Adventures in Car Shopping

Ben Roethlisberger speaks for the first time since a civil suit was filed against him by a Nevada woman claiming she was sexually assaulted by the Steelers quarterback.

A national firestorm erupted and a debate on racial profiling was rekindled when President Obama weighed in on the arrest of a prominent university professor by police following confusion amid a possible break-in.

Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox tosses the 18th perfect game in baseball history, a feat saved by an amazing catch in the 9th inning by the center fielder to steal a Tampa Bay home run.

So much happening in the world and what is topic number one in my world?

Car shopping.

Something the world keeps spinning while you deal with the mundane. Such was the case for me when my 2004 Acura had been pushed too far. Just past 170K miles, my trusty car gave way … and the transmission went kaput … right on the PARKWAY EAST!

This happened Tuesday, leaving me in a bit of a lurch. While I did get it towed to the dealership, it was too late to save my ride. The repair shop told me the transmission was done and since the cost to replace it was cost-prohibitive, I was forced to have to buy a new car.

Normally, new car shopping is considered a fun and exciting experience. Just the chance to be exposed to that new car smell would make the journey worthwhile. However, I am no longer 16. As an adult, it often becomes a chore … especially if you are under the gun. Using the dealer’s loner car, I had to get some new wheels rather quickly.

NEW CAR 001

After a day-long  adventure in car shopping, the owner and his new ride

My car shopping adventure began with what appeared to a sign from the heavens: a TV story about the “Cars for Clunkers” program. Under this government deal, you could walk away with a car, a ridiculous rebate and zero percent financing. Sounded good, except that my little Acura was no clunker and I wasn’t eligible.

I searched the web all night, looking at makes and models available locally … and what deal were out there. Some cars were too expensive while other were too cheap. Some leases were too limiting and some purchase plans were too pricey.

 

 

So what did I do? In the end, I did what I always seem to do. Trust what I know. The trust factor sent me back to the Acura dealer with whom I had bought or leased my last four vehicles. I went to the sales manager, explained my circumstance and with some hard work and very little haggling I got the car that best fit my needs at a price I could live with. This whole adventure took less than four hours.

Because I cannot endorse a product, I won’t tell you where I bought my new ride: a 2010 Acura TSX. However, I will tell you why I went back to this particular dealership. They have always been fair with me when selling a car, never putting me through some protracted negotiation. Also, I tend to service my car according to the owner’s manual. On that score, the service department has always gone above and beyond in taking care of my car and walking me through the process when things are not working.

The moral here? There is something to be said of customer service and that is something that is sorely lacking in the country. However, for those who do put their customer first, there is a reward. My undying loyalty … and my money the next time I need a car.

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