For the past two years, I’ve been driving my parents’ van (a 2000 Honda Odyssey), and it’s been kind of broken. For said two years, I’ve been needing on checking the fluids as there is a coolant leak, so every week or two, I have to add coolant into it and then every once in a while I’ll check oil and transmission fluid. Well… back in late November, early December, the weather outside started to get cold. The van began having trouble shifting gears (it’s automatic, by the way) and wasn’t running the way it’s supposed to. I looked it up (as one does when they have no knowledge about cars, because yes… I know nothing. I just drive the dang thing lol) and Google said it’s because of how cold it is—the cold weather makes the transmission fluid sticky, so they advised to leave it running for a bit to warm itself up. So I did this but it made no difference.
Then towards mid December, I did a bit more digging and found that not enough transmission fluid may cause trouble with the gears shifting. So I checked the fluid… but didn’t do it correctly (though at the time, I thought it was fine). From what I remember, you’re supposed to leave the car running for like five to ten minutes for the fluid to fully go through the system. I left it running for like two minutes… partially because I was on a time limit, it was cold out, and I’m an impatient person. But after these few minutes, I checked it and it said it was super low. So I put some in.
Fast forward to the end of December, the van continues its problems but I’m not paying much mind to it because this is around the time the ice storm happened (where the “felt like” was -20 to -40 degrees) and just thought it was the cold weather causing it problems. But toward January, my mom told me she had an appointment scheduled for a mechanic to look at it… not until the 18th. And with my sisters schedule kind of messing up with my own, I was kind of forced to continue driving the van unless it was truly unsafe. Well, the first week of January wasn’t great as it stopped in the middle of the road in the middle of traffic. Had to abandon it for a few days in a parking lot. Really scary experience. So, we tried to work it out with her car as best as possible, but we were getting to a point where it wasn’t the greatest option and ready for a car.
Luckily, I had applied and was accepted for a 15K used car loan through my bank so we’d taken a few days here and there to test drive cars and find one we could afford, but none were shaping up to our expectations and standards. Too big. Too small. Not enough engine power. Check engine light on. Couldn’t start or battery kept dying after being turned off. There was always something we nitpicked.
Then finally, on Monday (the 16th, so not even a week ago), my sister told us that we needed to go test drive a car. A 2015 Nissan Rogue. We went to this little used car shop and fell in love with it. A large sun-roof. Push-to-start button. Cup holders in the back (something I needed lol). Seat warmers. Lots of leg-room in the front and back. Big, but not too big. Back-up cameras. Bluetooth, USBs, and aux cord plugs. The trunk has buttons so you don’t have to manually open or close. Absolutely amazing. Then when we test drove it, it felt smooth and had lots of power. Nothing seemed wrong with it. No salvage title. Felt like it was just used as a rented car. So, we made the decision and bought it. It was 13K but with taxes, it came just under 15K so it was meant to be. And it’s ironic because we had rented a similar Nissan Rogue back in 2018 (a time when my sister said she had dreamed of wanting a Nissan Rogue after renting it because it felt like a dream lol) and here we are, five years later (oof) and own one!
Even though I financed it, it won’t technically be mine because I can’t afford the 280 dollar monthly payments. So, instead, the car will be my sister’s—whereas she can afford it. I’ll be getting her little red car (a Chevy Cruz) where she’s nearly done making payments on it (come February). And even though I would love the car, I actually don’t mind all that much because I’m not a big driver. I don’t like driving—it gives me anxiety. And I only drive to work and to the grocery store… all of which are within five miles away from home (my work is literally down the street, a 5-10 minute drive based on traffic and the grocery store is roughly a 10 or so minute drive down the road, again based on traffic). So, it’s not like I actually need it. Besides, I mostly drive in her car with her anyway because we tend to drive everywhere together (with her driving)—whenever we go to a restaurant, the movie theater, dog park, to the next town over for shopping, etc. So it’s not like I’m never going to ride in it because I will. It’s a reason why I said the cup holders in the back were something I needed… because her red car doesn’t have cup holders and I’m a back-seat person so whenever we drive anywhere and get food or drinks, I hate holding stuff.
But it’s still kind of cool that I was able to buy my first ever car (technically) lol.
What was your first car you’ve ever bought on your own?