If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to Gretchen, In-Between Zoom Zoom Sigh | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Jul 16, 2012 in Dear Diary | 34 comments

Zoom Zoom Sigh

Happy Monday, folks! Title is to be sung annoyingly in your head for the rest of the day to the tune of the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow”. You are so very welcome. πŸ˜‰

So hey, remember that time when it was my birthday and my car died and I spent 4 hours in the autoshop getting the battery replaced?

And then remember that other time, when it was a month ago and my car died in the exact same way, and I spent another 4 hours getting one of the post relays (or something) replaced?

I’m sure you see where this is going.

Yep, yesterday my car died, again. My sad, old, tired 2000 Chrysler 300M is apparently just not loving life anymore, and decides to continually test my sanity by dying without warning over and over and over again. Seriously, it is the most frustrating thing ever. It’ll be fine, zooming along, business as usual. I’ll drive it to work. To home. To Starbucks. To the gym. And then suddenly, without warning, without even the SLIGHTEST indication that anything should be amiss (i.e. no battery light or anything like that), I’ll try to turn it on. And it just won’t.

No lights.

No engine trying to turn over.


Like all of the power has just been completely sucked out through some kind of power-sucking machine.

This time, it happened at the Exxon station, mere seconds after I had filled up my tank. My brother Ben came to my rescue and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to jump it, but for whatever reason it just was not jumping from a car. Taylor’s parents ended up stopping by and trying to help as well, but still nothing. Eventually, I had to call USAA (because of course, with all of my OTHER car dying stuff, I’ve already eaten through my free AAA service calls and AAA would have cost me $75+ to jump it whereas USAA only cost me $53) to come out and help, and in an act that only served to infuriate me further, the car jumped on the first try with his little jumper box thing.

Enter the “sigh”.

Sean lent me his little portable jumper box, which I need to charge up so that this doesn’t end up happening again, but in the meantime I dumped my car at my parents’ and borrowed one of theirs instead. I was just sooooo not willing to spend the rest of my Sunday (it literally took hours to get the freaking car jumped and moved) in the waiting room of Sears Auto Shop (yet again), so I will deal with it later. And also in the meantime, I will be fantasizing about buying a new car, complete with warranty and new car smell. I still have yet to test drive them, but these are the top contenders in my mind right now:

Kia Soul (yep, pretty much just because of the hamster commercial)

Nissan Cube

Scion xB

Scion xD

I also want to test drive a few compact cars, like the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta, but I do like the idea of having something just slightly bigger for not that much higher of a price point (the xB is the most expensive one on the list). I particularly like these ones because they’re big for their price, they come in fun colors, and they’re just a little bit weird, which, y’know, so am I. Obviously, I don’t have my heart set on any one thing in particular just yet, aside from the knowledge that I will never again own a Chrysler. NEVER. AGAIN.

I know you guys are all probably pretty sick of me whining about wanting to buy a new car, but there’s a reason I haven’t yet. Unfortunately Ben and I are tied up in a mortgage refinance right now, so I can’t extend my credit right (i.e. take out a new loan) yet. I’m not sure when it’s going to be resolved, unfortunately, so until then, you’ll just have to put up with my whining.

What car do you drive? Do you love it? Give me your recommendations!


  1. We LOVE our Scion XB. The best part is that it comes pretty much fully loaded with firm pricing – no haggling necessary.

    It’s got a TON of room in it – much more than it appears it would have.

  2. The Scion XD looks nice! I love the colours of the Ford Fiesta πŸ™‚ I personally hate the look of the cube cars, but that’s just my taste.

    I drive a Ford Focus and I’m indifferent about it. It’s not bad, it’s not amazing, but it gets me to where I need to go πŸ˜‰

    • I know that the boxy ones are DEFINITELY a matter of personal taste!

  3. I have driven the XB as a zipcar and really liked it. There was a lot more space than it seemed like it would have and the seats can be moved around in all sorts of configurations. I also love the Honda Element, but they stopped making those new (sadface). I drive a 98 Volvo V70 that I am in love with, but I would not recommend it to someone who is looking for a reliable, low maintenance car. Or, you know, someone who is not a masochist. Or crazy.

    Good luck with your car! These things are so frustrating! I know EXACTLY how you feel.

    • I also really like the look of the Honda Element (again, just something about those square edges gets me all atwitter, apparently hahahaha), but I did find out quickly that they’re not being produced anymore. Oh well, it was out of my price range anyway.

  4. Sorry about your car drama! That sucks!
    Three years ago, I bought a brand new Kia Rio – my first new car ever – and even though it’s very ‘basic’, I really love it. It brings me from A to B, and just works the way it should.
    I admit I’m a bit biased towards Korean cars (Kia and Hyundai), but they really offer great quality and service for a fairly low price. My Rio is a little on the small side, so if you like something bigger, you might check out the Kia Ceed or Venga or the Hyundai i30. Or just go with the Kia Soul, as you really seem to like boxy cars.
    Good luck!

    • It’s great to hear from someone who really likes Kias, since they still do have a little bit of a stigma based on how low their pricepoint is. I love the thought of being able to get more “bells and whistles” for my money though, and yes, I do love the way the Soul looks hehe (plus, the green and orange colors are so fun!!). Thanks for your advice!!

  5. Have you had your car checked out? There could be a reason that your battery is not charging (like your alternator) or some other problem that would be easy to fix and less stressful. For a few months mine stopped working when it was wet/rainy, and it turned out that there was a crack in the coil that let moisture into something that wasn’t supposed to get wet. It was easily repaired for way less than a new car (not that it isn’t nice to dream!!).

    • That’s the most frustrating part! Both times I’ve taken it in, they’ve run full diagnostics on it. They checked to see if the alternator was draining the battery and said no, it’s fine. Obviously there must be SOMETHING that they’re missing since they keep “fixing” the problem (i.e., replacing the port posts or whatever the heck it’s actually called) but then it happens again. Bleh.

      • Ugh terrible. That was my problem, too! I had to find the problem online and tell the what to fix. I read some message boards and figured it out myself.

        • Have you checked the grounding cable? Our car died last weekend and wouldn’t take a jump from AAA. It had the same symptoms: no lights, nothing happening when you tried to turn the car on, not even the dings when the key is in the ignition and the car door is open.

          We thought it would be a major problem, but it turned out our grounding cable was bad and it was seeping energy from the battery. It was a $35 fix. May not be your problem, but may be worth the check!

          • Great thought! I’ll definitely ask about that whenever I get the patience up to bring it back into the shop, hahaha. Thanks!!

  6. Sucks to hear about your car problems!! I totally understand. Last February I bought a Hyundai Elantra and love it!! It’s considered a small compact but compared to other cars in its class it has way more room and great gas mileage (that was a big one for me)and great cost. I love my car!! I think one thing that I love about my car is the service I have gotten since I purchased my car. Often times you buy the car and then feel completely on your own and like the dealership no longer cares. Hyundai has wonderful customer service. I take my car in for its oil changes b/c the price is awesome and there are always discounts and b/c I would rather spend my money in a place where they are helpful than in a place where they just try to get me out the door. I have enjoyed my car and the experience so much that my fiancΓ© is now looking to get a Hyundai Santa Fe (a suv cross over type car)

    Now tell that car of yours to shape up!!! πŸ˜‰

  7. I love my Mazda 3; your Zoom Zoom title had me expecting to see a Mazda in the mix. The hatchback is super convenient; I’ve brought home massive boxes from Ikea, assembled living room chairs from HomeGoods; and I can fit in luggage or tricycles without problems.

    My friends are purchasing the Scion xB and rave about it all the time. I know you are aiming for new but I really have to tout buying pre-owned if you can. Bonus if it’s still under warranty or if its certified pre-owned. That’s the best bet and if you are able to pay cash through a loan vs financing you can really negotiate a good deal.

    Best of luck!

  8. My first two cars were Fords, and they were fine, but my current car is a Chevy cavalier – I keep cars for kind of a long time! – and I LOVE it. There has never been anything wrong with it! It will be hard for me to get something besides a Chevy next time.

  9. YIKES!!! So sorry to hear about your car! (Is it weird that in my head I thought that 2000 wasn’t that long ago…time flies!) Love your car choices-they definitely fit your fun personality! I haven’t driven any of them though, so no advice there! I drive a VW Jetta and love love love it. But…it isn’t weird. It’s pretty darn standard and ordinary. I’m going through a refinance situation too-isn’t it the pits?! Good luck and don’t let your silly car get you down!

  10. Hi! I have never posted before but I have to tell you that I had a Kia Optima (bought new in 2008)and traded it in for a used van (as our family grew) and I miss that car like crazy! I LOVE a Kia! You get a lot of bang for your buck and the warranty is stellar! All you have to do is the schedule maintenance (runs a couple hundred bucks) and you are set. I only had one minor problem with mine in the 3 years I had it and it was fixed in one visit. The prices have actually gone up since I bought mine, I guess they are getting a better reputation (deservedly so). Good luck!

  11. I have the Nissan Versa, and LOVE IT! I got a super good deal on it. It has great mpg and a lot of room. Lets just say my 6’6″ brother fits in the back seat comfortably with the front seats all the way back. Also as a hatchback its very roomy for lugging stuff. I can get my bike in there and I have taken a weekend away with two friends, all their luggage and mine with no space issues. Double bonus its SUPER affordable.

    Good luck car shopping!

  12. My hubby and I have a Scion XB and we absolutely love it! You seem to like boxy/hatchback style (as do I!), so you should check out the Ford Focus hatchback. I loved the Fiesta but want something a little bigger (especially since a baby is hopefully in the cards within the next couple years), and the Focus hatchbacks have all the cuteness of the Fiesta but seat five much more comfortably! I plan on getting one next year.

  13. I hate car trouble.

    I have a Fiesta, and I love it. It is on the small side, but for just me it is perfect. The best part is the gas mileage!

  14. I’m on Subaru #4 – solid, dependable, good safely rating, you can’t go wrong. And all wheel drive is standard – so important for those of us in snow country. I’ve never really had to put much cash into repairs, the things just don’t break down.

  15. I’m in the same boat–dreaming up a new car but not test driving anything yet. My top picks are the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Toyota Matrix, and Hyundai Accent Hatchback! (new for 2013!). The Chevy Spark is also very, very cute.. You might look at that bad boy (electric car).

  16. I have a Mazda3, and I love it. I’ve had it for 3 years, and it hasn’t given be any trouble, which I love. Because I too had 2 cars before this one that tested my patience on a weekly basis. Finally I just bit the bullet and bought a new car. If I had to pick between your contenders I’d go with the Nissan Cube. I have test driven one when I was looking and loved it. BUT it had a really small engine and I wanted something a bit bigger.

    • Mazda3 love! I also recommended the 3 to her

  17. My 2000 Civic is still chugging along for now. But it only runs efficiently when I’m alone in the car. Anymore weight and it slow-crawls up hills. This weekend I had the bright idea to take my dad to Sam’s Club and he piled 2 bags of dog food, 3 cases of water, and loads of other odds and ends into my back seat. The engine sounded so bad he turned to me and said “As soon as you finish paying off your credit cards you may want to start saving for another car.” lol Thanks Dad!

  18. hmm Well I used to have a VW Jetta. And for awhile it would not start with a hot start. Such as stopping after I stopped for gas after I drove for an hour. It happened a few times but it was a switch that was recalled. I wish you luck on your car search!

  19. I drive a 1996 Nissan Maxima with 210,000 miles! It’s never left me stranded – amazingly reliable. I’ve had it for nearly 5 years and 60,000 miles. It’s needed routine maintenance (brakes, tires). Beyond that it needed a new alternator once, new shocks, and one other minor thing.

  20. I have no idea if this would work for you -but here’s something you can try the next time it dies : put your foot firmly on the brake, shift the car into neutral, and attempt to start the car again. For whatever reason my old 1989 Ford Probe and 2000 Ford Mustang responded to that trick. Isn’t Ford Probe a really unfortunate car name?

  21. I have a 2008 scion xD and love it! His name is Byron and he is the charcoal grey color. So cute and I have had guys in it that are 6’3″ and they don’t complain about feeling squished. Have had very few and very few and very easy fixes on him ( just a recall and new brakes – brakes was a legitimate wear and tear thing). Just make sure not to buy racing rims ( come standard) cheapest tires that were a perfect match were perellis…that made me angry! Good luck!!!

  22. I have a 2010 Toyota 4runner. We bought it new, and love it. It is probably WAY too big and $$ for your needs and budget right now, but as a hockey Mom it is perfect. Big enough to lug around goalie equipment but I can still afford the gas to get to the game πŸ˜› I had a Nissan that I had bought new as my first car when I met my hubby but he was always a Ford man. After a few disposable fords, we switched to Toyota so we had some decent warranty and resale! Domestics sadly do not have the resale of imports! Which is sad as most “imports” are now made in North America.

    I don’t think I helped, but look at resale, fuel economy and warranty… oh and safety ratings!! Some of those boxy numbers do not do well in safety ratings. Make sure they rate well before you buy πŸ™‚ I know you will, it is just the nagging mother in me! πŸ™‚

  23. I drove a Kia Soul when my car was in the shop last, and it weirded me out. It drove like a small car, being low to the ground you can feel all the bumps and stuff, but had the weird spaciousness of the cube inside. And it was hard to park because it had no curve. Weird. But they are cute!

  24. I drive a Jeep Liberty from 2003. I got lucky though. My mom has a Honda Element and I’ve warmed up to it, especially the ice blue color and the rounder model.

    I like bigger cars too. Not sure about the new xB, but the Cube looks interesting…

  25. I drive a Toyota Corolla and love it! I’ve had it for 6 years and the gas mileage is gangsta! As long as you keep your regular maintenance, a Toyota can last you up to 18 years. Ask my parents.

  26. I heart my Honda CR-V!


  1. Filler|Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! - [...] with the exception of the fact that I’m driving my mom’s sweet ride instead of my own devil car…

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published.