I got my license at 16 years old and my dad let me drive his extra truck we used to tow the toy hauler. It was a 1997 extended cab, long bed F-150. You can imagine the looks I got when I stepped out of this huge truck and I stood at a whopping 5 feet 2 1/2 inches (to be exact). Even though it was huge and all of my babysitting money went into the gas tank, I always felt safe driving in Southern California traffic in that beast. It was also pretty fast, probably faster than I needed but I enjoyed it. I made a lot of memories driving that truck and really grew to like it. The morning of the SAT, I backed into a yellow pole in my high school’s parking lot. I called my dad crying and he said, “Court, it’s okay. That’s why this is your first car. You don’t think I’ve ever done something stupid like that?” I appreciated that truck even more after that little accident and I remember I ended up scoring okay on the ACT as well. I hope I remember this situation when Oakley starts driving so I can handle it with the same attitude my dad did.
During my senior year of high school, my parents bought me a silver Mazda 3. I was in love! I thought it was the perfect car. I drove that car for about 6 years until one day I got stranded at work because it wouldn’t start. Andrew came and met me as we waited for Triple A. When we finally had it towed, we had two different mechanics tell us that the engine blew up. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was worth it to have the engine rebuilt so I sold it as is, drove the white truck for a summer, and saved up my money for the first car that I would buy. T
I wasn’t sure what car I wanted but I knew that I wanted a small SUV. Not quite as big as the white truck, but not as small as my Mazda 3. Andrew showed me the Jeep Patriots and I thought they were exactly what I was looking for. They got decent gas mileage (for a small SUV), they weren’t too big, and they were in the price range I wanted. It took me a couple of months to find the perfect one in my price range, but I was glad I waited because I was just able to save more. Andrew, his dad, and I went down to Huntington Beach and test drove the car. I knew it was the car for me. Andrew’s dad worked out a deal since he used to be in the car business and that was it. It was going to be mine, but then they asked me if I wanted to buy the extended warranty. Usually, I’m quick to say no to all of the extras but this time I asked them how much it would cost. They said it would be $1450 and went over what would be covered should anything happen. They said my Jeep would be covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. For whatever reason, I agreed and paid the warranty out of my pocket. Actually, I know the reason. God made it clear I should buy the extended warranty.
Fast forward a few years later, my Jeep had been to San Diego, Big Bear, and back and forth to Arkansas a couple of times, which means we put quite a few miles on it. A year or two ago, my Jeep started acting funny, so we brought it in and they said I needed a new transmission. I hadn’t dealt with this before, but I knew that it wasn’t good and that transmissions were expensive. Andrew reminded me that I bought a warranty and come to find out, it was covered! I just had to pay $100 deductible and for the transmission fluid.. Super weird but I wasn’t going to complain that I had to pay for the fluid.
Fast forward a year or two later, my check engine light came on the week we were leaving to go home to California. The kicker is that my car had 99,954 miles on it at this point. We were driving down the road, Andrew lost power, and my check engine light dinged. With only 46 miles to spare, we pulled over, turned it off, turned it back on, and luckily it started. We were able to drive it to the dealership and get picked up by a friend. A couple of days later, the dealership called and said you need a new computer module and your crank shaft is bad. Having no idea what either of these were, I asked them if they were big problems. He chuckled a little and said, well your crank shaft isn’t but your computer module sure is. Can you guess what happened? My warranty covered all of it! I just had to pay the $100 deductible and for a tune up because they said they needed that too.
I figure I can either look at this with the glass half empty and think what did I buy? This car needed a new transmission at 70,000 miles and a new computer module at 100,000 miles or I can look at the glass half full and think, I’m so thankful I bought that extended warranty because a new transmission and a computer module would have cost me well over $1450 AND I paid my car off this month! I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy an extended warranty or say that I will always buy one, I’m just pretty sure God had all of this worked out 4 years ago when I bought my car and I’m so thankful.