Josh and I don’t particularly like each other’s style of writing. I think he is too wordy and he thinks I am not funny. It’s a wash. And it’s also the reason we write two Christmas newsletters.

We decided recently to post Josh’s car on Craigslist to sell it before our upcoming move. Josh works from home now and having one car (the uncool family van) made sense. His car worked well but had many “character” flaws. Josh wrote the Craigslist post and then emailed it to me to put online with the pictures.

As soon as I read it I was convinced we would also have to list it for $50 because no one would buy it. And I clearly told him my opinion about it. Ha!

I posted exactly what he wrote:

1999 VW Jetta TDI – Silver

161,000 Miles

The Pros:
I have owned this car for 2.5 years. I originally bought it because I always wanted a Jetta TDI, and I had a 32 mile one-way commute to work. The gas mileage is awesome. I was able to get just over 700 miles on one tank the last time I checked it. 

It has been a very reliable car. Since I’ve owned it, it has only had two issues. After owning it about a year, it was starting to smoke a lot out of the exhaust. That issue turned out to be a large air tube that had a tear in it. I replaced it and it was back to normal. The other issue was this winter on that one extremely cold day. I didn’t add any cold weather gel preventative (which you normally don’t need, and the weather had been so mild), the fuel gelled up on the way to work and I had to get it towed to a place where it could thaw out. Other than that, it has treated me well.

The Negatives (Character):
Why is this list so huge!? I’m trying to sell a car, not keep people from buying it, right? Well, when it comes to vehicles, nothing is more frustrating than buying a used car, and finding out all sorts of flaws that the previous owner never told you. So instead of you buying my car and then getting frustrated, I’d rather tell you everything I know about it that could be viewed as negative. I want you to know what you are getting. It’s a great car in my book. It gets me from here to there with great gas mileage, and has had hardly any mechanical issues at all. But, there’s plenty of things that just aren’t up to par:

• The guy I bought the car from said the car had never been in any accidents. I’m not sure now whether I believe him or not, because upon closer inspection after I bought the car, it looks like the driver-side rear door and back panel have been replaced (the color is slightly off, and the door doesn’t shut as snug as it should).

• The body isn’t in that great of shape. The front bumper has slowly been working it’s way loose. I’ve zip-tied it in a couple places to hold it all on. It looks fairly normal, but it isn’t perfect. There’s a spot on the front bumper where the previous owner bumped into an empty trailer hitch on another vehicle (the square mark is there). The back bumper has plenty of bumps and bruises as well. There are random scratches, small dents, etc. all around it. There’s a bit of rust starting on the rear wheel wells. Most of this was all there when I got it.

• The previous owner put some silicone caulking on the top seal of the rear window. He said it leaked a little.

• The radio antennae is broken.

• The previous owner swapped out the stock stereo for a cd player. AM barely works. FM is fine. Haven’t played a cd in it. He also wired up a cord so that you can plug it into the headphone jack of something (I use my iPhone) and play music from there. In the process, he also tried to make a mount for his iPhone, and drilled a couple holes in the between the center air vents which didn’t work so he took it out.

• A couple of the air vent controls are broken (open/close, left/right).

• Dirty – the car was pretty dirty when I got it. I spent a little while cleaning it, but it’s got some stains. I recently detailed the interior again.

• Driver-side rear door lock often does not lock when using the key fab to lock the doors.

• The trunk often takes an attempt or two to open (either with the key fab or with the latch on the driver-side door). I’ve opened it up, and something isn’t quite right with the mechanics of the opener. It’s probably easily fixable. The previous owner clearly tried to use some tape to help it. It’s been that way and has worked the same since the day I got it.

• The key fab doesn’t have anything to attach it to a keychain, and I keep it taped together. It’s in rough shape, but again, it’s been that way since I got it.

• The engine is missing the normal engine cover that comes stock normally, and the protective plate on the bottom of the engine. I guess you could look on the bright side – as oil changes are a lot faster not having to remove them.

• The parking brake is shot. It will get stuck with the brakes on if used – so you can’t use it.

• The glove compartment door will come completely off if you aren’t careful. It stays in place when locked, but when you open it, it will come right off. Very typical issue with those Jettas.

• The wheels have been replaced with some after market wheels. Alloy rims. I haven’t had a problem with them. A couple of them don’t look very good though – the metal is doing weird things.

No joke, within an hour he had received over a dozen calls about it and had lined people up to come take a look. One man in particular was very persistent. I guess it was his dream car (who knew?!) that he had been shopping for for a couple of years. He drove straight over to deliver a check for the full amount, gave us a few days to make sure the check went through and then came and picked it up. The first time he drove it was out of our driveway.

At least three of the people Josh talked to complimented his post and said it made them want to buy the car more because of his honesty.

This is the public acknowledgment that I was wrong, in this case (and maybe this case only) about Josh’s writing style.