DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Erika At Carney’s Studio City

October 24, 2011 3:00 AM

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“Baby really likes pretending like he's driving.”

dyr los angeles DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Erika At Carneys Studio City

“It still squeaks after I wash it. Maybe then it’s squeaky clean!”

The Ride
The Driver: Erika
Car in Question: Black 2009 Toyota Rav4
Spotted at: Carney’s, 12601 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
Odometer: 25,643
Car’s Nickname: Ravy

THE DEFENSE

Q: Do you come to Carney’s often?

A: Not that often. Maybe like once every few weeks.

Q: How old is your son?

A: He’ll be two in August. His name is Spencer.

Q: And I see you have one on the way?

A: Yeah.

Q: When are you due?

A: Around Christmas.

Q: A holiday baby, nice! What neighborhood do you live in and what’s the zip code?

A: Burbank, 91505.

Q: What’s your car’s main use?

A: Just mainly commuting and dropping him off at daycare.

Q: How much time do you typically spend in your car in a day?

A: Ten minutes?

Q: Just ten minutes? I assume you work close to home?

A: About two miles away!

Q: Very convenient. Though work is only a few minutes from home, what’s the worst part about your commute?

A: The worst part is that I have to go through the intersection of death at Lankershim, Camarillo, and Vineland.

Q: Do you ever take your car for weekend trips?

A: Sometimes we like to go to Carlsbad. We last went in May on Memorial Day weekend.

Q: What did you do down there?

A: We went to Legoland and the San Diego Zoo. We ate a lot in Downtown Carlsbad.

Q: Does Spencer like it down there?

A: Oh, he loves it.

Q: Does he like riding in the car?

A: As much as a two-year-old can like a car. He sleeps most of the time during longer trips on the road.

Q: Where do you like to go for day trips?

A: We go to Disneyland a lot.

Q: What’s Spencer’s favorite ride?

A: Maybe the Casey Jr. Train or the Dumbo flyers.

Q: Where is the farthest place you’ve driven to in this car?

A: In this car? San Diego, when we went to Carlsbad.

Q: Where’s the craziest place you’ve ever driven to?

A: Gosh, probably the dealership where we bought it in El Monte.

Q: And why is that crazy?

A: Because it’s just this enormous dealership in the middle of nowhere. Anytime we get it serviced down there, there’s pretty much nothing to do that’s close by. You’re stuck sitting at the Starbucks in the dealership for hours with really slow WiFi. But you can get good dim sum close by, so I guess that’s good.

Q: How did you get the car?

A: We just went to the dealership and made a great trade-in. My husband really likes Rav4s, so we knew that’s the car we wanted to get. This was on the lot, and she was calling our name.

Q: Do you have rules in the car?

A: Well, my husband always likes to change the rules about the radio. If he’s driving, he gets to choose what’s on the radio because he’s the driver. But then if he’s the passenger, he gets to choose what we listen to because he’s the passenger. I would say that is the only unofficial rule we have.

Q: How about if other people are in the car?

A: No, no rules really. Just if you’re sitting in the backseat and the baby’s sleeping, you can’t be loud.

Q: Have you ever been caught rocking out at a red light?

A: Yes. I don’t remember specifically what happened, but I do remember getting a lot of stares. Because you know in Los Angeles, everyone looks at you at a red light. I don’t think I stopped. I do like to sing in the car.

Q: If your car had a theme song, what would it be?

A: That’s a really good question. How about “They See Me Rollin” ["Ridin' ft. Krayzie Bone"] by that guy, who is it? That guy?

Q: Chamillionaire?

A: Yeah, the Chamillionaire!

Q: Wow, I would not have guessed that. Why that song?

A: Well, Ravy is pretty sleek looking. It’s got tinted windows and, I don’t know, when we cruise down the street, I feel like she’s gotta have some good beat behind it.

Q: What do you think your next car will realistically be?

A: Probably a Toyota Highlander hybrid.

Q: Why a Highlander and not another Rav4?

A: Well, at the moment the Rav4 doesn’t come in a hybrid, and we really like the hybrids.

Q: What’s your ideal car?

A: Well, I really love the Prius that we have. I think it’s got all the bells and whistles. I only fill it up every four weeks. However, I really love driving the 3-series BMW. If they made a 328 BMW as a hybrid, that would be the perfect car. It’s sleek, and you can really feel the road. It feels very sporty. It’s not too big. It’s the perfect size for me. Plus, if it’s a hybrid, you can save a lot on gas and do something good for the environment.

Q: Is there anything you wish was different about this car?

A: I wish it had navigation. Also, everything seems to squeak and rust in this car, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why. There’s a latch in the trunk that’s rusted. The fix-it guy said it was not a problem, but I don’t understand that because it’s obviously rusting over. And for no reason, out of the middle of nowhere, the gas door cover starts squeaking every time we open it to fill up the gas tank. There’s nothing stuck in there making it squeak. It’s just a really loud squeak!

Q: Maybe it’s just trying to get your attention to wash it more often.

A: It still squeaks after I wash it. Maybe then it’s squeaky clean.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about your car?

A: Oh, it has a real plug in it. Not like a cigarette lighter plug. It’s got a real outlet plug.

Q: That’s kinda cool.

A: Yeah, it’s awesome. You can just grab your cell phone charger from the house. Or if you have a mini DVD player, you don’t have to buy an adapter or anything. You just plug it in.

Q: What is your general philosophy about driving?

A: I really enjoy driving. I think it’s a fun activity. But obviously, conceptually, I try to be safe and a good driver. I really try to enjoy my time in the car.

Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of lacantdrive.com

Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email localautos@cbs.com with “Defend Your Ride L.A.” in the subject line for submission details.

View previous Defend Your Ride features and other great stories for people who love cars at CBSLA.com/Autos.

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