Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vehicular Woes

Over the past couple of months, we had noticed that the Corolla was having trouble accelerating and that shifting between gears was getting more difficult. I've owned one other manual transmission, a Nissan, which blew the clutch at around 112,000 miles. That's the exact mileage on the Corolla, so I was suspicious. One bitter cold January morning, Brian couldn't get it out of the driveway, and $600 later we had a new clutch. While they were in there, they found another problem, which luckily only cost us $60 for the part since they already had the transmission out (if you know anything about cars, I probably sound like a 2 year old in my level of understanding about the whole thing).

Then another morning, I loaded the kids into the van in the garage to take Katy to school and couldn't start it. Many of my immediate neighbors are not able-bodied to jump start a car, but I was able to recruit two (one with a car that runs and one that could help me push the van from the garage) to get me on the road to a field trip (which I had forgotten about until I called the school to say that Katy would be late).

Ten days later, in a Panera parking lot, my friend Stephanie and I huddled over the same van with the same jumper cables and a cell phone to our ear to walk us through the process. After working out the logistics of getting the van to the shop (I can't give Brian a ride there because we can't fit all 3 kids into the Corolla to drive back home), the mechanic said his "best guess" was the starter ($250). So we fixed that and hoped for the best. We got our van back last night.

This morning, my radio alarm went off and the news lady had a new tidbit for us: "All Ford Windstars from 1997-2003 have been recalled." You have GOT to be kidding me. Another repair (at least it's free), at the dealership, which will take more rearranging logistics. If they find a certain problem, it will take several days and they'll give us a loaner (oh, please, no, moving 3 car seats to a loaner?).

But still, all of this is cheaper than a new car. So I'm thankful for our vehicles, which will keep clunking along, if we can finally get them in working order again.


bluedaisy said...

I really, really hate car problems/expenses. Hope it works out and your cars hang in a bit longer. No car payment is a really good thing!!

Pam said...

Good luck! My van has 110 on it and I'm praying I get another few years.

Giselle said...

We struggle with the car juggling for repairs as well. I can't wait until we have 2 kids in boosters so we can actually fit all 3 kids in Jeff's car!

And few things are more frustrating than multiple car issues in a row. Urgh.

Oma Froehle said...

Cars are a necessary evil. I assume you are bringing the Corolla to meet me today?

Jen said...

I was chuckling as I read this because we are in the same boat right now. Nathan's car ('96 LeSabre)had a new engine put in over the summer and two weeks ago one of the engine mounts broke, breaking other things in the process. Thankfully, his uncle does our car repairs for us, but he isn't the speediest of workers since he also has a full time job. The same day the engine mount broke, the roller on our automatic sliding door on the van ('01 Silhouette) broke off, making that door unusable...takes me back to the days when you could only enter the van from one side. Thankfully, we have the door on the other side, or the kids would be climbing in the rear hatch! I guess it comes with the territory of owning older cars, but it can be so frustrating!