Buying your own car is surely a glorious moment in one’s life. Nothing beats the feel of your new car’s key in your hand. You have earned hard for this moment. You feel proud and potent blood rushes through your mind and heart, and you can foresee the journeys you always desired and fantasized about with your beloved ones. This moment is nothing less than a marriage. Love or arranged you might ask? Well, that depends on three very basic aspects while shortlisting a car.
- First is budget: It takes you to a world of number crunching games comprising of down payment, loans and the interest rate that the banks bank on.
- Second is requirements: An area which is so confusing these days that it would be better to work out “Da Vinci Code” rather than trying to get your head around the best overall deal. Everything from the segment, the color, the in-car-toys, safety, comfort, brand, etc. are covered in this part of the shortlisting conundrum. We all go through the agonizing discomfort of compromising on at least a couple of fronts.
- Lastly, the most tedious aspect of them all – economy and maintenance: This covers the day-to-day, month-on-month and eventually year-on-year expenses that you might have to shell out for your car. Just like in a married equation, you need to pay attention to your partner, at least sometimes, to keep it running.
Love or arranged? It’s a love marriage if you are financially sound and stable. You have the option to choose whatsoever you want in your drive partner. On the flip side, if you are still figuring your way towards a stable lifestyle or you have other priorities at stake, it will surely be an arranged marriage.
Over the years of your companionship, your car will find ways to deliver messages to you in various forms. These can be as subtle as lower economy figures as time passes by, or can be as loud as engine knocking mourns or wearing suspension setup. Let’s see if you can notice what I am on about.
1. Decreasing Fuel Economy:
When your car is new, all the nuts and bolts are firm, fit, and fresh to deliver the best they can – as a team. But as time passes by, the mechanical engineering what makes an engine run becomes less efficient at what it is designed to do. Even with proper maintenance and timely servicing, the engine over the years becomes less efficient in two major aspects: power and economy. Reduced power means reduced joy of driving. Reduced economy figures equal worse environmental impact in our already very smoggy country. Your car here is telling you to please stop the pain you are putting it through. The environment here is telling you to be a more responsible citizen of the state and commute in a more environment-friendly manner.
2. Suspension Mourns:
The suspension setup is designed in such a robust fashion that it would last for multiple years even before it starts to draw any attention. It isn’t, however, an aspect that you would want to ignore just because it is one of the toughest mechanical linkages of the car. With more potholes on our roads than vehicles in the entire country, no matter how hard we try, we are bound to encounter these villains on our every journey. When met at speed, the effect on the suspension, the wheels, and the steering can be disastrous. Fixing any of these would cost an excess of 20 thousand of our Indian rupees, at least. Here, your car tells you to be very cautious as it has started disintegrating from the ground up.
3. Ex-Comfortable :
The AC doesn’t work. The power windows need extra manual input to pull themselves up from the door. The music system wants to play only through a few speakers. The fuel filler cap won’t open and neither the tailgate. The speed-o-meter is in a world of its own and various warning signs lit up the dashboard like a little Diwali party of their own. These are just a few examples of how your car is telling you to pay attention and shell out some serious money on rectifying every single problem.
4. Inflated Service and Maintenance Costs:
There are things that you can see or touch which have broken down in your car. And mostly, it is easy to get them fixed. But with over 30 thousand parts which compile a normal car, you wouldn’t know what all is where and whether all that is working at their potential. You wouldn’t want to learn that while you were happily ignoring the warning signs, all the rotten parts were plotting another breakdown for you. The service advisor at the workshop knows it all. The advisor knows that since your car is now growing old with some scrapes here and there, it is easier to fool you about something or the other has broken down every time you go for a regular service. Yet another sign that you must start thinking about changing your car.
5. Decreasing Resale Value:
It was easier in the old days when only a few cars were available to choose from. Now, though, new cars are launched in India after every 6 months or so. With the launch of new cars, the depreciation becomes steeper for your existing car, obviously if the new car is in the same segment or one above/below. Additionally, the brands which want to establish themselves at par with the likes of Maruti Suzuki or Hyundai in India, there is more bad news. The depreciation is way steeper over the ownership period. Although you knew this when you bought the car, you must be prepared to sell your car at the right time before you are offered peanuts in exchange.
No matter which of these issues come up first and no matter how well you drive or how good the city roads are where you spend most of the time driving, there is always an idiot around the corner to bang your car from here or there whether you are in it or not. To put it into perspective, like humans are cornered by the increasing problems of air quality, food quality, and domestic violence, the car gets cornered by aspects beyond our control. Even after all the elements are going against your beloved drive, your car wants you to know that it wants the best for you. It will give all its heart and soul to make sure you are safe, comfortable and happy with this marriage. But when the time comes to separate, neither of you will be sad. This is the only type of marriage where you feel happier to find a new drive-mate as soon as possible. The more you marry, the happier you are!
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