Friday, November 21, 2008

A letter to my Passat Wagon. (yeah, a letter to my car, wanna make something of it?)

Dear Passat Wagon,
As you probably know, next month marks the 5th anniversary of car and owner relationship. And while I understand that you feel an anniversary of that magnitude deserves a gift to commemorate the day, I take objection to you shopping for your own gift. Personally, I think it is best for the gift giver to select the token of appreciation instead of having the gift recipient thrust their choice upon them.

In the five years we have been together, I think you can agree, I have taken care of your every mechanical need. I have provided you with routine maintenance and care by dealership mechanics. I've strictly complied with all prescribed tune-ups and oil changes. Sure, you may point out that I rarely if ever wash you, and that your interior is frequently soaked with chocolate milk and coated in food crumbs, but isn’t that part of being a station wagon?

I write this because I was recently shocked when I was presented with your demanded list of anniversary presents. Really, at 5 years and just over 55,000 miles, we are on the moderate range of use, and I have been committed to keeping you in shape. And still, at your most recent service I was presented with more than $2,200 worth of required repairs. I think this is beyond acceptable. Between the new rear brakes, the belts, the CV boots (not entirely sure what the hell that even is) and the oil seepage you have really splashed out in expenses. I’m left wondering if our relationship is really worth this. Seriously, you are still young and lively but you now make the demands of a MUCH older car. Had I neglected you or ignored your needs I might be more sympathetic. But let me be clear, I have not. I have been a good owner and a reasonable driver. The bulk of your work comes from daily trips to preschool, work and home. Occasionally I demand a longer trip down to Portland, but that is less than 380 miles round trip.

To your credit, you have been a reliable vehicle, your gas mileage is above average for a car of your size and you are much more fun to drive than I would have expected from a station wagon. But let’s not forget your diet of the highest cost gas, Premium, and your need for special synthetic motor oil. I’d also like to point out that your predecessor, my 2000 New Beetle, was subject to much harsher treatment and never once demanded this level of service. In the 4 short years I drove that car I piled on more than 113,000 miles, was in a major collision and many nights parked on the street in San Francisco.

So my dear Passat Wagon, I am asking you to shape up and put into this relationship at very least the same level of service and care that you have received. I am not likely to put up with this kind of frivolity in spending again. Should it come to this in the future, I’d be seriously tempted to replace your fancy German ass with a more appreciative model. Keep in mind, with the Big 3 in financial turmoil, there are probably plenty of good deals to be had. Consider this your notice.



Sarah Vasquez said...

Sorry your car is acting up, but I would be lying if I said this letter didn't make me grin.

I love your "open letters". :)

Vanessa said...

Love this open letter for two reasons: one it's funny, two I'm considering a passat wagon and you just made me rethink my decision. I wonder if Volvo would have the same demands?

AC said...

Funny! I just sent this to my friend who complains about her passat all the time. She is trying to sell it right now but with full disclosure, she's having a tough time getting rid of it for $20 or some kind of crazy discount price!

followthatdog said...

Vanessa, for the record, when we were buying this car we also looked at Volvos. They had something like the highest price of ownership because maintenance is so expensive. That definitely influenced our decision.

Anonymous said...

Breaks, not Brakes? You are so punny.

followthatdog said...

Thanks Mr. Dog, your anonymous snarks at my crappy spelling are much appreciated.

David said...

Being a huge fan of German engineered cars, I am surprised at this a tad. In my experience VW or BMW have provided so little money in maintenance over a long period of time, that I would never consider buying a car other than a German engineered one. They do know how to make good things. Siemens phones only grace our house and hips, German cars that never ask for a nickel of repair. German appliances have provided decades of reliability.
Hard to believe that I am a French Canadian!
Lovely blog by the way.


followthatdog said...

I've been a life-long VW enthusiast. I was equally stunned by this expense. My last VW was a workhorse, and it never needed anything even close to this level of repair.

geekymummy said...

wow, spendy. At 145K our scoobaru just had the alternator belt fail, (which interestingly disabled the power steering, glad I wasn't driving) but the repair was surprisingly cheap. I don't think I've ever shelled out that much on it at one time, at least.
But hey, at least the timing belt didn''t go while you were going 75mph, like our audi. Thanks German engineering.

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