Shit happens

October 12, 2009

Well I have bought a new car on Thursday, and by some unfortunate twist of fate it has already been involved in an accident. I am fairly pissed off about this since I now have to go through a frustrating ordeal of getting the car repaired which will take at least a week or two. A truck swiped the side of my car when I left it in a parking lot, luckily I got his details and will be claiming all repairs from his insurance company. The thing I am frustrated about is that if I didn’t drive the car on Saturday I would never have gotten into this mess. Repairs will likely take a few days as well so the process will probably take about 2-3 weeks in total before I have my car in perfect condition again.

I pray that everything goes smoothly because this is becoming a thorn in my side having to deal with car stuff.

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About cars and stuff

October 7, 2009

I am buying another car now and there are a lot of things that a person has to go through in order to buy a car. Firstly you have to find the right vehicle, and then comes the mountain of paperwork and insurance shopping. Finding a car is frustrating enough with the amount of lemons and shady owners in the 2nd hand car market. On top of the price of the vehicle you have to pay rego and stamp duty, not to mention insurance.

Insurance is as annoying buying the car itself since you have to shop around for the best price and policy. Being a young driver it is also very hard to get a good cheap policy since everybody under 25 has been marked with a big fat DANGER sign by insurance companies. Although statistically justified, I still resent that fact that I have to pay more for being young.

The prelude is a lot more economical, clocking in at a comparatively frugal 10-12L/100km to the titanic 15L/100km figure I seem to average on the soarer. Insurance and maintenance is also cheaper, so in the long term it is a cheaper and more affordable choice. Though I am somewhat irked about the comparative lack of power, but I suppose that’s the price you pay for economy.

I recently bought myself a nokia e63 to use for work as well and it is turning out quite nice with the email functions and the shiny features. It does everything I want it to and then some so I have no complaints. The problem now is that I have 2 phone numbers and I only want to carry 1 phone. At the moment I have diverted all calls to my new phone since the old phone is dying, hopefully I can get a phone from work to use as my personal phone as roundabout as that may be.

Eulogy for my soarer

September 21, 2009

The truth of the matter hit me on the weekend, that I have lost something which I have spent so much time and money on. Of course I am talking about my car. It took me 3 days to realize that I will miss driving it, the feel of the car will remain a fond memory of my “first” car. When I bought my soarer last year at around this time it was a stock standard car in very average condition, it wasn’t a bomb nor was it a shining example but rather just an old car which is starting to show its age.

I fell in love with the features that the car offered, all the interior trimmings as well as the power instantly grabbed my attention from the first inspection. No other car in the same price bracket could come close to compare with what the soarer offered. The enthusiastic owner community was also fantastic, providing a wealth of knowledge and support in case anything goes wrong. I had done my research and was rewarded with a marvelous specimen of a luxury sports car.

Over time I cleaned up the car so that it looks closer to its former glory 18 years ago. I got new carpets, new shift knob, new wipers and gave the car some TLC with many other plans for its future. I also installed a smoking sound system and new headlights myself. But alas our time was cut short by an unfortunate accident.

Not to say that the car didn’t have it’s share of problems; it was a money pit in terms of petrol consumption, maintenance and potential repairs. It returned a dismal 15L/100km on 98 octane, there was much that needed to be taken care of during servicing, and I was always on my toes just in case something else broke down in the car. However, it made me more interested in the car and I learnt a lot from all its inadequacies.

But now it is time to say goodbye and move on to something newer. I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I have around $15k to spend on a car and have shortlisted the Honda prelude and Nissan v35 skyline as possible candidates for my next car. Though due to budget restrictions I might go with a prelude since it is cheaper to run and insure and maintain.

Shit happens Friday

September 18, 2009

If I have not already cried about it to you, recently I was involved in a car accident which will most likely leave my car written off as a repairable wreck. I braked late at a stop sign and the 4WD behind me rear-ended me pretty heavily and hence now my car has a huge dent in the back. Luckily my car is pretty tanky so I didn’t suffer any injuries. I am currently waiting for my car to be assessed so I know how much it is worth. I have also been told that I have salvage rights to the wreck and I will be stripping my car to sell parts if that is the case.

I need to buy a new car now and I have been considering getting another soarer or a v35 skyline. I welcome all sympathy donations to the “buy sto a new car” fund lol.

No poem today because I am in mourning and a bit frustrated about how long the insurance process takes.

On Saturday I was going to pay a deposit for some tyres I was planning on buying, which originally totaled around $800 + fitting. But after some contemplation I decided to go with the original deal he gave me which was about $660 + fitting. Reason being is that I would probably not notice any performance difference between 2 similarly classed tyres and also I couldn’t justify the cost when there is a cheaper alternative which weighed up as equal in my mind. In the end I got kumho ecsta asx fronts in 235/45 R17 and kumho ecsta mx rears in 255/40 R17. The total amount was just under $800 including fitting, balancing and alignment. Considering that I got quotes from several other places which gave me prices upwards of $1k for what I perceive as equivalent tyres from my research, I think I did pretty well.

I remember last time I visited a tyre shop for my corolla there was change from $400 for tyres + the works. It is amazing how much an extra 4-6cm of width on your tyres will inflate the price. But apples and oranges, since those were generic tyres that will pass RWC and my current ones are performance. So far I am impressed with my purchase since I already notice a reduction of road noise and more linear handling but it is early days since I have only driven 150km with them on. Not that I didn’t already know, but I have to say that anything car related is an expensive affair, especially if you are not sure of pricing or the product since people will always try to pull a fast one on you.

My friend bought a car recently, a base model civic which I like to call an upmarket corolla. In reality that’s all the car is. Everything the corolla does the civic does better just a bit, it’s just the more refined car; but does it actually justify the cost increase? Personally I don’t think it does. Sticker price for the corolla I think is around $23k for a base model auto, for the civic around $26k.

If I were after a small practical car for shopping and just being out and about town I would just buy a corolla and spend the $3k difference on optional creature comforts or just save the money. The civic is more costly to maintain also, while corolla parts are cheap and plentiful. The main thing civics are better at is design, simply put it is just a better looking car with a better looking interior than the simple corolla. Maybe I am looking at it from too much of a black and white perspective but that’s the way I see it.

I still have to get new brake discs and suspension bushes which will probably total around $1k including parts and labour. Maybe next payday…