Not the New Car Smell I Was Hoping For

I am a thrifty person overall and stick to my household budget as a rule. I am not a skinflint, only careful. Splurges happen but are rare and only when I feel I need a treat. Vacations are a necessity of life for me, as for most people, but I am frugal about where I chose to stay. I fly coach without fail. I hate wasting money on an expensive hotel room when I will be out and about most of the time. I choose places for comfort, not luxury. Last, but not least, I never buy new cars. Think of the money you waste. They lose their value when first driven off the lot. Therefore, a used car is a better value. You can buy a late model vehicle for half price sometimes. I know how to bargain at the pre-owned car lot. Such a fancy name.

I have been lucky with my choices over the years and hate to start complaining now. I have a serious ethical issue at hand, one that I will share with my students for debate. My recent purchase looked fine on the outside, but after I had paid and got in to drive it away, I noticed a heavy smoke smell. Upon querying the dealer, he confessed that the previous owner smoked all the time in his car. They had tried to air it out with no success. I doubted if the professed detailing included the leather interior. The dealer would have been honest or obliged to take the car back. He refused.

The kids were dutifully miffed on my behalf. There was no argument in his favor. It is a clear case of sales immorality. They insisted I go back. As much as I wanted to, I was tired of the whole mess by now and vowed to deodorize the car on my own. It didn’t help that the dealer gave me a load of “new car smell” spray. I do like that scent but my car did not smell one bit like a new car. I had to get clever. I aired out the car by opening the windows at night to let the breeze in. I also tried some products listed on No More Smoke Smell and supplemented them with Febreeze and some eucalyptus oil on a dry cloth. That did the trick, or maybe the combination of all my strategies worked as a team.

I was pleased to offer my ethics students real life cases to discuss because it gives them a taste what life is going to be like. They will encounter ethical situations from time to time and need to learn how to react appropriately. Used car lots have a bad reputation for good reason so it seems. You have to do your homework and check them out on Yelp. This is why we have the Internet, isn’t it. To help us maneuver through life!