Saturday afternoon John and I tagged along as Ming shopped for a new car. We test drove a 2002 Audi A4 and a 2002 Volvo S60. Having grown up on Volvo’s I am biased towards them, however, the 2002 Audio A4 Quattro seems like a hard deal to beat in the small sedan near luxury market segment. I figure if the Neon dies an early death, I’d seriously consider an A4 over a Volvo S40/S60. I’d also definitely get AWD. Getting a ride up skiing is always less stressful in Andrew’s AWD than in Ming or Laurie’s FWD (neither of whom carry chains). Alternatively if I want to tow the boat I’d look at a Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 (about the same price range with less luxury than the A4/S40/S60).
Side note: Not that I’m thinking of replacing the Neon because earlier this week AutoPro’s service manager’s boss spent some time brainstorming ways to keep the Neon on the road for what he figures could be another 60,000 miles (currently it’s at 140,000 miles). He figures instead of fixing the leaking head gasket (because the repair is so expensive) they can try some stop leak. He also walked me through all the different fluids and emphasized how important it is that I know stay on top of their levels (the power steer fluid also leaks). The only other big work item is replacing the muffler which I’ll postpone until next month. I figure I save $500 a month by continuing to drive the Neon and resisting the urge to get a flashy sports sedan.
After kicking tires I went to see the Seattle Thunderbirds beat Portland 6-2. It was a pretty exciting game: 4 fights, 6 goals, free pizzas (if Seattle scores 6 goals everyone in attendance gets a free pizza coupon), teddy bar toss after the first goal, and three fish were thrown on the ice. The highlight was really when one of the Portland players threw one of the fishes back in the crowd and got a 10 minute misconduct, while we got a 2 minute bench minor for disrupting the game (the crowd had been warned after the first fish was thrown, this was the second).
Today I did absolutely nothing save eat breakfast, read the NY Times and read a few business education books.