I enjoyed driving the Cadillac. It was a smooth ride, lots of black leather and polished wood accents inside, with a GPS navigation system and DVD player in the dash. The Northstar V8 engine purred like a kitten but when I pressed down on the accelerator, it roared to life to declare, “I am the king of the road!”
The snowball effect--
It began with a dead battery. The dealership where I bought it happily replaced the dead battery with a brand new one. It was winter, dead batteries are common in cold weather so I didn’t worry about it. Then the heater didn’t work. The dealership was happy to fix that, too. Cool, I was happy.
As I drove home, a text message scrolled across the dash, “Check tire pressure”. Fine, I stopped at a filling station and checked the tires. I added air to 3 of them and filled up the gas tank, $64. Then I was back on the road.
It started to snow and the windshield wipers came on automatically--Cool! I tried to use the windshield washer to clean the glass better. It was empty. Turned on the fog lights, one was burned out.
Next day, the dash text message was back, “Check tire pressure”. I did. One of the tires was over-inflated so I let some air out.
Next day, noticed that passenger side of car always had hot air blowing from the vents. Not a problem in January, but something that needs to be addressed before summer.
Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil”. I pushed “clear” and it went away.
Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil… Check tire pressure… Headlights suggested”.
Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil… Check tire pressure… Headlights suggested... ABS... Check brakes... Service engine”.
Next day, I noticed drops of oil on my driveway. Checked oil, it was a quart low. Added oil.
This harassment continued until April 1, 2011. I drove home after a long day at work. Got out of the Cadillac and walked toward the house. I smelled antifreeze, turned and looked under the car. Antifreeze was coming from the engine compartment and running down my driveway--LOTS of antifreeze!
So what did I learn? The Cadillac had 183,785 miles on it when I bought it. That’s why it seemed like a bargain at $5999. Cadillacs are quality luxury cars, but they don’t last forever. You can buy cheap like I did and spend a lot of money on repairs, or you can pay more up front and get something with a lot less problems. If you figure in the “cost of frustration and inconvenience”, this was a very expensive lesson for me. I hope you learned from it, too.
Now go take on the day!
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