The Car Dilemma


My wife’s 2008 Nissan Versa is caught up in that Nissan airbag recall currently. She’s called the dealerships around us and none of them will have parts to repair the airbag until early Spring! In the meantime, she can’t drive her car because if the airbag deploys she will likely have metal shrapnel fly into her face. She is looking at getting a rental she can drive for several months but apparently there aren’t enough to go around. Not to mention you don’t get a straight answer from anyone you call. Each dealership tells you something different. We are trying to be a one car family and it works out ok except for when one of us has to alter our schedule for an appointment or school holiday.

It is almost to the point where we are considering buying her a new car. This really sucks because her Versa is running great and I do NOT want car payments again.


Can’t the dealership disable the airbag?


It is illegal for a dealership to disable a “functioning” airbag. Believe me, we asked. Also, we can void our insurance. On top of that, the thing could go off anyway.


Under normal circumstances, sure. But since there’s a recall. If Nissan can’t replace the thing promptly, they should give you a loaner. After all, their potential liability is huge.


Well, apparently I just need to post about it to get things moving in the right direction …

We got a flyer in the mail today about the recall. My wife called the number and she is scheduled to get her car repaired on Saturday morning. Nissan is rationing the repair parts and has a priority list. If you just call a dealership cold and ask to have the repair done then you get the “Sorry, can’t help you until Spring” spiel. If you go through the proper channels it gets resolved a lot sooner. Sheesh.

Now, what really REALLY pisses me off is: Why couldn’t someone at any of the four area Nissan dealerships have told us that?


Because they’d be telling everyone the same thing, and you’d be back to Spring again.
Be happy you’re one of the few that acted on the shortcut before others did.


Hooray, car shopping is done!

Ended up with a 2017 Chevy Cruze with 30k miles on it. Which is a lot for a car to get in one year, explained by the fact that it was part of a rental fleet. Normally that makes me wary, but the dealership certified it and gave me an extra year/12k miles on the warranty so I think it’s a minimal risk. Cost me $14k, just about 1/3 off the sticker price.

Using Android Auto

So, car is being fixed right now.

It turns out that the dealer was incorrect. They felt that the turbocharger valves and sensors needed replacing, but the mechanic I took it to was all perplexed by the engine faults he was getting, so he asked if he could take another look instead of replacing the valves.

He said that it appeared the valves were fine, but that they weren’t getting enough power. He isolated it to a point where the wiring got exposed somewhere, and the electrical system for the turbocharger was shorting out. He applied the fix, and said it works fine.

So they’re finishing it up. I also got the timing belt replaced (10 years or 120,000 is the thinking on that), and the air conditioner compressor definitely needed to be replaced cause it was making funny noise and not producing any cold air. And they’re doing the 87K service. Should get it later today.


Nice. Give that mechanic your future business!


Oh yeah, he’s got it for the rest of the car’s life now.

I had it meticulously maintained on the factory recommended schedule; every 7,500 miles by the dealership, and it usually ran $500.

No more of that. Especially on a 10-year-old car. This mechanic charges $201 for a 7,500 service.


And I got my baby back this afternoon.

It’s too bad the hellish day-before-Thanksgiving traffic was around, because I forgot just how nice the acceleration is when the turbocharger is working. I’ll have to stretch her legs tomorrow.

But everything is now fixed, and it’s in as good a shape as she’s ever been.


Great news! I recommend staying away from deer infested areas, don’t want to lose it again now. :-)


Nice. Yeah, I would think that if anything of note were to go wrong on a car that new (the powertrain in particular being the most difficult or impossible area to inspect due to all of those internal parts), those problems would show themselves while the warranty is still in effect, so you did good. Congratulations!


Hold on. In re-reading this thread, I just noticed this. What the hell?!? You mean that there are states that will increase your property tax based on how expensive your car is? Madness! First of all, I highly disagree with the idea of incorporating your car into your property tax. Paying the tax at the dealer should be where it ends. And if they’re going to do a “luxury tax” at all, then they should do it at the point where you first buy the car. And secondly, how do they keep track of whenever you buy a different car? Or are you supposed to notify them? This blows my mind. First I’ve heard of such a thing.


Virginia had a “personal property tax” assessed on the estimated value of your car every year. It was tied in with your car’s registration, so it was hard to avoid. If you declared a value less than the blue book for that make and model, you’d better have a good reason. I haven’t lived in VA for 20 years, but I think this widely-hated tax was repealed a while ago.


In my neck of the woods, on the other hand, there’s a one-time tax strictly based on the cost of sale when you transfer the title. If between private parties that know and trust each other, a common approach was to state the vehicle was sold for $1. I can understand states trying to find ways to avoid that particular workaround.


Yearly, NC taxes vehicles based on value, and your city/county location. In fact, if you miss sending it, you can’t renew your vehicle registration for the year.

On my current vehicle value and my city/county, that’s about $220 a year. Again, this is based on value, so a new expensive vehicle would carry a larger tax.


Virginia most definitely still has a personal property tax on autos and boats and similar items. Not sure with the rate is and there seems to be some permanent percentage rebate you get on it but we are definitely paying hundreds of dollars each year for our cars.


In Connecticut, car tax is a local property tax. It’s charged by your town at the same mil rate as your house, and frankly I don’t even know how they assess the value of the car…I assume blue book. They tap into the DMV database for info. [edit] - “car tax” includes motorcycles, boats and trailers… basically anything registered with the DMV.


Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet

Cos I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

Don’t ask me what I want it for (Aahh Mr. Wilson)
If you don’t want to pay some more (Aahh Mr. Heath)
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

And you’re working for no one but me