The past few years have brought about a dilemma, of sorts. My car, a 2005 Toyota Avalon Limited, is a trusty and completely broken-in vehicle. I know it’s movements and sounds to an unconscious level, instantly aware when something is improper, which is rare. But the car is nine years old now and maybe it is time I looked for a new one.
Except, it runs great and everyone (this is not hyperbole, I mean everyone) who gets in my car remarks how new it is and how comfortable and how nice. Nine years later.
Sure, not having kids or pets has created an environment conducive to long-term life. And I am fastidious about putting up a windshield sunscreen to prevent excess wear due to the burning Florida sun. But nine years is nine years, right?
Eh, mebbe not so much. As the saying goes, “It ain’t the years, it’s the miles” and I haven’t put so many miles on the car as to cause it to degrade as much as one might expect from a car its age.
So, I recently made the decision to hang onto the ol’ Avalon. That decision caused another decision: time to get the nine-year old window tint replaced.
By this time, the tint was bubbling on the back window and had a couple of small deformities on both front windows. The tint had a lifetime warranty, but sadly not all tint stores do. My original installation shop was no longer in business.
After checking around, I ended up at a local store (part of a chain) that my dealer coincidentally also sent their older cars to get tint. That fortuitous situation saved me $80 off the regular price!
Then came the big problem. After nine years outside (remember that Florida sun I was just talking about?) on a black car, the tint (and more importantly, the glue) was baked on, but good!
The new shop wanted to keep the car overnight, so they could work a solution into the rear window (they didn’t want to have to scrape it off), but I needed the car that night. I picked up the vehicle and took a drive without window tint for the first time in nine years. Whoa, was that bright! It was an hour before sundown, too.
The next day, I picked up the finished car and went through the spooky feeling of how dark it was in the vehicle. Yet, it was also so much easier to see. Over the years, I had not realized just how much those bubbles on the rear tint had been affecting my visibility.
Despite my darker view of the world, I see more clearly than ever.