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What would you do?

August 9th, 2012 at 01:53 am

In my last blog post, I wrote about the new car that I ordered, which will arrive sometime between the 15th and the 28th. It's a new 2012 Impreza, which have been hard to find to test drive. The last batch of the 2012s are on their way to dealers (mine's one of those), and they're beginning to accept orders for 2013s, which arrive in about 8 weeks.

I had hoped, by virtue of moving my car purchase up from the fall (typically lowest prices) to August, to be able to avoid more car repairs, but this was not to be. On Sunday, the temperature started spiking in my old car. I turned the A/C off and the temp went back down. Then on Monday, the same thing happened, and turning off the A/C didn't help. I popped the hood and found it needed more coolant, which I added. Things were fine Tuesday morning, but Tuesday at lunch, it began to overheat again, and again the coolant reservoir was drained. I got the car home without it overheating by adding more coolant and driving it with the heater turned on high. Then this morning, I drove it to the dealer where I am buying the new car and asked their service department to take a look.

When I described what had happened, the service manager said that it could be the head gasket, which would cost $1700-$1900, so I was antsy until he called with a diagnosis at lunchtime. Then he said it was the thermostat, so I had that replaced for $270.

But on the way home (5 miles), the temperature started spiking again! When the car cooled down, I checked the reservoir, and again it was empty.

The dealer has said they would give me $1200 for the car on trade-in. I feel like I've given them their chance....they could have told me this morning that it was the head gasket and I would have had to decide what to do. For now, I've decided that I'm not driving the car anywhere but back to the dealer when the new car arrives. I've rented a car (another pretty penny) to drive until the new one arrives, hopefully soon. I can't stand the anxiety of driving an overheating car anymore and I don't want to spend $2000 to repair a car that they will give me $1200 for on trade-in (which, by the way, is $200 more than anyone else offered me for it).

What would you do in this situation?

If I could get an Impreza other than the one I ordered immediately, I would, but most of the ones within 50 miles are "on order." There's a manual model, same color, same trim level, as the one I ordered, at the dealer I'm working with, but I had really decided to go with an automatic this time (both because of the better mileage and because I now live on a steep hill and parallel parking with a manual transmission when you have to back up on a hill is a bear....I do it but there are nights where I am too tired and either end up leaving my car parked too far from the curb, or I have to call the neighbor outside to move their car up so I won't hit it, or I have to park far away.

10 Responses to “What would you do?”

  1. Swimgirl Says:

    I'd do just what you're doing! Smile

  2. My English Castle Says:

    Yeah, let it be until the new one comes. At least it's a confirmation that the car was ready to go!

  3. Looking Forward Says:

    I'd stick to the plan you have now. Just try to get the best rental car deal you can.
    I might consider the manual model. I'm pretty sure manuals get slightly better gas mileage.

  4. Dido Says:

    Manuals generally do--that's one reason why I've been driving them the past 20 years. But this "automatic" is a CVT, or continuously variable transmission, which means that, rather than having distinct gears and shifting from one to the other, it makes minute adjustments along a continuous spectrum more rapidly than one can manually shift. As a result, the CVT has better mileage--27 city, 36 highway vs 25 city, 33 highway for the manual. That was another factor in my opting for the CVT--but the hill parking problems were the biggest factor.

  5. North Georgia Gal Says:

    If you don't need the second car I would trade it in.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    Renting the car is a temporary expense that will get you to the car you really want and keep you safe at the same time. I wouldn't put any money into the old car but I would not drive it again, either.

  7. creditcardfree Says:

    Before I read you were renting a car, that is what was coming to mind. If you know of someone that would let you borrow a car for a couple weeks, I'd do that first. But that isn't always an option. I sure wouldn't drive your old car anymore, or put any more money into it.

  8. snafu Says:

    Can you get a better deal on car rental from Hotwire or Rent-a-Wreck type discounter?

  9. Dido Says:

    I'll look into cheaper rentals over the weekend--last night was an emergency rental, and I got an AARP discount, another $25 discount, and a weekly rate--but I'll look into cheaper rentals for after the first week when I have a little more time. Thanks!

    And I'll see if my best friend will loan me one of her cars--but she's on a dream vacation until the 22nd, so I'm stuck renting for two weeks (unless the new car comes in next week). I don't know anyone else who has an "extra" car.

  10. Jerry Says:

    I had the same question about manual vs. auto on the MPG, but I guess it just has to lead us to realize that the times are a-changing in the automotive world! I agree, find the cheapest rental you can and I hope that you have some insurance of that new dream car arriving soon! Good luck...
    Jerry

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