Posts Tagged ‘Jetta’

Car Repairs

June 22nd, 2011 Comments off

I’ve had my Jetta for over a decade and unfortunately it’s starting to cost more and more to maintain.

My latest trip to the dealership came with a recommended $2900 of fixes. Interestingly enough, the most important fix, $800 to replace my coil springs, one of which they claim is cracked, has not been an issue since the visit. If the crack was causing the clanging sound I was hearing how come I haven’t heard it even once since I took my car in? Not only that, but they claim the spark plugs need to be replaced even though Joe did that last year. It makes me wonder.

This has prompted us to start discussing whether it’s time for me to get a new car even though ideally we wanted to wait another five years.

The problem is I do not like the current Jetta because it looks like a Passat. I’ve been leaning toward a 2-door Golf because I like how it looks, plus it’s got the same engine as the Jetta so I’m pretty sure I’ll like the handling (although I’ve yet to take one for a test drive). The price isn’t bad at $20,090 and that includes heated front seats which I absolutely must have; I use mine constantly from October-April. With the Jetta you have to buy a more expensive trim (the Jetta SE) just to get the heated seats because it’s not available on the base model. In addition to that, it’s part of a “convenience package” that costs an additional $1365 and includes stuff I don’t care about (like Bluetooth capabilities), and the SE only comes with leather seats while I actually prefer cloth. Whereas on the Golf the heated front seats are part of a $225 cold-weather package and I’d get the cloth seats I like. Less price and all the features I want. That’s a win-win. I’m just not sure I’m ready to make the financial plunge that comes with it, however.

All things considered, if I do get a new car it will most likely be a Golf because I’m really not interested in going with another manufacturer based on price alone. Plus a lot of them don’t offer heated seats. Seriously? More money and a cold tushie? Where’s the sense in that?

Categories: Car, Life Tags:


November 16th, 2010 Comments off

Today has been just one of those days. I only worked a half day so I could make it to a doctor appointment. I’m not going to go into details here, but I’ve been having some issues lately and my doctor has no idea what’s wrong with me. It’s frustrating to say the least. So the afternoon was not off to a great start.

On my way home I stopped at the library to pick up some books and was informed my card was expiring at the end of the month. This library isn’t where my card was issued, so I’m grateful they told me, since the actual library where my card is from didn’t say a word to me and I was just there on Friday! So I added that to my list of errands to run as I made my way back home. My next stop was CVS to fill a prescription, but there was a problem with it and my doctor’s office was closed for lunch so I couldn’t wait for my drugs as planned.

I went back out to my car and started it up, intending to swing by my home library to take care of renewing my library card, but the check engine light on my car came on. The car was running fine, but one of the last times this happened it wouldn’t start after turning it off, so I didn’t want to take any chances, and went straight home, even though I literally passed the library on the way home. When I got home I turned off the car, waited a bit, and turned it back on. The check engine light is still on, but it starts and runs fine. A trip to Autozone once Joe gets home is in order to get a diagnostic code. It might be an oxygen sensor or something. I hope it’s nothing serious since I really do not want to start dumping a lot of money into maintenance for my car, nor do I want to buy a new one until the Escape has been paid off first.

When I got home I baked some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for our Thanksgiving potluck at work tomorrow. I love this event and missed it last year because we were in Phoenix, so I’m especially looking forward to it. I know it’s going to be a busy day having missed a half day and going through an audit (at work) right now, but I hope I can relax enough to enjoy all the food because after tomorrow I’m going to start eating better and stop buying crap. Hell, I’m going to stop buying so much food in general. I threw out a bunch of expired canned food when cleaning out the pantry this weekend. It made me sick to have wasted not just the food, but the money too because I was trying to “stock up” and save. There’s only two of us yet the pantry is filled with food, a lot of it junk. That ends today.

Categories: Car, Food, Health, Work Tags:

Biking & Jetta Woes

May 9th, 2010 Comments off

Whoa, it’s May already! Holy crap. It certainly doesn’t feel that way with the cool weather we’re having right now. It didn’t even reach 60 today which sucks because we recently had a hitch installed on the Escape and bought a nice bike rack and have only used it once so far. Last weekend we took the bikes to a local path and biked nearly 6 miles. My iPhone has a cool GPS map on it that not only tracked our path but gave us stats such as our average speed and time. It got a bit screwed up when we stopped to rescue a little Virginia ctenucha caterpillar who will later become a tiger moth, though. Joe nearly ran him over so we moved him off the path. It’s funny how most of the fuzzy caterpillars end up being rather ugly moths.

Virginia ctenucha caterpillar

Wednesday the check engine light came on while driving my car to work so based on past maintenance issues, we determined it was most likely the coil pack that needed to be replaced. You know, the same thing we’ve replaced approximately three times already even though Volkswagen claims it’s not defective (even though the same exact part has been recalled in other model years, just not mine). Joe ordered the part online since he’s become quite familiar with replacing it, and since my spark plug wires are over five years old, we bought new wires too. He drove me to work on Thursday and Friday and then repaired my car Friday evening which saved us a few hundred dollars in labor. I’m happy that my car is back to normal, not just because I love driving it, but also because I don’t like getting to work early so that Joe isn’t too late getting in.

Friday afternoon we had an audit party via work. We went to this fancy bowling alley, Pinstripes, in South Barrington. I hitched a ride with our new Director which is good because I don’t think I would have found the place otherwise. It’s really nice inside and even though I hadn’t planned on bowling, because I suck at it, I did anyway and had a good time. I played with a few people who were just as challenged as I so I didn’t feel too bad about my top score of 81. Now when it comes to the Wii, I’m a pro, and average 198 a game, but alas, it’s not so easy in real life.

I drank way too much coffee this weekend, although most of it was decaf. Starbucks is offering half-priced Frappachinos during Happy Hour from 3-5 pm through May 16th so Joe and I stopped for some after he picked me up from the bowling alley Friday. Then yesterday we got more. I like that you can customize them because I’ve been avoiding real milk lately since my body can’t handle the lactose. In fact, I’ve been buying lactose-free milk at Target. I also tried almond milk, which is ok, but the vanilla flavored one is rather overwhelming, plus too thick for my taste. I’ve yet to try soy milk, although I’ve had it in my custom frapp. I get it with decaf too since I’m so sensitive to caffeine. Even when I drink tea, which I’ve been doing lately, I get the jitters. I almost feel like I’m going to pass out or something. I make sure to have some food in my stomach so it’s not so bad.

Categories: Car, Health, Photos, Work Tags:

Jetta Maintenance & Christmas lights

December 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Saturday we took my Jetta in for maintenance and got stuck in the waiting area with two of the most obnoxious people on Earth. The guy didn’t know how to walk, constantly shuffling his feet while impatiently walking around, and then he screamed into his cell phone. I seriously thought he was yelling across the room to someone, not saying hello to the person he was calling. His partner wasn’t quite as bad but she was rather loud too and also felt the need to make a public phone call. What is with people? Ever hear of an indoor voice? Ever hear of actually being embarrassed to be on the phone in public? Guess not. I really don’t like talking on my phone in a public setting. I always keep the conversation quiet and short.

After my car was done we ran some errands which included a trip to the crowded post office to send a package to Joe’s parents. Luckily the line moved pretty quick and we were back home in the early afternoon.

In the evening we went back out to check out the St. Charles Christmas Lights Tour. It was … ok. We didn’t hit all the houses, but enough to get my fix. The iPhone wasn’t turning the entire addresses into a click-able link since it would cut off at the period after “St.” in the city name which made mapping to each house extremely aggravating. I should have planned ahead and bookmarked them first before going out; it would have saved a lot of frustration. I will keep that in mind for next time.

One of the houses had music synced to their lights, but it wasn’t done as well as some of the ones I’ve seen online which was too bad. My little Powershot took some pretty great photos, though. There’s a night snapshot option that works well but what’s really annoying is if you switch between the regular and scene modes, the camera resets the flash settings that were last selected in the scene mode. It defaults to the flash being on which is really annoying, particularly when you don’t notice and end up taking a picture. Doh! I don’t understand why it can’t leave all settings as they were last were, but it does the same thing for the timer settings too. So I had tons of fun trying to set up each shot with no flash and a 2-second timer every time I switched between modes (which I did to ensure I got clear shots as I hadn’t used the night snapshot before and didn’t want to use it exclusively) and also look up the next address on my phone (since the park district only provides directions to each address from the same starting point; would be nice if they could also do point to point directions too).

@ Flickr: Holiday Lights Decorating Tour

Categories: Car, Fun & Games, Holidays, Photos Tags:


December 18th, 2009 Comments off

I’m off work until December 28th! This is the single greatest moment, right now, with 9 days of workless bliss laid out in front of me.

There are a lot of things I’d like to get accomplished during my time off in addition to the basics such as watching lots of TV, reading, and playing games. So far my list looks like this:


  • Get new strut mounts and oil change for the Jetta.
  • Check out St. Charles’ holiday lights tour. This is their first year but some of the same families from the Halloween tour are participating so it should be good.
  • Buy lotto tickets for our families and mail out care packages since we’re not getting together this year with my family. My mom has been sick and isn’t up to seeing anyone. :p

During the week:

  • Finish Christmas shopping for the kids. K is done, other than a few stocking stuffers, but E is a bit tougher this year.
  • Try and think of something, anything, to buy Joe. So far he’s getting absolutely nothing, not even a lump of coal, because he’s too hard to buy for. Damn him for not being materialistic like the rest of us.
  • Put up Christmas tree and decorations because that’s right, we haven’t done that yet inside, only outside.
  • Organize software CDs. They seem to be all over the house and we probably don’t even need half of them. I want to put them all in one place so on the rare occasion we need one, it’s not an exercise in futility.
  • Submit medical receipts for reimbursement through our flex spending account. We have a good chunk of change in there that needs to be used so we don’t lose it.
  • Visit Cosley Zoo to see their holiday lights, provided it’s not freezing outside.
  • Renew my driver’s license.
  • Check out a few local restaurants we’ve been wanting to try, namely a Vietnamese bistro, a sushi place, and a steak place called Texas Roadhouse.
  • Pull out my high school yearbooks and stalk old classmates on Facebook. And I do mean stalk because it’s less annoying than actually friending these people. I’m finding reconnecting with most of them is an exercise in disappointment. I love when I send someone a private message that they never reply to but they post idiotic status updates with grammar and spelling errors all over it, making me wonder if I dreamed the fact that we actually graduated together.
  • Schedule my annual “female” exam for some day in 2010 because I don’t want to go, but it’s one of those things that must be done.
  • Put together an Evite for my birthday. I’m thinking of having a rollerskating party. Something different. Something half the invitees probably won’t show up to, but oh well, fuck it. I’m doing it anyway.
  • Check out the second run movie theater that just opened a few months ago. It doesn’t have stadium seating which has made me hesitant to go, but I’ll give it a chance for only $2 per person!
  • Read all the People magazines my friend gave me the other day. I haven’t seen her in months so the pile is quite impressive.
  • Fix my blog so I can use a different template than this one.
  • Post a best of 2009 entry for music and iPhone apps.
  • Post a 2009 year in review for this blog.

I think that’s it… for now. Let’s see how many actually get done! It will be a battle between my desire to feel productive and have fun and Joe wanting to sit inside and play Warcraft all day since that’s his idea of fun. ;)

Categories: Car, Fun & Games, Holidays, House & Home Tags: