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The Wife's Car

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The car had 118,000 miles and a dent in the driver's door when we bought it in February. Since then, we've replaced the heater hoses, put on a set of tires, changed the gas cap, and had a nail in one of the new tires, plugged at no charge. The small star in the windshield has grown from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch, our oldest son drew on the back seat with a blue Crayola washable marker (it didn't wash out), and about nine crayons melted into the handles in the rear door panels. We pulled the panel under the steering column when one of the screws stripped and have left it alone since then because the check engine light keeps going on and it's a pain to reach with the panel there.

For $150 every other week, a $1300 down payment, and the last payment due in March, I think we're doing pretty good. It still gets the EPA rated 29mpg on the highway, and except for the damage between the driver's door and fender, it's a good looking car. Much better looking than the cracked up scratched up faded and oxidized Candy Apple Red '96 Intrepid she had before.

She wants OnStar in our next vehicle. Scratch that. HER next vehicle. I'll stick to older cars myself. She can have an Impala or Malibu or whatever, I guess.

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By the way, the computer limits the top speed to 104mph. Fuel cuts out above that. Too bad, it was a very smooth ride until my wife woke up and punched me in the arm for taking it above 75...

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All the cab companies around here are stacked with Luminas. 2001 was the last year for the Lumina (in fleet only status by then) and they all come off in a few weeks due to the age restrictions. My wife's car was never a cab. I stopped at one cab company whose cabs are white with red tops, and the owner is painting every single one of them back to their factory color. So they have this one 2001 Lumina with 270,000 miles. The sad part is, as nice as my wife's car is, this ex-taxicab was in better cosmetic condition inside and out. If you didn't see a little bit of overspray on the window weatherstripping and the very edge of the headlights, you'd never know it was a taxicab. And that can be cleaned up quickly and effectively.

So I wonder if my wife would notice if I hid her car around the corner and put the 270K car in the garage?

He's asking $2000 for it. $1800 for some of the rougher cars (body damage, over 300K, bald tires, anything like that). Anything he has under 200K he wants $2200 for, and anything he doesn't paint (leaves it white with a red roof) is $1500 regardless of condition.

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All the cab companies around here are stacked with Luminas.  2001 was the last year for the Lumina (in fleet only status by then) and they all come off in a few weeks due to the age restrictions.  My wife's car was never a cab.  I stopped at one cab company whose cabs are white with red tops, and the owner is painting every single one of them back to their factory color.  So they have this one 2001 Lumina with 270,000 miles.  The sad part is, as nice as my wife's car is, this ex-taxicab was in better cosmetic condition inside and out.  If you didn't see a little bit of overspray on the window weatherstripping and the very edge of the headlights, you'd never know it was a taxicab.  And that can be cleaned up quickly and effectively.

So I wonder if my wife would notice if I hid her car around the corner and put the 270K car in the garage?

He's asking $2000 for it.  $1800 for some of the rougher cars (body damage, over 300K, bald tires, anything like that).  Anything he has under 200K he wants $2200 for, and anything he doesn't paint (leaves it white with a red roof) is $1500 regardless of condition.

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That's a good price, but at the same time that's a ton of mileage. Plus it's probably been abused as a taxi. If the driver's are anything like the ones here they're crazy, and stupid. Are you determined to get the same car, or just a GM vehicle? I just bought my car, a 2000 Dodge Intrepid, with 173k miles on it, in beautiful shape inside and out, and it cost me $2,100 at an auction. Just for comparison.

Edited by Dodgefan

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I've driven Luminas, Tauruses, and Intrepids. I love the room in the Intrepid but the 2.7L engine scares me. Poor oiling design and the nozzles that spray the timing chain with oil clog too easily. I'm also not too hot about the small trunk lid opening, although the trunk does have tons of room.

The Taurus is a Taurus. I don't like the way they shift, steer, or stop. Great engine but I can't buy one on that alone. Made that mistake with an Aerostar. Engine (3.0 Vulcan like the Taurus) was terrific, rest of the van fell apart!

As for 2001 model cars, I'd have to pick the Lumina over the others for mechanical reliability. Sure, I can find one with lower miles, but can I find one with absolutely no rust, a fresh paint job, known good powertrain, and have a complete service history? Dallas doesn't mess around with taxi inspections, I was a driver for nearly 3 years and had a near perfect Crown Victoria, and even in its nice condition they still found cosmetic faults to fail me on (phone number decals faded from black to gray, checker stripes on the side peeling on the edges, a cig burn on the back seat cushion).

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She's on her way back from a trip to east Texas. Thought she smelled burning brakes, so she calls me, then says never mind. Apparently a semitruck had a brake fire and the truck driver wasn't stopping to put it out, so then when his trailer started flaming, she pulled alongside and started screaming at him, so he pulled over, and that's the point where I picked up the phone.

I thought I was gonna have to pack up the baby in the Celebrity and go get her...

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