Friday, October 23, 2009


The other day, the phone rang. It was a sales call. I call it phone spam.

"Our records show that you do not have an extended warranty on your Saturn."

Interesting. I own a Saturn. It is true that there is no extended warranty on it. But I didn't buy it in Michigan. It's never been in the shop. So what records are these? Either the Department of Motor Vehicles sold or gave out this information, or my insurance company did. I have a good insurance company. They didn't do it. I'm liking my government less now.

"How many miles do you have on your car?"

I decided to tell the truth. It turned out to be the right answer, and it would have been even if it was a lie. So i said, "Two hundred and fifty one thousand".


"You aren't eligible for our extended warranty."

And that was that. They won't be calling back. I have a car that is in excellent condition and which is rock solid reliable. It gets great gas mileage, nearly 44 MPG, lifetime average. And they won't sell me a warranty that they'd push down anyone else's throat if they could. In the summer of 2008, it's Blue Book value went up by $2000, despite my having driven it an additional 70,000 miles. That's because gas prices went to $4 a gallon. Well, gas prices are going up again. I have a car whose value is increasing with age. It's been to the Moon (238,000), and it's showing every indication that it will make it back to Earth.


Anonymous said...

Too bad that Saturn will be going the way of the goonie bird and the passenger pigeon! We can than thank "Government Motors" for that!

Anonymous said...

$4 a gallon of gas??? And here I am complaining that we're back up to $2.85 ... How's that for perspective..

Stephen said...

Gas has gone up twenty cents since i wrote the article.

My Saturn has been one of the more serviceable cars i've owned. If the engine dies at 350,000, it will certainly be worthwhile to rebuild or replace the engine. It's about to turn 10, but the plastic fenders are unlikely to start rusting any time soon.

Stephen said...

When gas went to $4, i was aghast that it cost $50 to fill the tank. But i'd gotten very little sympathy. That's because my friends were putting $100 in the tank to go shorter distances. I usually put 11 gallons in, to go about 450 miles.

Stephen said...

Here it is, summer of 2010, and by now, i expected gas prices over $3 at least. But, i last bought gas at $2.659 a gallon. People really switched from buying SUVs to cars with better economy in the summer of 2008. Most of those people didn't need an SUV. A 4 door sedan would have been fine, and would get nearly double the fuel economy.

And, by accident, i now own an SUV. It's a 1999 Subaru Forester. I don't drive it much. But my first gas mileage run (550 miles at 62 MPH with the cruise control set, though with a full car of passengers and cargo) yielded 30 MPG and 29 MPG in the rain with the headlights on. This vehicle is rated 25 MPG highway at But by driving better, and under nearly ideal conditions, one can do better.