I love cars. Not all cars. Just some of them-where the manufacturer actually cares about how the car looks. I mainly enjoy driving them, but I also enjoy staring at them and admiring them for their beauty.
However, as much as I love cars, I don’t really enjoy working on my car for normal maintenance or repair items, because, let’s be honest-it’s too much work. And I don’t want to work. Also, when I do work on my own vehicles (twice in the last ten years), it’s a nightmare putting the pieces back together. Almost always, I lose a bolt or a screw during the process and hardly ever have the right tools to get the job done. It’s more frustrating than trying to understand what the hell Pokemon Go is. Why would people, dying from starvation, play Pokemon Go instead?
The only time I’ve moderately enjoyed working on my car is when I’ve changed a few things to make it faster. But I’m not doing that anymore. Because it turns out that no matter how much tinkering I do, the modifications add little to the car and I get used to the minor enhancements very quickly.
Five minutes of going up and down the same road with the new modifications and I find myself instantly regretting the hours of rare physical labor I’ve carried out and the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent on something out of which I derive virtually zero pleasure.
It’s at that moment when I realize that I should’ve done something else with all that time. Like compete in the annual hot dog eating challenge. Surely, with enough practice I could shove 73 hot dogs into my face in 10 minutes. But, no, I wasted my life turning screw drivers instead.
Important life lesson learned.
When I do need something done on the car, I’m not a big fan of local mechanics and shops where repairs generally cost less. These shops might have the best value in terms of skill and expense, but it’s still up to you to figure out how to transport yourself to and from the shop by finding people to give you rides. And then if the shop didn’t do the job correctly, you have to go through that process all over again.
In a city like Austin, where Uber and Lyft have abandoned us, it’s become that much more of a pain to have to figure this out. I hate it. I’m lazy and want the easiest life possible. I don’t have a hard-working bone in my body and therefore am always looking for the least painful way to get things done. Yes, I am an utter disappointment to my family who have prided themselves on hard work for many generations. They must wonder if I’m even related to them.
There is a shop in Austin, however, that provides you loaners and kind of acts like a high-end dealer, but it’s more expensive than the dealer! A non-dealer charging more than the dealer makes about as much sense as Pokemon Go. Can someone explain it to me please?
And so, being the lazy human being that I am, I find myself back at the dealer.
The Lexus dealer, which I’ve been to once before, hands out loaners with no questions asked. And it’s not some crap loaner, like a Mitsubishi Mirage. It’s actually a brand new Lexus which is so comfortable that you’ll want to fall asleep in it while driving it.
Sure, the dealer is more expensive and doesn’t make sense financially most of the time, but with this recent visit, I only needed an oil change and the trunk latch repaired. A local shop that has great reviews of working on Lexuses quoted me more than the dealer for an oil change but a hundred or so less for repairing the trunk latch. I figured that the difference in cost was worth the lack of hassle and the ease of getting a car fixed and so I went to the dealer.
The Lexus dealer that I’ve been to before during my few months of owning the IS-F is a really nice one. They have a coffee shop and a waiting area to hang around in while they work on washing your loaner before they bring it to you. During that time, you can munch on a delicious, sugary treats and drink however many coffees you’d like.
The dealer waiting area feels like an airport business class lounge. Not quite first class although I’m sure if you pull up in an LFA, you get that kind of treatment.
But I was totally fine with business class - I did bring in an 80,000 mile, 8 year old car after all. What more could I expect? It’s still better than being treated like a dirtbag in coach class which is what you would get at a Ford dealer.
It’s always fun to see what kind of loaner they give you. I suppose it kind of depends on what you bring to the dealer to get serviced. I know this, because a friend of mine, brought his rare LFA to the dealer and got to drive around in a brand new RC coupe (when they first came out). I didn’t get that-I got an ES 350 instead which was still really nice, luxurious and proved to be a welcome break from the concussion-generating IS-F.
Driving Around A Boat
The ES350 is a boat. A really nice, elegant boat. It drove along quietly, bouncing around on road undulations and effortlessly gliding over speed bumps and road imperfections. Driving the car wasn’t very satisfying since there was heavy steering assistance provided by Lexus, meaning that you could turn the wheel with your pinky finger.
I can say that being a passenger in this car is much more pleasurable than driving it. There’s so much room and the ride couldn’t be more comfortable. Google should strongly consider the ES350 as one of their self-driving vehicles because passengers will be delighted to be driven around in this comfy couch on wheels.
268 hp was a decent amount of power for this fairly large sedan. With every acceleration, there was a definite upward movement of the front end of the car which made it feel like it was going to take off but, of course, it didn’t really go anywhere.
A road trip in this car would’ve been great, that is, if I wasn’t driving it. I’d love be chauffeured around in the ES350 while sipping champagne in the back seat. Parents, grandparents and great grandparents, however, would love driving this boat around town at 25 mph.
So after a weekend of boating, I turned the grandma-mobile in and a few hundred dollars later, I was back in the IS-F. The extra money for the dealer was worth it since I obtained a nice, hassle-free experience, and a new car to drive around in for the weekend. Oh, they washed my IS-F too.
We don’t need to Make America Great Again. It’s already great!
Torque Affair is about exploring my fascination with cars. I’m always on the lookout for things that interest me in the car world.
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