Shit Week and Hard Decisions!
What is it about the month of March?
If you follow me on twitter, you may know that I had some car issues on Tuesday. (Allow me to mention here that the car passed inspection on the prior Friday the 13th!) On my way to work Tuesday morning, as I stepped on the gas to accelerate up a hill, my transmission slipped into neutral. My first thought (after OH SHIT!) was what the hell was that and why did it happen? The car sat in my parking lot and I had hoped that it would settle/improve for the ride home.
No such luck!
The ride home Tuesday night was more of the same. The car slipped into neutral numerous times on the way home. So many times that I actually called the ex-husband to ask him to show me where my transmission fluid was so I could check it. I stopped at his place of work, we checked the fluid (it was fine), and I continued my commute home. The car slipped out of gear two more times on the short drive home.
On Wednesday, I drove to the park n ride to take the trolley to work. I called my normal garage as soon as I got there and explained the problem. They told me I could bring the car by on Thursday. I was able to leave work early on Wednesday to get the car to the garage. The car slipped out of gear so many times that I ended up driving most of the way in first gear!
I get the “bad news call” from my garage at 3 PM on Thursday. They tell my that my transmission is bad. My options are either to get a rebuilt transmission for $3,000 that would come with a 3 year/100,000 mile warranty OR go with a used transmission that would come with a 30 day guarantee. Dilemma #1!
I place a call to another garage who specializes in transmissions. The owner talks me into a second opinion. My plan is to have my car towed there for them to evaluate.
Moving on to Friday. I go into work early because I want to leave early. I meet the tow truck driver and watch my baby get loaded onto a flatbed. This sounds weird, but it made me really sad to see my car loaded on the flatbed!
Moving on to today, Saturday. I have appointments at two car dealerships. I’m interested in a Toyota RAV4 and a Hyuandi Elantra. While I am at the Toyota dealership, the transmission garage calls to say that he thinks I need a new solenoid and the work would be $450. Dilemma #2! What to do, what to do? I tell him to go ahead with the work, hoping that it will allow me to physically drive the car to a dealership for evaluation to trade it in.
I test drove both the RAV4 and the Elantra. Each has options that I really like. The monthly price difference is around $100 (with the RAV4 being more expensive). Toyota would give me a decent trade in sight unseen. Hyuandi wants to evaluate the vehicle.
Transmission garage says work should be done on Monday. I’m hoping to pick up my car after work and drive it to both dealerships to see what the trade in offers will be. I’m hoping for the trade to be enough of a down payment but I’m prepared to throw some cash as well if I need to. I have a payment figure in my head that I would be comfortable with. I’d love to drive an SUV again, but the car is roomy, has more features, gets great gas mileage, and isn’t as expensive. Dilemma #3!
Smart me thinks I should be careful and go with the lower payment and get the car. Impulsive me wants to go with the SUV. And they’re both so pretty!
Should I flip a coin? Draw straws? Throw pictures in a hat? It’s been ages since I’ve had to make such a large financial decision. I need some level-headed opinions to talk me through this!
They’re both SO pretty!