Monday, June 30, 2008

New used minivan

We traded our van a few days ago. We only had it for a year-right after we got it (it was used-a 2004 Freestar) the brake drums/disks/whatever needed to be replaced. About 3 weeks later we left on our vacation, driving across the country. The first day, the transmission light came on. Luckily we were close to Des Moines, and had easy access to a couple of Ford dealers and plenty of shopping and things to do. We took it in to the dealer the next day and were told that the transmission needed to be replaced or rebuilt. To save money we opted for rebuilt but it still cost about three thousand bucks and put us back a day and a half on our trip. Kind of put a crappy start on our vacation. It was fine the rest of the time.

A few months after we got the Ford I noticed an annoying whining sound pretty much all the time. It got louder when the accelerator was pushed (which is just about the whole time you're driving, ya know?) and I had to have the radio on all the time to block out the sound, although I could still hear it even above that. I have pretty sensitive hearing though.

So then a few months ago the cruise control suddenly quit working right. We would have to push the button about 10 times for it to come on and eventually it took about a hundred pushes (yes, I counted). Then all of a sudden it started working again. Weird.

Then last week or maybe the week before, I heard a high pitched beeping. Not a regular beep though but it was definitely there. Steve could hear it if we were all very quiet. It was there. Then he said he was worried about the transmission again. I don't know why and I think he didn't know either but we both knew the warranty on that repair job was long over. So he started to really talk about trading it.

I found a few online that we could go check out. We drove forever to one dealer where we wanted to look at a 2004 Toyota Sienna. It had a lot of miles but I convinced my Ford-loving husband that it would still be a better car and more reliable than Ford. At least I hoped so. We got there and saw that van (which was gold-not my top pick of colors but you can't be too choosy with a used car) but the dealer had also just gotten in a 2003 Honda Odyssey that had about 15K less miles than the Toyota and about 30K less than our Freestar. It didn't have quite as many options as the Toyota did (both same price) but Steve decided for the same money, it would be wise to go with less mileage, even though it was a year older. I think he liked the color better too but he probably wouldn't admit that.

So he made an offer, and they said no, the price was firm. So he made a slightly higher one and they still said no. We said ok, see ya and left. We had some lunch and then, being persistent as always, Steve called them to see if they had decided to go any lower. Keep in mind this was about 20 minutes later. They talked for a while and made him an offer. The offer was less than the #2 offer he made. I think they thought he had already included tax in his offer which he had not. So it ended up being a decent deal. He kept saying it was more than he wanted to give but he says that every time. So we drove the two hours home in our new used Honda Odyssey:

Keeping in mind that this is a HUGE step for him. He has always 100% owned Ford vehicles. Always.

3 comments:

paleojenn1 said...

Hi, I have a question about your ATG gun... I noticed a post of yours on SCS about the ATG 700 and the adapter. I can't for the life of me get the spring out of the liner rewind hub in order to install the 1/4" adapter. Can you help me?
Thanks,
Jenn
paleojenn1@aol.com

pawprintz said...

You are wise to step away from the ford minivan. I had a Windstar that went through trannies every 30,000 miles. I traded it in after the third one. They were covered under the warranty until 75,000 miles and I did not trust that it wouldn't go bad again.

AmpleStamper said...

Hearing your story about the Ford minivan takes me back to 1998. We were on a 3-week, 6,000 mile trip out to the northwest and Canada in our 1995 Ford Windstar. It was just 3 months out of warranty, and our brakes went out in Yellowstone Nat'l Park on crowded, windy roads. My husband drove using the emergency brake for slowing and stopping. After repairs in Bozeman, Montana, we went up to the Canadian Rockies. We were touring in the mountains when the van started overheating, badly. Took it to a Ford place and found out it had blown a headgasket, over $1,000 repairs and we lost a day of our trip. Not the best memories for a vacation. We kept the van another 2 years (and put more brakes on it!), but heard rumors of transmission failures on Windstars at 60K miles, so traded it shortly before it got to 60K. Whew! Felt like we dodged another bullet. The Midas place where we got brakes for it told us that the Ford vans went through brakes like eating popcorn at the movies! I'll bet you'll be happy with your Honda. Good luck!

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