Sunday, July 10, 2011

kar nooz

I got my Honda Fit's tires rotated and spin-balanced for $20 yesterday. Some Wal-Marts have a Tire and Lube center, and since this is what they focus on-- the circular and the slick-- they don't charge much. Out here in the boonies, where the air is fresh and pollution is minimal, Wal-Marts grow large as they feed on the local populace; the center I visited yesterday was one of the largest Wal-Marts I've seen.

A few days after I'd "bought" my new/used car, I noticed a vibration that was one part sideways shimmy and one part up-and-down. The overall effect, at 75 miles per hour, was similar to sitting in one of those luxury massage chairs set on "low." At first, it was hard to tell whether the problem resided in the car or was more a function of the road surface, but the periodicity of the vibrations convinced me that the problem was with the car.

The spin-balancing seems to have fixed the shimmy; my ride home from the tire and lube center was noticeably smoother. But there was still a vibration, and according to the dude at the shop, this is because my two rear tires need to be changed. (By "rear tires," I assume he meant "rear tires post-rotation.") The car had gone barely 38,000 miles when I bought it; that seems a little early in the life of a tire to be needing a change (then again, this reference suggests replacing them every 40,000 miles). The shop dude was nice enough to print out a tire quote for me; it's $288 to change out all four tires if I go for the highest-quality option; I assume that changing only the rear tires will set me back about $144.

Given the distances I commute-- almost 100 miles daily-- it appears that I'll be replacing my tires every 400 days of driving, which in turn means I'll be spending somewhat less than $300 per year on tires.

In other car news: Capital One says they've rejected the Blank Check that I signed off to the local Honda dealer. Why? Because of some fine-print "loan to value" ratio that determines the size of the loan they're willing to approve for a given vehicle. I had to laugh, though: I had originally been approved for $13,500, and now Capital One says they'll approve me for only as high as $13,310. I heard this, and my brain screamed, "What's the goddamn difference?" You're really going to get pissy over $190?" I also find it frustrating that Capital One would approve a person for a loan, then rescind that approval based on a post-approval recalculation. What sort of stupid policy is that? Life lesson here: if you can afford it, always pay for your car in cash, like an arms/drug dealer.

So right now, at this very moment, I'm waiting for a FedEx runner to come knocking on my door with the new paperwork from Capital One. I'm to take a revised Capital One Blank Check over to the dealer today, sign it over for the loan amount of $13,310, and then I have to pay the dealer $151.08 to cover the difference from what I'd paid earlier (I'd signed off on the Fit for a $500 deposit and a C1 Blank Check of $13,461.08).

So! Debts continue to mount. Starting in August, I'll be paying both increased insurance rates and Capital One car loan payments. Once again, I find myself reconsidering a career as a gigolo. For the chubby-chaser set, of course.



Bratfink said...

If it's got tires or testicles it's gonna give ya trouble.

Kevin Kim said...

So it's double trouble when the thing with testicles is driving the thing with tires.