Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Good-bye to the Pod

Our Vibe had been making some unsettling noises for a little while, so I finally got around to taking it in for a tune-up last week. Later that afternoon I got a call telling me that there was oil everywhere, a seal had failed, and to replace the seal and compromised hoses and everything else would probably cost $1200 or more. Plus another $1200ish to fix several other things that needed doing. Considering the car is 12 years old and that we'd replaced the same seal 18 months prior, it was more than the car was worth to us and seemed to carry little guarantee that we wouldn't be in the same boat a year down the road. We had a bit of panic that night as we tried to sort out what we'd do. Bus was able to take care of most of our urgent needs. Friends stepped up to the plate and offered cars for getting Gareth to camp in mid-August if needed and any other help we might need.

We debated getting a car similar to what we already had (even though we felt it was a bit cramped for Ryan and cargo) just to get us through the next few years vs getting a more expensive car that we actually want and is comfortable. Spent a few evenings putting together spreadsheets to compare leg room, cargo space, and price points of various cars. It's exhausting to do this; all weekend it'd hit 9:30/10:00 and we'd just go straight to bed. We had some money saved up to put toward a new car since when we paid off the Pod we'd kept setting aside our payment each month to build up a nice amount toward an eventual new car. We knew we needed to figure out if a dealership would even consider our car for any kind of trade-in, since it is neither produced anymore nor running, at least not reliably running.

On Sunday we had friends come pick us up and drop us off at a dealership in their neighborhood. They kept the boys with them and entertained and fed them all afternoon and into the evening. The cars we were leaning toward were Subarus (gotta be like everyone else here in Seattle, right?), so we test drove a couple of those. By this point we were leaning more toward getting a car we actually want, so our drives were mainly about figuring out what would fit our family better. Subaru was offering some amazing financing through them and the prices on the cars surprisingly seemed to match fair prices we'd found online. They had just a couple 2016 Outbacks left on the lot that were decently priced with a few things we likely wouldn't have paid to get in a 2017, so we went with one of those. It took hours (entered about 1:30 and left about 7:30), but was so much less onerous than our previous car-buying experience.

The dealership had no interest in taking the Vibe off our hands, so I spent yesterday figuring out what we'd do with it. There are a large number of auto wrecking places out there with really slimy websites. I didn't feel comfortable calling most of them because they seemed so payday loan-like. One legit one near us heard Pontiac and immediately said they had no interest. Another south of Seattle was surprisingly willing to head up here to pick up the car. They seemed like they expected me to be disappointed in what they could give me for it ($50) because scrap metal prices are so low right now. I was just thrilled anyone was willing to take it off my hands. We still have to get that finished up and I have no idea how to handle the title/registration stuff as far as that goes, so hopefully they'll be helpful in that regard and hopefully by the end of this week we'll be done with the whole business, having said our good-byes to the Pod that served us decently well for 9 years. It's almost too bad it needs so much work because it has pretty low mileage for being 12 years old. That said, the fact that it isn't made anymore really seems to impact how anyone looking to buy views it (despite the fact that the engine is a Toyota engine, so finding parts shouldn't be too difficult).

The new car has been dubbed TARDIS, because the Outbacks never look particularly large to us when we see them from the outside, but feel much bigger on the inside. That may just be an artifact of us having been in such a small car for so long, but the color even worked out pretty well, so TARDIS seems a good fit:

2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium


Myrna said...

I like your Tardis. The car I am driving is actually my son David's (since he moved to England) and the license plate holder says "My other car is a Tardis." That is as close as I come! Yours looks the part.

We usually give away old cars to either the kidney foundation, or here, KBYU-FM has a car donation program. You get a nice tax write-off as a charitable donation that way. They come and tow it away if it isn't running. You get no cash, but the charitable donation credit comes in handy at tax time.

Momof8 said...

We enjoyed Ryan's version of the car search/purchase as well. I'm so glad you found something you are happy with. I'm still waiting for that with our newest Yukon and probably won't totally feel it unless we can get the battery drain problem fixed (we have another idea to try). Also, I'll like it a little better when it's paid off in a few months.

I think you've made an excellent choice, and I really like the name, too!