I just took it in to have its brakes looked at, because the brakes' warning light has been intermittently acting extremely strange. I'd had it looked at already but nobody diagnosed a problem for me, so I took it to Big O Tires this time because I have great faith in the superior diagnostic abilities of the employees at the local Big O Tires (positive past experience with them). They promptly diagnosed about 100,000 things horribly wrong and helpfully pointed out each of the broken hazardous parts on my car to me while the car was up in the air at head level. I then asked what the prices were and the list went like this: "Well, the rack and pinion will be $406.17 and the rear brakes will be $139.99 and the front and back struts are $149.99 each and you need both of them replaced, and the rear bearings are $85.91 and you need two of those too, and you need a flush for $40 and a CV Boot for $30 plus the labor for all of those is separate and adds up to about $660, oh and you also need an alignment which will be another $69.99 . . ."
I only paid $1,000 for the entire car in the first place. Of course, I bought it from my parents and it might have been more like $4,000 from anybody else. But I just don't think it makes a whole lot of sense for me to spend a total of what would be $1,750 to repair a car that's already thirteen years old. And I can afford to just buy a new one; that's not really a problem. I'm just a little intimidated by the prospect.
Anyway, I asked the very nice Big O Tires guy to make a list on paper of everything the car needs, with prices for parts and labor, and numbered according to how important each of them are, all of which he helpfully agreed to do, and I told him I'd take the list home and contemplate it but that I was thinking I might just go buy a new car instead of fixing all this, so in the meantime I didn't want anything done to it. So I didn't have to pay any money, which was nice. (Before I had a car of my own, I heard horror stories about mechanics who treat women extremely dismissively and refuse to ever explain anything to them - therefore, I now feel a need to defend mechanics' reputations by mentioning that personally, I've never yet met one who didn't go considerably out of his way to explain everything very helpfully. Which is not to deny that I've met a few who didn't seem to really have a clue what they were talking about or understand cars at all; I just don't think those mechanics' incompetence had anything to do with me being female.)
So yes, I need a new car. And I want a Nissan, because my family has owned four Nissans in my lifetime and they've all lasted excellent amounts of time, whereas all other brands of car that I've seen have fallen apart to a completely intolerable degree in a ridiculously short amount of time. (My grandmother killed herself a year and a half ago when the Beretta that she'd just bought brand new fell apart entirely beyond repair within only a couple of years and she had no money left to replace it and couldn't bear the thought of either accepting money from relatives or adapting to life without a car.) I think I want a used Nissan that's only a year or so old, which is what my current car was when my father first purchased it when I was fourteen years old.
::pauses to look up these specifications at Kelley Blue Book Used Car Values::
It's amazing how fast a person can go from feeling totally rich one day to totally broke the next.