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.