So I take my car in to get inspected and mention that the battery light has been coming on intermittently.  I figure the battery is almost 3 years old and it’s just not very good at holding a charge anymore.  It turns out that the alternator is going bad.  Let’s list everything that has needed repair with this car (not including accident damage of course):

  • plastic strips on the side fell off (warranty repair)
  • wheel well cover fell off, replaced, fell off again (warranty repair first time, now $125)
  • ignition “shattered” (warranty repair)
  • air conditioner compressor went bad ($800 but since I’m a good customer, $200)
  • tires lasted 27000 miles before wearing down ($80 per tire)
  • alternator went bad ($450)

Let’s assume that the side strips parts/labor costs $75 and the ignition thing was $250.  So, for a car with 42000 miles on it, I’ve had over $2100 worth of work that is simply due to poor craftsmanship and/or wear and tear.  The car cost $12000 new.  Looking at the Kelly Blue Book trade-in value (assuming “excellent” condition, which my car is not due to a hit and run in the parking lot), the car is worth $6,700.  If I was selling it myself, it’s suggested that I should price it at $8,305.  My dad’s car, the Focus SVT (the exact same car as mine, except with all of the options) has had no problems except for a recall on the timing chip which was free and took about an hour.

So I think it’s safe to say that:

A. I probably won’t buy another Ford.

B. I probably won’t buy another baseline model.

So there’s my story.  This news, coupled with the seemingly infinite supply of bills doesn’t make my life very happy.  The one light at the end of the tunnel is graduation this May.

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