Cars


I got my driver’s license two days after my 17th birthday (a little late, I know) but didn’t get my first car until nine months later. That was the summer of my junior year (the summer after my junior year, to be exact). My first car was a 1988 Jeep Wagoneer that I bought from a junkyard for $1,100. It was not the nicest vehicle on the planet, but it got me through almost three and a half years of driving. I dumped my Jeep for a much newer, much nicer ’99 Nissan Sentra. The Sentra took me through the rest of college when I bought my first brand new car, a 2008 Scion tC.  I loved my tC but started to yearn for more luxury and needed a four door vehicle to tote around our impending twins so I bought a certified 2007 Acura TSX.  After almost four years with the TSX it was time for another upgrade to a larger, more powerful, and more luxurious Acura TL. This page is a walk down memory lane (in reverse-chronological order).

2012 Acura TL SH-AWD w/Technology Package

2012_acura_tl_main_a-450x251

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make: Acura
Model: TL
Dates Owned: May 2014 – Present
Price: ~ $32,000
Purchased From: Merchant’s Auto
Miles: 36,000
Color: Crystal Black Pearl
Body Style: 4 Door Sedan
Engine: 305 HP 3.7 Liter  6 cylinder
Transmission: 6 speed automatic
Features: Power Windows, Locks, Mirrors, Cruise Control, Umber Leather Upholstery, Heated Seats, Cooled Seats, Heated Mirrors, Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror, Bluetooth Phone Link, Bluetooth Audio, Home Link Garage Door Opener, Dual Zone Climate Control, Driver Seat Memory System, Front/Side Curtain Airbags, Front and Back Side Airbags, Side Seat Airbags, Occupant Classification System, Keyless Entry, Push Button Start, CD Player w/ iPod integration, ELS Premium Surround Sound Audio w/ Subwoofer, Navigation system w/ 8″ screen, Alloy Wheels, Sunroof, A/C, Outside Temperature, 4 Wheel Disc Brakes with ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Blind Spot Monitoring, Xenon Headlights, Fog Lamps, Security System, All Wheel Drive
Memories:
  • Sally complaining about how difficult it was to get the boys into the back seat compared to her SUV
  • Me complaining how difficult it was to remove the car seats from the back seat compared to her SUV
  • Adam and Zach referring to it as a race car
What it means to me: When it came to purchasing my next car I strongly considered a Kia Optima Turbo for its combination of style, features, and power, but the less-than-stellar reliability reputation of its turbo engine and lack of all wheel drive turned me off. That narrowed my search down to just two contenders – the TL and the Infinity G37. I drove both and liked the TL better. It was a bit larger, felt more comfortable, had both blind spot monitoring and cooled seats, had the interior color I wanted, and had a better sound system. I really love my TL. It’s a great powerful car and the sound system is the best I’ve heard in any car. It is simply fantastic!
Work it had done: Her first year was a bit rough. Luckily most of it was under warranty:

  • Replaced passenger side Xenon headlight due to improperly installed non-Acura bulb that melted the headlight housing
  • Replaced AWD transfer case
  • Replaced front wheel bearing
  • Fixed warped alloy wheel
  • Pulled down ceiling to fix loose attachments
  • Lubed and tightened sunroof to fix squeaks
  • Replaced transmission to address whining sound. Yeah.

Second year was better:

  • 4 new tires

2007 Acura TSX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make: Acura
Model: TSX
Dates Owned: October 2010 – May 2014
Price: ~ $19,000
Purchased From: Prime Acura North
Miles: 50,000 (49,600 when purchased)
Color: Nautical Blue
Body Style: 4 Door Sedan
Engine: 205 HP 2.4 Liter DOHC iVTECH 4 cylinder
Transmission: 5 speed automatic
Features: Power Windows, Locks, Mirrors, Cruise Control, Leather Upholstry, Heated Seats, Heated Mirrors, Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror, Bluetooth Phone Link, Home Link Garage Door Opener, Dual Zone Climate Control, Driver Seat Memory System, Front/Side Curtain Airbags, Front and Back Side Airbags, Side Seat Airbags, Occupant Classification System, Keyless Entry, CD Player w/ iPod integration, Alloy Wheels, Sunroof, A/C, Outside Temperature, , 4 Wheel Disc Brakes with ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Xenon Headlights, Fog Lamps, Security System
Memories:
  • Sally hitting her self in the face with the sun visor.
What it means to me: I fell in love with the TSX the first time I took a ride in one owned by a co-worker. The car just felt so smooth and inviting. I started doing research but couldn’t afford one so I put it on my wish list for the future. When it came time to purchase a four door sedan for my expanding family the price of used TSX’s had fallen to a level that I could afford. So I bought a car that was slightly older than mine with a few more miles as an upgrade.
Work it had done:
  • No major work was ever necessary. There was one minor recall, but otherwise it was great. I traded it in as soon as I started hearing sounds from the front wheels :)

2008 Scion tC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make: Scion
Model: tC
Dates Owned: July 13,2007 – October 9, 2010
Price: $18,716
Purchased From: Scion of Portsmouth
Miles: 10,000 (108 when purchased)
Color: Nautical Blue
Body Style: 3 Door Liftback
Engine: 161 HP 2.4 Liter DOHC 4 cylinder w/ VVT-i
Transmission: 5 speed manual
Features: Auto Up/Down Power Windows with Jam Protection, Power Locks, Power Mirrors, Cruise Control, Front/Side Curtain Airbags, Front and Back Side Airbags, Side Seat Airbags, Driver Knee Airbag, Occupant Classification System, Keyless Entry, CD Player w/ iPod integration, Alloy Wheels, Dual Sunroofs, A/C, Outside Temperature, 160 Watt Six Speaker Stereo, Subwoofer, 4 Wheel Disc Brakes with ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Projector Headlights, Fog Lamps, Security System, Blue Interior LEDs, Spoiler, Reclining Rear Seats, First Aid Kit
Memories:
  • Peeling out of the dealer and leaving tire marks in the ’07 I test drove
  • Watching Ken fall in and out of it because the interior was “too big”
  • Stalling everywhere I went for the first month, especially on hills. It was quite embarassing.
What it means to me: Wow, after 16 years of school I was finally done. It’s time to treat myself, to reward myself for finishing a difficult four-year program and landing a great entry level job. I did my research and I couldn’t have found a better fit. The car is sporty, fast, and affordable. I can’t ask for anything more! I’m truly out on my own now and I’m committed to rewarding myself… for the next six years:)
Accessories Installed:
  • Foglamps (Dealer Installed)
  • Pedestal Spoiler (Dealer Installed)
  • Scion Security (Dealer Installed)
  • Blue Interior LED Illumination (Dealer Installed)
  • Scion Floormats
  • OBX Mesh Shift Knob
Work it had done:
  • No major work so far, just two regularly scheduled oil changes!

1999 Nissan Sentra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make: Nissan
Model: Sentra GXE Limited Edition
Dates Owned: November 2005 – June 13,2007
Price: $1,850
Purchased From: Private Owner, Rollinsford NH
Miles: 247,231 (227,800 when purchased)
Color: Slate Blue
Body Style: 4 Door Compact
Engine: 115 HP 1.6 Liter DOHC Inline 4
Transmission: Automatic with Overdrive
Features: Power Windows, Power Locks, Power Mirrors, Cruise Control, Airbags, Keyless Entry, CD Player, Alloy Wheels, a cupholder (yeah, it’s important to me).
Memories:
  • Matt Drown calling it a ‘Speed Racer’ when I got it. It wasn’t.
  • Losing a highway race out of the Dover toll booth to Josh Roberge, who has
    the same car, BUT OLDER!!!
  • Draining my battery because I left the lights on… FIVE TIMES!!!
  • Driving to Mohegan Sun and pretty much killing the thing…
What it means to me: I had finally outgrown my first car. I was done with my junker, it served me well, and I was joining the rest of the world by driving a car that actually looks good. My friends all thought that I was crazy to buy a car with so many miles on it, but in the end the gamble paid off. The Sentra was good to me. It had few problems and provided everything that I coudl ask for in a car for that price. I really did feel kind of bad trading it in, but it was time for bigger and better things.
Work it had done:
  • New alternator
  • New muffler and tailpipe
  • New rear brakes
  • New front brakes

1988 Jeep Wagoneer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make: Jeep
Model: Wagoneer
Dates Owned: August 2002 – November 2005
Price: $1,100
Purchased From: Lambert’s Auto Salvage, Rochester NH
Miles: 162,000
Color: White with Woodgrain trim, baby!
Body Style: 4 Door (Very Old) Sport Utility Vehicle
Engine: 4.0 Liter Inline 6
Transmission: Automatic with Part Time and Full Time Four Wheel Drive
Features: Power Windows (one of which did not work), Power locks (the passenger lock worked every time, the driver lock sometimes, and the rear locks never), Power Mirrors, Cruise Control (stopped working after a year and a half), power seats, Air Conditioning (that never worked), a rear windsheild wiper (stopped working after two years), leather seats, a cassette deck (which I replaced with a CD player and then replaced with a caseette deck again so I could use my iPod), and oh yes, woodgrain trim.
Memories:
  • The car was so old that the ceiling had started to separate from the top of the car. The junkyard salesman thought that this could be turned into a selling point by saying that he would gladly use upholstry tacks to tack it back up for me. It looked one of those expensive lawyer’s chairs with the gold buttons on it when he was done.. ok so maybe not.
  • It had a front end squeak when I first bought it. I drove it to school for the first time (for a bandcamp rehearsal, keep the jokes to yourselves) and everybody noticed, the squeaking that is… It took me about two months of spraying lithium lubricant under it to get the sound to stop.
  • The motor in my driver side power window decided to die one day while the window was down. I had to have various pieces of plastic taped to the hole for a month until the motor was fixed…
  • The time I almost flipped it over on the highway while swerving to scare Matt Emerson. I scared him alright!
  • I opened my center console between the front seats to get something and the top went flying into the back seat. The hinge had broken. It was then that I knew I neeeded a new car…
  • One day I noticed that the rear driver’s side window was open. I thought it was odd since that was the window that had never worked. “Had it just started working? What a surprise!”, I thought to myself. Oh no, it hadn’t just randomly decided to start working, the mechanism inside the window that keeps it up had broken and the glass was falling into the door. Ya, so for the last three months of ownership I drove it around with tape all over the window to keep it up. Classy.
What it meant to me: It was my first car and I could not really complain. After a summer of saving, I had enough money to buy myself some wheels. They weren’t pretty, but they got me where I needed to go and taught me some things in the process.
Work it had done:
  • Replaced starter
  • Completely New Exhaust
  • 4 New Tires
  • Replaced crank sensor (that caused quite a problem)
  • Replaced coolant reservoir
  • Replaced driver side power window motor (window was down for over a month until it was fixed)
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