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I’ve always been pretty good at going with my gut. Have I misinterpreted its signals once or twice along the way? Sure. But usually, when there are significant amounts of red flags going up all around me, I can see them fairly clearly, even if I don’t always recognize their meaning.

When my first boyfriend was about to break my heart, I was well aware that our relationship had become very different from the one we started. Which didn’t mean I was ready to give up, but deep down, it didn’t come as much of a surprise that he was.

When I chose to transfer to a college halfway across the country from my home, I flew blindly, having never visited the place before. I trusted whatever it was that I had in me that it would be a good move. And it was, despite all the difficulties.

When I got married, the date, location and the rest of the detail decisions were not only backed by research, but felt right, too. And the husband. He was an excellent choice based much on what my gut had to say.

When I was pregnant with M, my midwives put my file in the red danger folder because of my blood pressure at a few of the early exams where I was still getting used to the whole experience, the monthly visits when I had previously only visited their offices annually with a pretty regular case of the white-coat syndrome every time. But every day of that pregnancy, I knew that my body and my baby were perfectly fine. I don’t know how, but I just did.

But.

When we bought our Nissan last year, everything from my gut screamed, “NO! WRONG! RUN AWAY!” And I didn’t. And now it comes to pass that my gut has been validated in its righteousness.

Turns out, there was a reason for all the bullying and other underhanded tactics that the Nissan dealership went through to get us to drive off with that particular car. They saw their suckers coming and were fully prepared to take advantage of the opportunity.

Was the car a lemon? No. But there was a pretty big lie involved. Turns out that the major expensive part we had to replace had already been replaced once before. Likely after the accident it was involved in before we came to own it. An accident that probably voided the warranty that we were told still had some time and mileage left on it when we drove the thing off the lot. A warranty which should have fixed the problem on the manufacturer’s dime if it had been caught during the multi-point inspection that happened last October, well within the parameters of the aforementioned warranty. Except, of course for that unknown (to us) crash. Is it possible that our dealership “missed” the bad part on purpose? Do bears poop in the woods?

Mostly, I am angry that it took us over a year for this to come to light. We never got the official CARFAX report, which maybe we should have done within the days following the purchase. We might have been able to take it back then. Or at least do some bullying of our own into a lower price.

I am also angry that we didn’t take it to our own mechanic until this last week. Again, this would have helped us see the big picture sooner, when the part should have still been under warranty, when we could have played that card and had the dealer tell us to our faces that the car wasn’t covered because of an accident they never told us about at the time of purchase.

But I’m really angry that the condition of the part was such that driving the car had probably been dangerous for some time. I drive that car. My husband drives that car. Either one of us could have been seriously injured or, heaven forbid, killed. And on the rare occasions that our toddler might have been a passenger in that vehicle. Well, I don’t even want to think about that.

Yes, we’re going to be looking into our options for recourse, but because of the time that has passed, we’re not really expecting much except the tough lesson already learned.

Always listen to the gut. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, but do what must be done. I’m sorry, my dear gut feelings, you are awesome, and I will never ignore you again.

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