Oct 17 2013

Dude, Where’s My Car? (Sidecar Cocktail)

A few weeks ago, I started writing a post I was pretty proud of. It wasn’t what you’d typically see on here–it had nothing to do with food–but it marked an important occasion in my life and I was hoping to use that experience to help others facing the same. Instead, the project was derailed by the very subject of the post: my new car.

My first new car. Because, yes, I had to wait until I was nearly 36 years old to buy my first new car. I’d like to think this made me appreciate it even more–I had to pay my dues before I could even consider a car whose history was all my own and even then, I had to get as much car as I could for the money, because there wasn’t a lot to put toward it. I was elated.

And then I wasn’t.

Sidecar cocktail

Because less than 3 weeks after I drove it off the lot, my car started having problems. And nearly 6 weeks after I bought it, it’s back in the shop for the 3rd time.

It shouldn’t be this way. The main reason why I purchased a new car was to have reliable transportation–peace of mind for the first time in my life. Instead, during the rare moments I get to drive it, I’m constantly aware of every noise and jerk, always on alert for it to stall again. Because that’s what it does–in stop-and-go traffic (on the highway!), at stop signs on back roads, I stop, it stalls.

I’m grateful for the warranty–that all this work is covered by it, including the rental car. I have a 40-mile commute every day. I need to get to work. But this is not how I envisioned it would be. Not for a brand new car. Not for one that had only 67 miles on it when purchased. It has 1,463 miles on it right now. At this rate, it won’t make it to 20,000.

Sidecar cocktail

The car manufacturer sent me a survey a week ago about the quality of my vehicle and I answered honestly. I felt they should know; this isn’t normal. A rep from their corporate headquarters called me yesterday, but I missed his call. I left him a voicemail 20 minutes later. I have yet to hear from him.

I know this is no single person’s fault–no one is “to blame” for the circumstances. There are many hands that take part in the manufacturing and assembly of a vehicle. And I don’t particularly care which hand is the root cause. I just want this situation solved. I want a car that works. I thought I was getting that. Apparently, I was wrong.

So, since my car is currently sidelined, and I’m sick of driving the rental car around, I guess it’s a cocktail for me tonight. A Sidecar. Because it made sense somehow, even though it really doesn’t. Of course, none of this situation does.

Sidecar cocktail

Here’s to a speedy resolution. I hope.

Sidecar Cocktail
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: cocktail
Serves: 1
  • 2 teaspoons organic sugar (for the rim)
  • 2 parts VS or VSOP Cognac
  • 1 part Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
  • juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ice
  • 1 strip lemon peel (garnish)
  • 2 dye-free maraschino cherries
  1. Chill your martini glass in the freezer before assembly.
  2. Sprinkle sugar in a circle in a small dish.
  3. Run a piece of the squeezed lemon along the rim of the glass and dip in the sugar.
  4. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour over it the Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
  5. Pour into the chilled glass.
  6. Lay a strip of lemon peel on the rim and spear 2 maraschino cherries with a small skewer. Place inside the glass for garnish.
  7. Enjoy!


About the author

Carrie @ poet in the pantry

Carrie is a home baker and amateur photographer who dabbles in writing and poetry.


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  1. Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    That is so frustrating!!! I hope it all gets fixed and this car has a VERY long life and is trouble-free. Better now while it’s in warranty but still. Love a good sidecar ;)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Ultimately, this scenario is exactly why we chose new over used. We could have purchased a nicer model of an older car for the same money, but we would be out of luck in the case of a catastrophe. I’m not happy, but things are working the way they should, at least. And there are always Sidecars at home at the end of the day. ;)

  2. Sunny

    Oh no! I totally feel your pain…the car I have now was my first brand new car and it has felt like it has always carried a little black rain cloud around it and I wished I had returned it the moment I drove it home and I found out the dealer had lied to me about the functionality that had come with the car. I am still driving it years (and lots of headaches) later and wish I had done something sooner. Best of luck girly!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      That was what I did with my last car. Something didn’t feel right about it, but I put it off, figuring it was all in my head, and I was wrong. I’m trying to trust my intuition more. I’m so sorry you’ve been through that! :( Dealerships are definitely not my favorite place…

  3. Anna (Hidden Ponies)

    How disappointing! Hope they get it fixed once and for all…meanwhile, drinks are definitely in order :)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! Me, too! In the meantime, LOTS of drinks are in order! ;)

  4. sippitysup

    You have a remarkably good attitude about this. I predict the company will call back and make this right for you (I hope). Cheers. GREG

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I am extremely unhappy about the situation, but blowing up about it only serves to delay a resolution. Ultimately, I just want a fully-functioning car again. Doing whatever I can to work toward that. (The Sidecars certainly help with the calming… ;) ) Thank you!

  5. Samantha

    Isn’t there some kind of lemon law?! I mean, I don’t know much about it but it seems like there has just been too many problems. They should make it right and give you a different vehicle. Isn’t that a thing? Maybe? It should be!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      There is a lemon law, but it doesn’t quite qualify yet. Or it does, depending on your interpretation of the law.

      Traditionally, there needs to be 4 failed “reasonable attempts” at fixing the car in the first 2 years or 24,000 miles, which it’s now back in the shop for attempt #4. Or, if the car has been in the shop for cumulative 30 days in the first year for any reasons at all, that also qualifies it. Today is day 19. Basically, I’m biding my time now.

      There is another way to qualify: if the problem is determined to be a safety issue. In that case, there needs to be only 2 failed attempts at fixing the issue. But if you file for lemon law and lose, you can’t refile for the same problem. Who determines what a safety issue is? I think a car that stalls is unsafe, but who’s to say they would agree in arbitration? I’d rather wait until I’m sure it meets the requirements than lose over a technicality.

      In the meantime, we’re back to working with the corporate office in finding a resolution. And hoping that maybe they’ll just step up and realize this is getting ridiculous.

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