Monday, March 18, 2013

Lots of whining and a Swagger Wagon

So, we bought a minivan. Or as I've taught Marshall to call it, a "Swagger Wagon." I'm not entirely excited about it, so I'll try to not come off sounding too ungrateful for the fact that I just got an almost brand new car.

LOOOONG story short, a $10 bolt broke in my car (2006 Sorento) that had been recalled the previous 5 years but was un-recalled in 2006. Jerad is all handy and mechanic-ish and immediately bought the part, took everything apart to fix it, and could NOT get the bolt out no matter what he tried. He works in construction and has worked on a lot of cars, so he's no novice to stubborn bolts but this thing was not budging. My mechanic brother in law looked at it and couldn't get it out. It went from being a $10 problem, to looking like he'd have to replace the entire drive shaft which was a $750-$1000 part. That sucked, but it is what it is and my car only had 63k miles on it so it was worth spending the money.

When Jerad first bought the car(it was his before it was mine) in 2007 with 20k miles, they gave him a 100k mile warranty but it was one of those deals where he bought it after hours, signed all the paperwork, then had to go back and resign everything again because they had to change the terms a little. It was his first car loan and he ended up having to join a credit union to get the financing through them. Somehow during that process the extended warranty didn't transfer over to the new loan and he/we/they never noticed. It wasn't that they couldn't make the deal work with the warranty, it was just a paperwork error that didn't get caught and we didn't discover until about a year ago at which point there was nothing we could do. So TECHNICALLY it should have still been under warranty which sucks, and otherwise the 60k mile warranty literally expired 3k miles before this happened which is almost more annoying.

To replace the driveshaft in my car is a huge pain in the ass. Apparently you have to pull out the motor, and transmission, and a bunch of other crap and its really too big of a job for him to try to do alone, after work, in our garage.

All sorts of family members chipped in and loaned me their cars for about a month while we decided what to do and prayed that it would magically fix itself. Spoiler Alert: It didn't.

Finally Jerad sucked up his pride,  we called a few mechanics, and ended up taking it to the dealership who were fairly confident they could get the bolt out and wouldn't spend more than $500 in labor trying. So we were hoping that happened, then Jerad could just put it back together. Another looooong story later it will be a minimum of $5,500 to get a new driveshaft and up to $7k if we rebuild the motor which is what they recommend and the internet forums seem to agree on. There was also an option to get a used motor from Texas for $4,300 plus shipping but it had 90k miles on it (our motor only had 63k) and would only have a 30 day warranty so we didn't really consider that option at all. We still owe a little on the car, so by the time we paid for a repair that big and paid off the car we'd have paid more than it was worth.

The Sorento would have been tight with three carseats, but at this point they aren't in sports and I'm not driving around their friends, so still totally doable. The plan was to pay it off, save up for a few years, then sell it and buy a nicer slightly used minivan with cash. Probably a Sienna or Oddessy.

After weighing all our options (fixing my Sorento and being upside-down, buying a sedan and just cramming the kids in and not being able to take the dogs too, buying another small SUV, buying a really cheap "temporary" car, and buying a new-er minivan), we ended up trading in my broken car for almost nothing, putting some money down and buying a slightly used Kia Sedona Swagger Wagon. Its a 2012 has 20k miles on it AND A 100,000 MILE WARRANTY:)

I'm not happy for so many reasons. If we had sold my car before it broke (we owed way less than it was worth) and combined what we put down on the Minivan with that we would have had a much smaller loan. If the stupid should-have-been-recalled bolt hadn't broken, I was perfectly happy with my car, it only had 60k miles on it, and it'd be paid off in a year. I feel like we basically threw away a perfectly good car and it makes me sad. This isn't the minivan I would have picked out at all, but it was a really good deal. On top of this within the next 4 weeks we need to pay the midwife for the birth, taxes, and Jerad's workman's comp and liability insurance premiums. So, all together around 20k which just.... hurts. A lot. We planned and saved for some of those things, but the taxes and car were a total surprise and I'm getting ready to go on Maternity leave and not be working for 3 months so we have to keep our savings account padded to cover that.

Plus Jerad's truck really needs a new injector pump so it'll stop spilling diesel everywhere and that's apparently about 2k. However his truck has 330,000,000 miles on it and besides one $100 part has never broken down so I don't feel bad about his needing some work and it isn't a pressing issue.

So, we have a car loan for another 5 years (unless we pay it off early which I always plan to do and never seems to happen). The good news is the payment is barely more than what the Sorento was and we really did get a screaming deal on what we got. And in the grand scheme of things a car loan isn't the worst debt to have and we got a great interest rate.

I was so upset and annoyed and completely ready to just walk away the whole time we were looking at cars that they pretty much gave us what we wanted. They brought out the invoice and we only paid $300 more than they did for the car. We also have 2 years of free oil changes so maybe I'll actually get it changed now! We went on a Friday night 1 hour before closing (the only time Jerad could) and almost brought the kids but my sister's inlaws saved the day and watched them for us. As it kept taking longer and longer I kept thinking how much worse it would be if we had two over-tired babies stuck there too:). Or maybe they would have payed US to leave? Who knows:)

So, all the whining aside, it IS a nice car and we're loving the extra space. Especially after having loaner and rental cars for the last month! It doesn't have a ton of fancy options (oh how I wanted leather with the kids!), but it has bluetooth which is nice so I can play music wirelessly from my phone and talk hands free, the back windows roll down, the seats fold down in all sorts of different ways, there are *13* cupholders! and there is a TON of space. I can easily fit 3 kids and the dogs and some camping gear. I pulled these pictures off the internet so you can get an idea. It's light blue, which isn't a color I'd have picked if I had a choice, but it's not obnoxious either:
And here is a better exterior picture of the same year, just a different color:

This is the interior color (fabric seats):

And there's lots 'o room:

When the back seats are up, there is a big deep cargo space with plenty of space for a double stroller, kid crap, and groceries. 

And when the seats are down it's really huge! This is the same interior we have:

When I'm inside, I really like it. It's really powerful, smooth to drive, and doesn't have that top-heavy/body-roll that minivans I've driven in the past do. It's easy to park and gets 30mpg on the highway which is a lot better than the Sorento did. So now that I think about it, in the end we probably aren't paying more a month.... we're just paying for more months:)

When I'm outside looking at it it's like "holy crap, I drive a freaking MINIVAN!" Luckily I spend more time driving than outside looking at it:)

Apparently there is some huge class action lawsuit against Kia for the whole bolt debacle, so maybe down the road we'll get a few hundred dollars back which will be sweet. Especially since I still have to pay the service department $500 for the work they did (attempting to get the bolt out) on my late Sorento.

No comments: