Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tipping Point

The new/used car buying process has begun.

I expected it to take months. Maybe even years. Some of us are very thorough. Which is good. Because those of us who aren't, do things like sign up for health club memberships without reading contracts and sometimes get into trouble.

Anyway, the current vehicle, a 1998 Mazda MPV, which I love, which has been a fabulous car for us, is in need of work. It's leaking oil like a sieve and to fix it would be pricey. Pricey enough that we decided it might be worth it to just get a new car.

But after doing some test drives last week and thinking about it, and realizing that we could save more money and get more features if we waited a year, we decided to fix the car and wait. So I took the car in to get the tires rotated. Because it was about time. And we were going to have the car for a while, after all.

Tire rotation is free at Les Schwab if you buy your tires there, which we did. But when the guy came out to give me my keys back, he said that the car was out of alignment, which caused the tires to wear unevenly, and that they were down to secondary rubber in some places. He recommended four new tires, alignment (natch), and oh, the back brakes should be replaced in about 1000 miles. Tip.

Now Les Schwab isn't one of these Jiffy Lube places that can find dirt in your filter even if they were the ones who installed it five minutes earlier. If Les Schwab says you need to replace your brakes, you need to replace your brakes.

So this morning, after about 4 additional hours of research, Robert set off to test drive some Toyota Siennas. But not before we cleaned all our stuff (booster seats, trash, Gameboy games, pens, pencils, sunglasses, reusable grocery bags, dirty socks and a fencing mask) out of our car. Because it might not be coming back.

This is my new car wish list:
MP3 hook up
multiple power outlets in the back seat
not red

Leather upholstery used to be on the list, but I had to give it up. Even though I pointed out that one of our boys is pretty consistent about throwing up on car trips.

Another one of my astute observations took the Mazda 5 out of the running for our future family car: I pointed out that the limited cargo space would probably make camping an impossibility. . . for a family of five. BUT! Four people could go camping just fine because the two back seats could flatten leaving plenty of room for a tent, sleeping bags, camp chairs, etc. I smiled big and said the Mazda 5 would be the perfect car for our family.

This is the car we are not going to get

Unfortunately, I didn't get out of camping. But I tried. I hear the Toyota Sienna has plenty of room for camping stuff.


Robert came back in the old car, which is great. I'll be heading up to the snow on Monday for a little tubing with the kids.


Angela Hunter said...

What does this mean??

richp6_2000 said...

We got a new-er van at the beginning of the year which has an MP3 hook up. I love it!!! You will wonder how you ever lived without it. It is that great!
Khristine (on Rich's blog)

Erika said...

Sienna's are so cute. I do miss the roominess of a van, but with my car I have now (similar to Mazda 5 size) I haven't had any cargo problems and love how the back seats fold down if I need them to--we usually always keep one down and groceries fit great. Plus you can use a cute cargo box on top for trips, and we even invested in a cute little trailer when we moved that is the perfect little size and great for hauling whatever we need to, and I can even hook it up myself! So easy. Sorry, just had to put in my plug for the smaller vehicle! Good luck. I love the excitement of a new car and can't wait to see what you end up with! (PS-I'm a "no red" too)