My Car Buying Experience

For the first time in many years, I bought a new (to me) car. I had no choice, really. The old one was a death trap. There was no heat, no defrost, and no air conditioning. When it rained, the dash would fill with water and the electrical stuff would flicker on and off and the water would pour out onto the floor when I drove up hill. The wheels also wobbled. And then the windshield wipers stopped working (in rainy Seattle, that’s really, REALLY bad news), and the cost of repair would have been more than the blue book value of the car.

As a general rule, I hate the car buying experience. I feel like I have “sucker” tattooed on my forehead, and they see me coming from miles away. I don’t know much about cars, to be honest, so I always have to rely on second opinions. But it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Why can’t you just deal with me honestly in the first place?

Fortunately, a friend of mine recommended that I contact Keith Dinsmore at Auto Connections of Bellevue, Washington. I told him what type of car I was looking for, and he found me a great one within the week. And it cost less than the money I had set aside for it, too, which was excellent.

This was one of those “inherited trust” situations. I trust my friend implicitly, so anyone she trusts, I trust, too. And it worked out really well. Also, if you look at their staff page, you’ll see Rusty, their official greeter. He’s a dog that wanders the premises, making you feel right at home. I’ve always felt that dog people are inherently more honest, so his opinion matters a great deal to me as well.

Don’t get me wrong. I still got that second opinion. I know another guy who is as rare as hen’s teeth: an honest mechanic. Gerard Ascherl, of Gerard’s Auto Repair, in Shoreline, Washington. (206) 931-1457. He inspected this car for me from head to toe, and I didn’t sign off on the deal until it got his seal of approval. (There’s a dog connection here, too. He rescued mine when he ran away. That’s how we met. I think my dog still wishes he was there. I try not to take it personally.)

Don’t let appearances fool you. Gerard’s shop is behind his house, and invisible from the street. Normally this type of business is not allowed in a residential neighborhood, but his got legally grandfathered in because he was there long before the city of Shoreline was. Rest assured he has all the equipment he needs to do a great job on your car.

If you do any business with either of these fine gentlemen, please tell ‘em Barb sent you!

My new (to me) baby.


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