K2inCanada's Blog

February 4, 2018

Paid less for my first car…

Filed under: Canada — K2 in Canada @ 10:46 AM

Well, I am sure I paid less for my first car, a VW Polo, although I don’t know since my parents bought it for me when I started University in a town 2.5 to 5hrs drive away from my hometown, depending on traffic :-). German Autobahn can be bad! Back then it was an enormous distance. Today, we do this as day trips on the weekend to have fun. And we still own a VW, Golf Wagon, to take us where we want to go We love this car since it suits our needs very well for summer and winter fun activities, and it gets awesome mileage on those trips. We hardly ever need in in town. And despite it being a TDI, which was the cause for the VW emission scandal in Canada and the US, we decided to keep it. Volkswagen gave us some money for all the “troubles” and adjusted the software that controls the exhaust or something like it. It’s all fine now. Or was until it broke down in our driveway this January – twice.

The first time was right after we came back from our 8 day trip across southeastern BC. The car started up fine every day at temps of -15 to -20C. Two days sitting in the driveway at home at +2C, the battery died. Luckily we have the truck and the battery was replaced in no time.

The second time I mentioned in my last post “Summing up January” below when we almost missed out on skiing at Manning. It turned out it was a broken spring after all and we had to take it to the shop. The springs in the front needed replacement (the back ones were done 2 years ago for a good reason – see picture “Kayak touring” below) and while they were at it we asked them to check the shocks which or course were due as well. Last task was to adjust the handbrake which hasn’t been working for about 6 month. Turned out, the cable was rusted and needed replaced, the pads and rotors completely worn and pretty much everything in the area was rusted. The car was in the shop for 3 days. And every day we got a call about what else needed fixed. Eventually on the 3rd day we had enough and stopped the money drain. Miraculously, they could put the car together without replacing the rusted carriers. All sudden they weren’t so bad but would need replacement at some point.

I hope this trend doesn’t continue. The car is only 8 years old and we were planning to keep it for another 5 or so. Well, all the VW cars I ever owned did suffer from either rust of electrical problems starting at about 10 years. One would think I don’t learn from my mistakes but honestly the value we are getting out of these vehicles with a bare minimum amount of care is still worth it. And hey, if a car wants to break down, doing it in the drive way is the best way :-).

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