Car Issue

May and June were tough. As if being a full-time employee and a parent of four (my three boys and their cousin) were not stressful enough, I took upon myself to revise and update Vietnamese Typography. The book was all I could think about. I worked on it every free minute I had for myself. I stayed up to one or two in the morning for several days in a row then crashed on the third or fourth day. I had no deadline, but I decided to go ahead and put it out on Wednesday. I needed to get it out of my head and move on. Working on the book took away my reading time and I missed reading.

I launched the website while sitting in an Acura dealership waiting for the diagnosis of my 2003 Acura TL. The check engine light came on the day before. A week before that I had trouble starting the engine. The result of the test was not good. The transmission needed to be replaced. In addition to the transmission, the dealer made a list of recommendation that would cost me $8,000. Clocking in almost 210,000 miles, the car is no longer worth spending $8,000. I had it for 15 years, now is the time for it to go. I declined the service; therefore, I paid the diagnostic fee. I just considered it as a $145 car wash. The car is still drivable, but the transmission could blow up any minute. I am intending to drive it until the end of its life.

The dealer tried to sell me a brand new car. With four kids, my wife wanted me to get a car that could fit all of us even though we already have a Toyota Sienna. So I test drove an Acura MDX. It has eight seats, but quite tight. The price tag out the door is almost $50,000. I don’t want to spend 50 grant on car. Our next options were Toyota Highlander and the brand new 2019 Subaru Ascent. I was leaning toward the Ascent so I asked my wife out for a test drive. After being crammed into the Ascent, we both loved how our Sienna feel. We read each other’s mind: Why not getting another Sienna? The Highlander, Ascent, and Sienna are around the same price.

I don’t like shopping for a car and I don’t like to spend so much money on a brand new car, but I would hate it more if I have to deal with mechanical issues. I want a car that would last for 10 to 15 years. My 2003 Acura TL has done its job, but I am no longer trusting Honda and Acura after experiencing three cars with transmission issue.

I wish I don’t have to rely on cars, but I do. That’s life. You make money and you spend money, even on things that you don’t want but need. I keep reminding myself not to let money stress me out, but it gets me everytime. I wish I have the spend-now-pay-later mentality, but I don’t. I worry too much about money and it makes my life more miserable than comfortable. I don’t want to think about it anymore. Fuck it!