On Monday night, I drove home in my first new car. After weeks of deliberating, test driving, and nagging salespeople, I negotiated a deal on a 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI S entirely over email.
Dad helped steer the process, having done it recently to lease a car in Maui. I casually contacted dealers through their websites about certain cars; it was amusing to watch the salespeople answer only parts of my questions with desperate attempts to get me into the showroom. I gathered all my information and eventually narrowed my search down to the Golf / Golf SportWagen. Since it was the end of model year and the 2016 models would be arriving soon, I decided to make my move.
I knew exactly which vehicle I wanted, but I was sure not to let the salespeople know that. I emailed the Internet Managers at Emich, Tynan’s, and O’Meara VW dealers, letting them know I was in initial negotiations but wanted to find the best price, pitting them against each other. After we settled on the price, I called the lucky dealer to confirm the sale and set the appointment for later that evening. I ran home, picked up my father, who was visiting for the weekend, and drove to Thornton to meet Beverly, the Internet Sales Manager at O’Meara. Amusingly, the Jeep’s “Check Engine” light illuminated while en route, as if to express it’s disappointment.
Bev was busy, so she had Martin handle my sale. He pulled the car around, we went through it, and sat down inside to do some paperwork. There were two other sales happening at the same time, so it was a race to see who could sign paperwork and get into the financing guy’s office the fastest. I won! After figuring out the right numbers, I got the keys and sat down to pair my phone with the car, which had since been detailed, fueled, and pulled into the dealership bay.
I noticed a “battery not charging” warning before I left, but it disappeared soon after. Thinking nothing of it, I made my way home but as I got near my exit, the warning came back on, then another warning about brakes. The power steering cut out and then the power brakes. I rolled down the ramp and threw on the four-way flashers to investigate. I cleared the warning and the dashboard started calming down; I assume the battery was a little low from have all the doors open while they detailed the car and/or from sitting on the lot un-driven for so long.
Fast forward two days on the way home from work and the dashboard light came on again. Then more lights, and I lost power steering again. I pulled over onto the shoulder of the Rt 36 on-ramp and called VW Roadside Assistance. The car was towed to the dealer and I negotiated for a loaner to be waiting for me. It turns out there was a manufacturer defect where a wire connecting the alternator charging system with the systems that rely on it was loose. They tightened the wire to bring the car back up to factory specs and I was back in the car the next day. A minor tarnishing of the first new car experience, but I’m glad to have it back so quickly.
I’ve yet to meet an obnoxious employee at any VW dealership. The people at all the dealers I talked with were very friendly and helpful, especially at O’Meara. Coincidentally, Volkswagen topped Toyota as the world’s largest automaker for the first half of 2015. I like to think I helped get them there 🙂
I’m pretty excited to be a VW owner once again. This is my third Volkswagen; the first was a 1995 Jetta GLS and the second was a 2000 Passat GLS, both with manual transmission and in emerald green. Sadly, green is not currently an option, but the silk blue will definitely suffice. Since the Jeep is paid off and has a low insurance premium, I’m keeping it for mountain excursions for now.