Hus­band can’t wait to ban­ish the Buick

The Buffalo News - - LIFE & ARTS - – Sharon – Mar­jorie

Dear Car Talk: My hus­band drives a 6-cylin­der 2004 Buick Rainier. It’s blue – my fa­vorite color – and matches the decor of the house. He got this SUV from a friend who buys to­taled cars and fixes them for re-sale. This is the best one yet, and he wants to trade it in for a Jeep!

Of course, one of the boys at his weekly gath­er­ing called Car Night has a Buick SUV and agrees with him that it’s a “pig” and should be traded.

Any­way, he keeps track­ing his gas mileage at ev­ery fillup. Re­cently it has gone down from 17-18 miles per gal­lon to 16.6. I told him that wasn’t much and he just needs a tune-up. “Spark plugs, Dear.”

Last night on our way to a fish fry he said it again for the umpteenth time, “I’m trad­ing this in.”

My prob­lem is I am afraid that some­day soon he will come home driv­ing some­thing that I won’t like again, when just sim­ple main­te­nance could solve his ob­ses­sive­ness with gas mileage. What do you think?

I think you’re right to be afraid, Sharon. He is go­ing to show up one night with a Jeep. I can pretty much guar­an­tee it. I also pre­dict that the Jeep is go­ing to get 13 mpg, and he won’t care.

He hates the Buick. His friends are mock­ing him for driv­ing it, and he can’t wait to get rid of it. All the com­plain­ing about gas mileage is just “pre­par­ing you” for the in­evitable trade-in.

And I think you should just let him do it, Sharon. Re­mem­ber, there are worse things hus­bands can de­cide to trade in. In the in­ter­ests of mar­i­tal har­mony and good will, I’d say to him, “Frank, you know I like that Buick, but you should drive what­ever makes you happy.”

Then here’s how you get your re­venge: Ev­ery week, when he’s not look­ing, you syphon a lit­tle bit of gas out of his Jeep and put it into your car. Take out a lit­tle more each week. He’ll be com­pletely con­fused as his mileage (which you say he tracks con­stantly) drops from 13 mpg, to 11, to 9.

When he gets down to 7 mpg, you can tell him about your prac­ti­cal joke. If he’s got a sense of hu­mor, he’ll be im­pressed with your in­ge­nu­ity and you guys will have a good laugh to­gether. If he doesn’t have a sense of hu­mor, he’ll di­vorce you, and then you take your half of the as­sets and buy your own Buick. Good luck, Sharon.

Dear Car Talk: Hi. I don’t drive my car very much and worry about the bat­tery dy­ing, as it has twice this week. I’m won­der­ing what you think about so­lar bat­tery charg­ers for my 2008 Al­tima? It would be great not to waste time wor­ry­ing about bat­ter­ies!

I’ll be glad to de­mean so­lar bat­tery charg­ers, Mar­jorie, but first I’m more con­cerned that there’s some­thing wrong with your car. Your bat­tery shouldn’t be dy­ing twice a week if ev­ery­thing is work­ing prop­erly.

Start by fig­ur­ing out what’s wrong with your elec­tri­cal sys­tem, Mar­jorie. And once you get that fixed, you may find you don’t need any bat­tery charger at all.

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