Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Going Green Geocaching

Traffic was horrible on my way to work today. There had been an accident on the 15 South and it was blocking lanes. I was in the middle of it in Escondido. I started smell a horrible smell. It smelled like burning plastic and metal. I used to be a mechanic for Peterbilt, and I can recognize the smell of something going wrong electrically. So, I rolled up my window and continued going no where on the freeway. I soon noticed smoke coming from under my hood. While I have the nose to recognize something going wrong, I apparently don't have the ability to know when it's me. I was able to exit the freeway quickly. It's funny how California drivers that are trying to cut you off will suddenly change their mind and let you off the road when they see your car is on fire. Thanks, Californians.

The battery light was flickering as I pulled into the Del Taco parking lot. I popped the hood to see a small fire on the power cables leading to the alternator. Thankfully I was able to blow the fire out with no problem. I called AAA and had the car and myself deliverd to A-1 Auto here in Temecula. A-1 had just installed that alternator last November. They took my info and I was off to the car dealer.

I drive 120 miles a day. 60 miles each way to and from work. I went to Toyota and looked at the new Prius. A salesman quickly greeted me and he showed me all of the great features of this vehicle. Now, I've been to negotiation training. I read books on negotiation tactics. I know how to play this game. I mentioned recent reports on Toyota's falling quality levels. I acted not that interested. I asked how negotiable the price was. He said it was not negotiable. He went as far as to say that they were one of the few Toyota dealers that were not marking the price up on this car. I know how this works. I went to a class. I know this guy isn't going to let me walk away. I thank him for his time and I walk away. HE LET ME WALK AWAY!

I got home and researched other dealers. I looked at used ones. I am against buying new vehicles. Thomas Stanley and Dave Ramsey have taught me this. The used ones are just as expensive as the new ones. Some were more expensive. It turns out I loose in this negotiation because of good old capitalism. Beat out by supply and demand. With gas prices nearly $4.00 a gallon. These cars are in high demand. I was looking at the cheapest Toyota Prius within 100 miles of my house.

I return to the dealer and after much more time exploring this car and driving it around, I bought the Prius. This is a cool car. It has a backup camera. Yeah, I like that. It is also a very safe car. It has all the side curtain air bags and anti lock brakes. It even has a screen that shows you, among other things, weather you are using the gas engine or the electric motor.

The best thing about this car is the gas mileage. It averages 48 MPG . So, now my geocaching adventures will be that much better for the environment. I was going to post a picture of The Wife laying on the hood, but it doesn't really have a hood and I don't want to scratch it all up. So too bad.

A-1 Auto also assured me that the repairs would be made at no charge and they will reimburse me for the tow. They said apparently the re manufactured alternator failed. I have been going to this shop for years and I have gotten nothing but the best service from them. I will continue to use and promote A-1 Auto. They are proud of their integrity and have demonstrated that again and again.

8 comments:

Tinman105 said...

You are a model for us all sir! As for myself I will only buy a Hybrid if I can get a 4 wheel drive vehicle. We have stuff here in IL called snow and quite honestly the piles of snow at the end of my driveway that the plows make are bigger than your car.

But don't think you are somehow better than the rest of us because you drive a Hybrid!

Enjoy that drive to work on 1.5 gallons of gas!

Norm said...

You're lucky you got one. Those cars are way back ordered here in Minnesota. One of our sales reps has always driven SUVs. Getting a Prius will take his gasoline bill from $400 per month down to $100 per month. That pays for the car.

The only creepy thing about them is that you can't hear them driving through a parking lot. You could walk out in front of one real easily. So watch out for pedestrians!

Webfoot said...

I'm looking at the possibility of getting a hybrid SUV next year when my son goes off to college. He'll be needing a set of wheels and my old (relatively speaking) 01 Toyota Corolla will be a perfect fit for him. It gets good gas mileage, but the Hybrid SUV will get even better than it does.

go_man said...

The new Hick-Mobile! Cool! Thanks for the update but was really lookin' for a photo of the old one goin' up in smoke! ;)

Geocaching Online

Scott Booker said...

First off...glad you were lucky and able to get off the highway with no problem and that it didnt blow-up like in the movies!! LOL

Secondly...that is a SWEET new ride!! Love it!!

But seriously....do you want to get the inside dirty from tracking through the mud and muck while geocaching? You need a "Geo-Car" that you can trash!! LOL

P.J. said...

Sweet deal. My lease ends at the end of June and I slightly looked into hybrids, but too $$$$ for me right now. Not a big fan how the Prius looks, either. ;) But I like the idea of the mileage and all. I might have to look closer at the Hybrids...

HooHaa!

wwfm said...

You will LOVE your Prius! I really LOVE mine! OK, I confess, I'm IN LOVE with mine! Many times I have found geocaches with the Nav system and the hint!
Whee!!!

EMC of Northridge, CA said...

You will LOVE your Prius! I really LOVE mine! OK, I confess, I'm IN LOVE with mine! Many times I have found geocaches with the Nav system and the hint!
Whee!!!

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