Call Me Crazy
Our writer sticks with her crossover, gas prices be damned.
By Candice Hightower Taylor
Call me crazy, but Devin and I are not breaking up. When I signed that piece of paper, I committed to hang in there for better or worse, in sickness and in health and everything in between, including the owner’s manual that recommended a strict diet of premium gasoline. Devin is my darling midsize crossover SUV. She’s my baby and I take care of her by the book. Period. Oil changes every five months or 5,000 miles, tire rotation every other oil change, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve decided to put new wipers on her.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our share of mishaps like everyone else: a pothole that devoured a rear tire, a headlight and rear view camera that quit and a CD player that wanted to permanently ingest that sixth CD. No relationship comes free of bumps in the road, so I still make sure she’s clean inside and out and I even treat her to those not-so-overbearing air fresheners when she’s had a hard day at the dealership’s service center. So why would I let our $60 fill up experience at the pump be a deal breaker? She’s my girl, my roadie and even more than that it just doesn’t make sense.
If you are in the market for an SUV, it’s a great time to buy, but really try holding your horses before trading in your guzzler for the Festiva of your dreams. I dare you to take your soccer mommer to a dealership and try to unload her. Trade-in and resale values for SUVs are low, which means chances are high that what you owe on your baby is a far cry what you can trade or sell it for. Gas prices have made SUVs hot potatoes – no one’s buying and no one’s selling. Drive past your local car dealerships and the lots are full of SUVs, but even with prices slashed, it seems they have very few takers. I can understand this point of view, but I just don’t think I’m ready for that sans-sport utility lifestyle. No Devin would mean no cargo space to buy in bulk, no option to spontaneously buy a chair from a discount shop, and no possibility of hiding unauthorized purchases from a loved one. Bottom line, separating from your SUV can hit you hard in the pocket book and if you’re like me, it will get you right in the heart.
We’re two years into our relationship, and Devin is worth more to me than any dealership would give me, those crazy MPGs and sadly, the sacrificial manicure, pedicure and handbag. I can mani and pedi myself and even hold off on that new arm candy until the big semi-annual department store sale, but I never thought I would stand behind this ridiculous saying: “It’s cheaper to keep her.” And surprisingly, I truly mean it. By all means it’s better to stick it out and love it, even when she’s due for new brakes and has a whistling catalytic converter. I can easily imagine 20 better ways to spend that $60 per week, but if I can make this work, anyone can. I may depend on my navigation system more than the average Betty, but I’m a generation X-er and I know how to tough things out. Remember when the tech bubble went pop? Devin and I are together for richer or poorer. She’s given me everything I’ve asked for, so giving her $60 worth of premium per week seems like a pretty reasonable trade.
Take It From Me: Before you shell out hundreds to get your catalytic converter fixed, check your manufacturer’s warranty to see if it’s covered. Know your warranty, take it to the dealership and save some cash.
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