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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Car problems.

A couple of weeks ago, on a Saturday, we took Dan's car in to be inspected.

The mechanic came in the waiting room to tell us that the car battery died while they were doing the inspection and that  we would have to get a new battery and then come back in 24 hours to have in reinspected.  So we got the new battery and went back the next weekend and had it reinspected.

And guess what?  The tread on the tires was too low and it did not pass!  (Seriously!  Are we 12?  Do we not know how to maintain our cars?)

So Dan and I switched cars one day and I got news tires and an alignment because, of course, it was out of line.. out of align?  Anyway, we FINALLY got it to pass and everything was right with the world...

Until the door locks on my car started acting up.  If you will recall, about a year and a half ago, the driver's side door started to act up.  It wouldn't lock or unlock without the key and I had to have the actuator replaced.  (Actuators aren't cheap, by the way.)

So when the front passenger side door started not unlocking I looked the other way hoping that the problem would "fix itself".  Y'all know as well as I do that a problem with your car will never "fix itself". And I'm not sure why I'm putting that in quotes. It just seems appropriate.

Not only did the problem not "fix itself", it got worse!  In the course of a few weeks the other two doors would lock but not unlock and the hatch would also lock but not unlock.  But it would do it randomly, sporadically.  Sometimes two doors wouldn't unlock.  Sometimes just one.  Sometimes the hatch wouldn't unlock but other times it was fine. Sometimes everything worked perfectly.

It was very frustrating for me but it was embarrassing for Sarah.  We drive carpool to swim practice and she was mortified when the doors wouldn't unlock.  Most of her friends have cars where you press a button and the hatch door will close automatically.  But my car is a bare bones 2012 model so you actually have to use your arms to close the hatch and all doors (GOD FORBID!!!) and she has always been embarrassed by that. Now add to it that sometimes the hatch won't even open and the doors have to be manually unlocked, it was almost too much for her to bare.

I finally had enough of it myself and decided I would take it in and while I was there get a replacement key for the one I lost. Sadly this key never turned up even though I have continued to look for it .  Dan was tired of borrowing my key whenever he was using my car and it is ridiculous to only have one car key - what if I lost the other one?? So I was going to bite the bullet and get another key. (Car keys aren't cheap, by the way!)

Yesterday, I arrived at the dealership by 8:30, told James, the service advisor, the car's woes and agreed to let them do my car inspection since it was due next month. In 45 minutes, I got a text from James with a handy little video link.  I clicked on the link and it was a video from Gilbert, the technician, explaining that my rear tire was showing secondary rubber and would need to be replaced to pass inspection, (Tires aren't cheap, by the way!) AND that the front bushings were cracked and leaking and needed to be replaced.(Bushings aren't cheap, by the way!)

Oh and he could only get one door to not unlock so they were only going to replace that one actuator.

In a nutshell, I spent even more money than I was expecting to spend and will most likely have to go back when the other doors won't unlock.  (Although they did say that sometimes one bad actuator can effect the others so there's a chance fixing the one actuator would fix the whole problem.  I'm not sure I'm buying that but I'm hopeful.)

They weren't going to be able to repair everything yesterday because they didn't have the actuator in stock so they gave me a loaner.  It was a 2020 Accord with only SIX miles on it!  It's been so long since I've driven a brand new car - 18 years to be exact!

The leather steering wheel was lovely and the large touch screen panel was so nice.  Sarah was ooohhhing and aaahhhhing over the new car when I picked her up.  But honestly, I didn't love it.  I like sitting high up in my old Pilot and being in a sedan just felt so low to the ground.  Not to mention the fact that I had to hoist myself out of it.

This morning before it was ready to be picked up, I got a text and later a phone call from someone at the dealership asking me if they could buy my car.  (He was the guy in charge of used car sales.)  I told him I wasn't in the market but I would take a look at his offer.  He emailed it over to me this afternoon and it was a little above Kelly Blue Book so it was a decent offer, I guess.  How convenient that they are interested in my car when I just  replaced the tires and the bushings.  I feel like I need to drive it for a while to get my money's worth!

And that's my sad expensive tale of too many car repairs


Kara said...

We are debating if it's worth fixing the suspension on my husband's 2010 truck with 180K miles on it, or just biting the bullet and getting a new-to-him truck. Not to mention that we will have a 2nd teen driver hitting the roads in November and she will need something to drive while her sister hogs the teen car with her many sports and job commitments.

Gigi said...

Oh Beth! I feel you. After we took my 2012 in (finally) two weeks ago to look at the check engine light they gave us a laundry list of "problems". I texted those to my car guy and he told me that only one was directly related to the check engine light - but that the other issues would need to be dealt with eventually (i.e., they weren't DO IT RIGHT NOW items - and this is why I distrust most dealerships - my car guy also informed me that they overcharged me for the diagnostic test! *sigh*).

The Husband and I crunched the numbers and determined this car just wasn't worth the money it would cost to fix it all and we traded it in last week for a "new-to-me" car. The car payment will be tight, but it will be better than bleeding out money on a much older car that will continually need repairs (to be honest, from the get go, neither of us felt that car was a good purchase but our backs were to the wall at the time).

I also get the going from the SUV to the sedan - it isn't quite the same no matter how seductive the bells and whistles might be. One time I went from a SUV to a sedan...never again!

The timing of the sales person is suspect to be sure.

Mari said...

Aaagh! I hate car issues. I do have to laugh at Sarah and her embarrassment about the car. I can just picture it.
I have a sedan, and next car will be an SUV!

Madeline said...

Yuck! Car issues are the worst. We had to replace an alternator last week. Which is nothing compared to all your "fun" car stuff. I hope you are done with that for a while!

Ernie said...

We have a minivan that does not have automatic doors so when we drive kids home they get so confused and have to ask for help to find the lever that releases the door from the inside. When I drive the great white - most seats are filled with car seats so kids have to scramble to the last row of seats and try not to become impaled by the seat-belts that are attached to the side of the car and require people to crawl under because they are attached to a car-seat. I babysat for a car dealer for years and years. I buy my cars from them and get major issues serviced thru them. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have car people that I trust! Good gravy are car issues pricey.