Misadventures with Reggie (Part 1)

Reggie is my car, the second car that I have ever owned. Despite my lack of experience with many different kinds of car, I know that Reggie has not been a very great car to me. As a commuter student, my car is very important to not only my social life but also, more importantly, my academic life, as well as getting to and from my job. I spend about an hour in my car every day and so it is a crucial part of my daily life. Throughout the second half of my high school days and the first half of college, I relied on my very dependable GMC truck which I lovingly named Gerald. While Gerald was the best first vehicle I could have asked for, he was already old (26 years to be exact) and started showing signs of his age. My parents and I figured we would take the proactive approach and look into getting a newer vehicle before Gerald started having rather expensive problems that needed fixing.

I was excited but scared to get a newer vehicle. I was looking forward to having cup holders in my car and cruise control, both of which were not luxuries that I had with Gerald. I was afraid that I would not be comfortable with a newer car because I was so used to Gerald and so comfortable with Gerald that it didn't feel right to look into other vehicles.

A seemingly great opportunity arose when down the street, a father-son duo who rebuilt Subarus had a nice looking 2005 Baja for sale. We talked with the owner to see how it drove and ask questions about the car. Being not very well accustomed to cars and how they worked and what to ask, I went over on a couple different occasions with both my mom and dad because they have had more experiences with cars and are more likely to ask the right questions. My parents both test drove it and looked it over while I tried to think of important questions to ask about the vehicle. Eventually after some discussion we decided it would be a worthwhile investment to purchase the car.

But then problems began to immediately arise.

Within the first week, I realized that the heated seat function did not work (like it had been advertised) but that didn't matter much to me. Then I found out that this car really did not like to have gas put into it as it had an extremely hard time starting after a stop at the gas station. I messaged the man that I had bought the car from to ask him about this as I didn't know what to make of it and it wasn't mentioned before, which makes sense, I didn't imagine that they often brought this car to the local Tesoro to fill it up. His suggestion was that I leave the car running while fueling up. Then the check engine light came on and the cruise control that I had come to know and love started flashing at me. I scoured the internet looking for some sort of information for what it means, as the owners manual was not very helpful and I again, let the man know about this.

Next the battery died, which I didn't think too much of because that happens with cars. I bought a new battery for it and all was well, minus the flashing cruise control, check engine light, and the embarrassment I faced at the gas stations and stress I felt every time I saw it was nearly time to fill 'er up. I knew that used cars had their quirks, Gerald had plenty, but none of his quirks ever made me as nervous as this car did.

Then real problems happened. Thick white smoke came out of the back of my car upon starting and there were the occasional rattling noises as I drove. I knew something was really wrong then so I contacted the man who sold Reggie to me and asked him what he thought, trying very hard to keep the sound of blame out of my messages as I was not blaming him, despite how angry my parents were and how much they did blame him. He referred me to a mechanic in town after test driving and inspecting it. My experience at the mechanic is something I could write a whole other post about so I'll save you the details.

Basically, the engine was bad but luckily there was still a warranty on it from when the father-son duo had got the engine so that was a better than what it could have been. Now all we had to do was have the motor taken out and stand by for another engine.

Less than two months after owning this vehicle we began the long waiting game...

To be continued...

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