Just got my car, with stick

I just got my 1995 Cavalier, which has a stick shift.  Dad can’t drive stick, so I had to drive it home… I can’t drive stick either!  But, I know how to drive stick, so I did it anyway.  There’s a little thing about practice, though… that part where you actually do it a few times so you can do it right?  I need that.

My Cavalier

My Cavalier

The car flashes the ABS light at me sometimes.  It comes on eventually, then goes off.  The brakes need fluid, possibly pads, possibly other work.  The car needs a catalytic converter.  I want to do a full fluid change, filter change, plugs, oxygen sensor, the works.  Pretty much I paid $2000 for a car with a 25,000 mile engine and 170,000 miles on it, and now have to get it in workable shape.  No big deal, right?

I have to shop for parts after the inspection.  The auto shops charge a premium for basic parts; I have to go pick up after-market parts, probably Beck Arnley or something, for cheaper.  Those OEM parts must come from who knows where, China maybe, air dropped, overnight; they cost $100 at the warehouse and $200 at the shop, plus labor to put them on!  All this means I might spend $1000, $1500, maybe more to get the car in workable shape.  I don’t have it, but it’ll come eventually, so I’ll try to keep the mechanics busy and bring in $800 or so a month.  Maybe I need a weekend job….

Controls

Controls

Anyway the car has no tachometer, and I haven’t driven stick before.  How do I change gears… somehow?  It just comes naturally.  Getting into first does not come naturally, however; I need a parking lot for this!  Just gotta learn how to drive–again–that’s all.  It’s a small car, I somewhat dislike the tinted windows, it could use a vacuum, and of course a little work.  The stick shift makes me nervous, but just so.

I’d rather have a better car.  After this I’m grabbing maybe a Miata or something cheap like that, when I have big cash reserves and can afford to go to school regularly.  Actually the Cobalt isn’t a bad car, just I hate all the fancy electronic everything in it and the automatic transmission sucks dog balls.  My Nissan had vents, you turn a knob and it moves a cover to change which vents give air; my Cobalt has a 24 way selector switch, and the computer reacts a second later to move the covers with a small motor or something.  The automatic transmission reacts about as fast, which sucks for driving.

So, maybe, just maybe, I might decide on selling the Cavalier in a few years and buying a 2005 or so Pontiac G5 GT in manual.  I can drive manual and that car (yes, the G5 is a rebranded cobalt) sucks in automatic.  The G5 GT looks fine though, pretty much a Cobalt Coupe, especially nice in black.  Other options include a nice AWD Nissan, or a sporty RWD car.  I don’t want a Miata as my daily driver, but owning a small car like that would work for a secondary.

Overall, the Cavalier is a step up.  It teaches me to drive stick, it costs less than the Cobalt, and I can rid myself of that huge debt and insurance payment.  In a few years I can sell it and almost recoup costs, putting me in a better overall position and allowing me to move forward with another car, with stick or automatic (probably stick).  I can also save money and go to school… so sweet.

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~ by John Moser on March 17, 2009.

 
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