Car Stuff

We did final­ly get the van insur­ance claim wrapped up. The insur­ance com­pa­ny did­n’t actu­al­ly have the beast towed away ’til this past Fri­day! It was sit­ting there, unlocked, with the keys in it (as they asked) for more than two weeks. I guess the fact that it was total­ly unmo­lest­ed is a sign that we’re in a rel­a­tive­ly safe neigh­bor­hood? Or maybe it just looked like it was­n’t worth mess­ing with.

Before the van went away, curiousmay9 heard from some­one she’s done busi­ness with for about 5 years that said indi­vid­ual want­ed to sell her car. 1993 Toy­ota Cam­ry, only 93k miles on it, nev­er wrecked, only two own­ers, all records, etc. The own­er was will­ing to take a lot less for the car if she could just go ahead and get cash for it instead of hav­ing to list it for sale and so on. It was a good price.

We looked at the car and test drove it. It seemed great. Because the per­son was so well-known to the fam­i­ly, we made an excep­tion to the “our mechan­ic checks it first” rule. The sell­er swore she’d recent­ly dri­ven it to Flori­da with­out a momen­t’s trou­ble, it’s always been great, etc. We had specif­i­cal­ly asked about the A/C, which she said ran cold with no prob­lems. The test dri­ve seemed to bear that out, so we paid her cash.


We bought the car on Mon­day the 25th. I drove it home, and we did­n’t use it again ’til that Wednes­day. Katie and I had a doc­tor’s appoint­ment down­town. By the time we got there, the car was over­heat­ing bad­ly. We had to get it towed and got a rental car for a few days.

Our mechan­ic tried a bunch of dif­fer­ent things, went through the records we’d received with the car, and called a con­tact of his at the Toy­ota deal­er where she had most of the ser­vice done.

It’s Bad News when the guy in the ser­vice depart­ment says, “Oh yeah. I know THAT car.”

Come to find out, the car has had this prob­lem inter­mit­tent­ly for TWO YEARS. It only hap­pens when the A/C is run­ning. The water pump, radi­a­tor, and bunch­es of oth­er things have been replaced to no avail. There are some arcane things that might be con­nect­ed, but the parts are expen­sive for a gamble. 

curiousmay9 gave the sell­er an oppor­tu­ni­ty to explain her­self. She called back and left a cou­ple of mes­sages claim­ing that she has no idea what we’re talk­ing about, that car has NEVER had prob­lems, etc.

That woman could have sold this car to Car­Max with­out screw­ing up a five-year busi­ness rela­tion­ship with some­one who has sent her oth­er clients. I think she would have got­ten about the same amount of mon­ey. We can’t begin to fig­ure out why any­one would be this utter­ly stu­pid, flirt­ing with a LOT of bad word-of-mouth in a busi­ness that depends on it.

So we’re car shop­ping again. We’re look­ing at Hon­da Odysseys, as we should be able to put the wheel­chair in one of those with­out too much trouble.

I real­ly, real­ly hate car shop­ping. But I do hope we get some­thing that suits the fam­i­ly, is reli­able, and has gas mileage that lets me afford to dri­ve it.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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