I made on this sale I had to spend again because a few days later something broke on the Jeep. The repairs were $700...


Anonymous said...

so buddy, that's how one can see that you didn't had an old Dacia in your home town :-)
now you've learnt how to use correctly the plugs :-) cool, I guess your heart beat was over 200 when it happened :-)
cool :-) funny :-)

Big Fat Rat said...

Haha, yes, I thought I may have blown some fuses on both cars and now I was stranded in the garage. Fortunately, the plastic sheating of the cable itself was the fuse.

Anonymous said...

be lucky, I've heard of situations when the battery exploded :-)

Robert said...

Amazing Fritz. 3 cars and still dont know how to fix even one of them.

Did you know I have no car anymore. Firm believer in global warming. I guess you have to when you live under the sea.

Your Dutchie