Masshole with a PDA

I had to bring the Focus into the shop today (see: I never have to worry about forgetting to get the oil changed - every four or five months, something new goes wrong and I have to bring it in, and while you're at it, could you throw in an oil change, guys, oh, and by the way, how much you think I could get when I trade this in for a real car?), so I got a chance to observe the commuters on Rte. 9 this morning while getting a ride to work in the courtesy van.

I was just fascinated by the executive-looking guy in the silver Mercedes driving in the slow lane on Rte. 9 between the turnpike and California Avenue: He had a PDA propped against his steering wheel and the entire time, he was looking down at it while he was doing something with it with his right thumb. Do Benzes have auto-piloting now? For somebody who was not actually looking at the road, he was doing an excellent job of keeping his car in the lane.

We caught up with him again at the Southborough line - where he was still working that PDA.

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    Out of focus

    By on

    I bought the first U.S. model year Focus in 2000. I had heard others' horror stories about buying first model year cars, but since it had a few years of European production by the time it was introduced here, I hedged my bets.

    Everything was great for the first couple years. Then stuff just started to go wrong. Most of it was fixed under warranty. But it was the day that my steering wheel locked and had to be towed to a dealership to be fixed that convinced me it was time to get rid of it. We traded it in for less than what we owed and I think the thing when the junk yard after only three years of use. It made me recall two old sayings FORD: Fix Or Repair Daily and I'd rather push a Chevy than drive a FORD.

    Get rid of it if you can.

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    At the end of 2001 I was in

    By on

    At the end of 2001 I was in the market for a new car. It came down to two options: the little 3-door Focus or the Hyundai Elantra hatchback. They were about the same price, they drove about the same, etc. I picked the Elantra because it got good reviews (and it came in a cooler shade of red...LOL)

    Thanks for reaffirming my choice!

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    Mine's a 2001

    By on

    Yeah, I've heard stories about the 2000 model!

    I love driving the car - most comfortable seat I've ever had and it has enough oomph for the way I drive. Plus, it's a ZTS, which means my daughter and I can blather on all day about the Pastamobile (made from zitis, of course), at least until we drive my wife nuts.

    Unfortunately, and not including whatever today's work will cost (already $90 just to check the engine to see why the "check engine" light is on), we've spent twice as much for repairs on the thing as my wife's '98 Camry, which has roughly the same mileage.

    So yeah, we're looking. And we're not off to a good start looking for a fuel-efficient small sedan.

    We test drove a Corolla. After about two minutes, my wife said "OK, let's buy it!" and she never says stuff like that. Yay! Unfortunately, the A/C was so anemic our daughter ended up crying in the back seat because she was so hot (the dealer basically said "well, it's 90 degrees and the car's been out on the lot all day" - true, but our current cars bake in the sun all day, too and the back seat cools down after a few miles and the one in your Corolla didn't - same goes for the other Corolla you had us try).

    Civic is out as well - partly because the salesman almost ran over my wife's foot getting it out of the lot space, partly because she can't stand the space-ship dashboard.

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    A fan of neither

    By on

    I don't like the Corolla or the Civic. They're both very popular, and yet it seems like their makers don't put a lot into them. If I had my choice of small cars (though it's not a sedan), I would choose the Mini Cooper.

    You might consider a Sentra or Altima, I know people who have had luck with both of those. Also, have you thought about buying a year-old car? Someone else has already taken the depreciation.

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    Update

    By on

    There is nothing wrong with the engine. A sensor, which is under a "secret" recall, needed to be replaced. And yet, the dealership still wants to charge me $90 for checking the check-engine light, even though the problem is due to a faulty part under recall. Grr.

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    Ford SUXXXX

    By erinire on

    I have a 2003 Focus. At 18000 miles the transmission blew. At 18400 a motor mount fell off. From 20000 - 30000 it was in the shop no less than 5 times for a mysterious idling problem that was never fixed. At 25000, new pads and rotors all around.

    at 35000, I sued the bastards in what I dubbed "operation fuck ford" and won some pocket change.

    all was quiet until just two weeks ago, when some wires in my ignition column came undone and burned out my spark plugs. Sweeeet.

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