Today’s New Challenge: Car Repair Needed

Irresponsible owner let brakes go too long

I like it enough, but the brakes are shot

This is my 2006 Saturn Ion. I like it enough. With the exception of having to take it to the dealer 3 times during the warranty period for ridiculous, OOLF (out-of-left-field) things going wrong with it, it’s been a pretty solid car. It’s my first new car and probably my last, so I try to take care of it.

A few good things about it:

  • It’s nice & compact, so I can park in small places.
  • The “suicide doors” are attractive and interesting, and I can easily drive 4 people around and they’re all comfortable.
  • It’s a 5-speed, so it’s fun to drive.
  • It has a moon roof which I hardly ever use, but which is cool to have.
  • The sound system is quite good for being nothing special.
  • It’s not as bumpy to ride in as my husband’s new Honda Civic.

A few bad things about it:

  • The rear-view-mirror “knows” when another car is behind me at night, and adjusts accordingly. This system does not work nearly as well as the traditional rear-view-mirror that you can just adjust yourself when there’ s a set of bright headlights behind you.
  • The body of the vehicle is such that my view is blocked, by the frame of the car, when I need to move one lane to the left. So looking to my back left is quite a production—I need to shift in my seat and look really hard before changing lanes, which does take my attention away from whatever’s in front of me for longer than I’d like.
  • Stuff falls in between the bucket seats and the middle console quite easily, and it’s next to impossible to retrieve the fallen items. I’ve got an earring under there I’d love to wear again.
  • I paid off my 5-year car loan 2 years early, and GMAC Financing didn’t like that. They encouraged to me to pay smaller and smaller amounts as I got closer to achieving a $0 balance with them. To actually pay the loan off early, I had to make several phone calls and reassure them that I truly didn’t want to continue to owe them money for years on end.

 ANYWAY, the point is that my brakes are shot and I believe I’ve gone a bit too long on them. I suppose I’ve incurred extra expense because I have been reluctant to spend the time & energy getting the damn things checked. I’ll probably only have to learn this lesson once. Tomorrow, my car goes to the shop. Hold your breath for me—I’m hoping not to have to dip into my Ireland fund (or worse).

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