Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Death of a Minivan

Attention must be paid? It was an all right minivan, though it had been making mysterious noises lately and had its share of troubles. A new transmission, a new air conditioning system, new tires. It died its final death on Sunday afternoon, just a short distance from our house. Click, click, then--silence. Yesterday's homeschooling lesson about cars: kids? that noise? that's what a car sounds like that's definitely about to die.

I'm not sad about this. It was not a beloved family car. When the repair guy said, it's going to need a new engine, I said, oh fer crying out loud; let's just junk it.

So now I'm in that particular circle of hell called Trying to Buy a Car. I spent about five hours yesterday just trying to figure out what minivans come with AWD these days, and whether there might be any for sale in these parts. It's maddening. And don't get me started on how much they cost - car prices, as I'm sure you know, seem to be "well how much do you have?" Argh! Just tell me a price that isn't layered with bullshit and I can cope! The MSRP from the factory is $28K, so how in god's name does it make sense for your quote to be $35K, hm, mister car dealer person? God's teeth. How about a Saturn? Their whole deal is that they don't give you a lot of crap with pricing, right? Great, except that magically there seem to be no Saturn dealers who sell minivans. Yes, Saturn does make a minivan. They apparently just don't sell them to anybody. Secret minivans! Shhhhh...

We need the all wheel drive around here. We have snow for about six months out of the year, and our plow guys don't do that good a job, so in order to get out of the driveway and to a destination not within walking distance anytime during Snow Season we basically need a tank. DH and I toyed with the idea last night of buying a truck and a plow attachment; it's that silly.

We live in the center of town, so it's surprisingly easy to get along without a car. The kids can walk to violin lessons. They can walk to tae kwon do. We can walk to the library. I can even walk to the Lil Peach and the car repair place, though this takes a bit longer. So I'm feeling kind of frugal and pioneering in my car-lessness. Also it's helping me lose a couple of pounds.

In keeping with the frugal thing, I've joined the Summer of Stash. I'm working my way up to being able to come to terms with the size of the stash, and take pictures, and post them onto those internets, the scary beasts that they are. It's taking me a while. I don't normally buy any yarn during the summer anyway. Well, except for my birthday. I buy yarn then. And deadlines for the next spring's magazines and stuff, I almost always need new yarn for that. And TKGA Northeast is in the summer, and I buy yarn at that. APART from that, I just don't buy much yarn in the summer at all. This will be no problem.





Blogger Lucia said...

Would you like to come to the Maine Fiber Frolic with us this weekend? There won't be any, er, much, er, all that much yarn for sale there. Hardly any. I'm sure.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous witchypoo said...

Sorry to hear about the dead minivan :( BTW, I have found that if you let the dealers know you are network savvy and you take printouts of how much the dealer is actually invoicing the car for AND you say you will only pay $300-500 over his invoice you usually get that kind of deal. My grandpa was a car salesman and taught us well :) You might also want to look at the Hyundai's I LOVE mine and would highly recommend the Hyundai Dealer off Rte. 2 in Leominster.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

We bought a car last year and did the e-mail quote thing where they e-mail you a quote. It was tought to get them to actually name a price but in the end we (well really Jason) persevered and got actual quotes then played them off each other and we got our car for a fantastic price. At dealer cost according to the dealer but we knew he was getting a $500 rebate from the company so it was realistically $500 over cost.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

So, how is the Toyota place to haggle with?

8:23 AM  

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