29 June 2006

Car update

I've just been informed by the mechanic who had taken my Ford Contour that the car cannot be repaired. He will want me to reimburse him for the towing to his shop, plus expenses related to junking the vehicle.

He told me that the engine was on the verge of seizing due to oil starvation. I am not surprised at all, since the head gaskets were failing, and I was losing a lot of oil to burning and leaking. It didn't help that even in "overdrive" top gear, the engine RPMs were higher (around 3,500 RPM for freeway cruise) than in most cars without overdrive, thanks to a ridiculously short final drive ratio. Those needlessly high engine speeds probably contributed to premature wear. I've religiously changed the oil on a regular basis, so lack of proper maintenance is not a factor here.

In any case, I'm very let down, and feel cheated, after my ownership experience. I thought the days of such shoddy cars were over, after the last Yugos and Sterlings were retired in the 1990s. I was wrong, and not only that, I was burned by Ford, one of the most established names in the industry. And speaking of Ford, even the spare brand-new Econoline that I've been driving has many ergonomic and design flaws, and even a rattle that came straight out of the factory.

I wish I could put my BMW into desert work duty and forget about it all. But it won't happen. Even Japanese and Korean cars, including ones assembled in the US, are no-nos, as long as I keep working with the government and the military. Looks like I will have to keep buying domestic cars, and I will have to make sure to buy needlessly large land yachts to get any semblance of quality and durability. People are telling me that the likes of Chevy Impala and the larger Buicks are good picks.