Tuesday, August 18, 2009
C.A.R.S. = CASH FOR CLUNKERS
We traded in the Exploder this weekend for a new car. After throwing $425 at it the ten year old Ford wouldn't pass smog. My mechanic told me it would need an additional $1,400 of work before he could even test it again; and then it would probably be the catalytic converter-considering the age: another $3,000. "Time to trade it in," He said.
We decided to take advantage of the CARS program. The Exploder had 8 cylinders and lousy gas mileage, so it more than qualified. Trouble is, the CARS program is designed to steer you to the crappy cars that the government wants you to drive, not the cool cars that a normal person would desire. If you want an 8 cylinder, forget it. If you want 6 cylinders you only qualify for $3,500. To get the full $4,500 you have to settle for a 4 banger.
We decided on the Honda Accord. We drove both the 4 banger and the 6 cylinder; no contest. With three adults in the car, the 4 banger strained to make it up the freeway on ramp. The 6, on the other hand, has the V-tec engine. When you stop accelerating, it switches from 6 to 3 cylinders. Which means it gets better highway milage than the 4 banger while having all the power you could want.
This is our third new car in 35 years and our first Honda. So far we think the Accord is a pretty nice ride.