Cars and Dads make a nice combination - especially if your Dad is able and willing (as mine is) to help you out when your car is making a new noise or being a little greedy with its fluid needs. I hate having to drop my car off at a mechanic to get it fixed. It's a pain to find rides or even to feel like I'm bothering my family by borrowing a car from them. I also dislike feeling stupid when I don't understand what the mechanic says is wrong or know what the answer is to the kind of tires I want (good tires - but not too expensive?). Somehow being a mechanical engineer did not suddenly make me knowledgeable about all car parts though that sure would be nice!
I guess I don't hate fixing cars enough to drive a nicer one. My car standard thus far in my life is to buy something that is not any older than the year I first drove ('94) , that looks ok and gets me where I need to go, doesn't cost a fortune (defined as more than I have in my car savings category at the moment), and is not a "tank". That includes a huge range, but so far I've only bought two vehicles and both of them happened to be '94 Saturns. Both of my Saturns have/had problems with oil leaks and odometers that don't work. My last Saturn had noisy brakes and my current Saturn developed a coolant leak.
I only got rid of my previous Saturn due to a problem it suddenly developed upon my turning left at an intersection in 2005. I'm still not exactly sure how I missed seeing the car that was obviously right there, but it was quite an experience to wake up disorientated in an ambulance. I'm thankful to God for sparing me from injury by allowing my back wheel to absorb the impact instead of the drivers side door. After that wreck, I ended up getting another '94 Saturn that Dad and I found.
Now leaking fluids is not necessarily a big problem. I'm used to adding oil every other time (or so) that I get gas. But when I went from adding coolant every few months to every month, then every week then every few days, I knew that it was finally time to do something about it.
I asked Dad about possibly borrowing a car for a few days so I could drop of my car somewhere and get it fixed, but he had an even better idea. He graciously swapped cars with me for a day, picked up a radiator from a place he knows, got extra coolant and then installed it for me last night. Talk about amazing generosity! I "helped" a little as he installed the radiator and enjoyed the time we had to talk and work together on the project.
Now this is obviously not the only reason I love my dad, but I do believe that this is a good time to say that I love you Dad! and I think I have the best Dad in the world!