I mentioned before that my sister got a new car on Tuesday. The Cavalier that she had been driving for the last seven years finally died. About two weeks ago she went out to start it after work, and it wouldn't crank at all. My husband went down and looked at it and picked her up and told her the motor had most likely seized, so she needed to have it towed somewhere to get it looked at. She got that done, and he was indeed right. The motor had seized and with labor and everything, the cost was going to be close to $5000 to fix it. This was a 2003 Cavalier that had already been totaled once (it's had a salvaged title since 2006 I believe), so she decided to just junk it, and we began our car buying journey.
The first few days she drove my husband's truck back and forth to work, and he took our car, while I took the van. That couldn't be a long term solution, though, so we went down and looked at cars at nearly every dealership in town that first Saturday, since it happened to be Darla's Saturday off and Carl was off as well. She really wanted a stick shift, but we had trouble finding one in her price range. Finally we found a 2008 Hyundai Accent manual transmission with under 40,000 miles on it and it was in her price range! She test drove it Saturday, came home and did some research, and we went back to get it last Tuesday. She was really excited.
Fast forward to Saturday, and after driving it for less than 300 miles, the check engine light started flashing. She was leaving work, and was getting ready to head home. Carl, Elliott, and I were at the movie theater watching Frankenweenie. As soon as our movie was over, we met her, and Carl discovered some pretty significant problems on her car, especially considering how few miles it had on it. She had some time left on her bumper to bumper warranty, plus an extended car care warranty, but it was still very frustrating. And she had to take my husband's truck to work again on Sunday.
Sunday night we car shopped online, and found a Toyota Carolla Matrix that was right in her price range. It's older and has significantly more mileage but it's a Toyota, so will probably last longer (she has decided that my husband's 1998 Tacoma is the most reliable of our fleet, and it has almost 240000 miles on it). We did the research and discovered it was most likely a good car, and to make it even better, it was at the dealership where she liked the sales guy the best. We had to wait and see if the first dealership would go ahead and take the car back as part of it's 5 day guarantee, though, since it was technically up by the time she could get ahold of someone, even though the problems started during the first 5 days. It was surprisingly easy to give it back, though. So she is now the proud owner of a 2003 Matrix, with a brand new transmission and tires. It's even a stick!
I'm really hoping that this turns out to be a great car. I like it better than I liked the Accent, and Elliott does as well (he's going to be riding back and forth to school with her a lot starting next week when she starts teaching at his school). We took a chance on it, by not taking my husband with us when we looked at it and test drove it yesterday (she bought it then as well), but based on what I've heard and experienced with that dealership and sales guy, I'm confident they wouldn't sell it to us with known problems. My husband did check it out last night, and said we did good. :)