I figure I’m going to start shopping for cars soon. I’ve got a fairly good size tax refund coming and I prefer used to new since I can outright own the car. Plus add to the fact I’m spending a few hundred a month on ZipCar rentals.
Don’t get me wrong I love ZipCar – the ability to drive a whole bunch of different vehicles gave me the chance to see what I like.
The top two vehicles – a BMW X3 and a Volkswagen Golf. The only thing the two have in common is that they’re German but beyond that polar opposites.
However I want a smaller car. So the Volkswagen wins.
Surfing Cragislist I see a ton of Golf’s for pretty short money. A lot of them are 5 speed manuals. I’m good with that as I know how to drive a car with manual transmission. Plus I like the simplicity of a manual transmission as opposed to an automatic transmission.
But you can get an OBD-II scanner for really short money, around $20 these days. And if you look under the dash of every car made since 1996 – you’ll see something that looks like this:
They come in other colors too – like black, blue, pink, orange, etc. But just plug your scan tool in, start the carl, give it a drive and then read the codes being thrown. Helps in price negotiations. :)
And the other thing – if I do end up getting a Golf I’ll likely spend the money to get the timing belt and clutch replaced. May as well do it right off the bat. I’d probably also change all hoses and belts too and the oil and filter while I’m at it.
I did see there is one Golf TDI not too far from me in Griswold, CT. Might go look at that since the diesel version gets about 52MPG. And that T means Turbocharged. The only concern I have is that diesel fuel tends to gel up when it gets cold. I do know you can get anti-gel compounds though so it wouldn’t be too bad in the winter.