cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 01:21am on 03/12/2006 under , ,
It's final. I'm not buying the 2001 Honda.

Why? Because I was at the dealership this afternoon, looking at a different car just in case, and I decided to give it another test drive, since they'd just *replaced* the damn torque converter.

I had driven it no further than a half mile when the "check engine" light went on again, accompanied by the blinking of the light around the selected gear.

Even Sales Guy admitted this killed the deal. Because that means we have no idea what, if anything, is wrong with this car, and I have no intention of buying a potential problem.

So instead I ended up looking at two different other cars. One is the Toyota Avalon I originally went there to see. The Avalon is a large 4-door sedan, much larger than the Suburu I had had or the Honda that just washed out of the race. It's a 1999 model, with about 61,000 miles, but it looks like a new car, and has the smooth, silent, ride and feel of a land cruiser. Carfax says no sign of accidents or other problems, and Consumer Reports likes the model. It has beautiful leather upholstery, a built-in CD player, and power-just-about-everything. And the price (about $11,500) was a tiny bit cheaper than they were charging for the 2001 Honda. I asked why the low price, and it turns out they just lowered it, because it's been around for awhile and they're hoping to move it. (This is a Honda shop, and they don't get many Toyotas, or land cruisers, there, even as trade-ins).

In light of my lack of parking talent, I never really wanted a land cruiser, and while I like power locks, I'm not really used to making my seat do the Watusi with power controls.

The other car I looked at is a 2004 Honda Civic LX. 53,000 miles. A four-door sedan, rather similar to the one that washed out. They just got it as a trade-in, so it hasn't been through their conditioning/certification process yet. That likely will happen Monday, Sales Guy said.

My only concern is that it has a few small body dings... just enough to make me wonder if this car has a ... history. And the 2004 Honda will cost more, too, because it's newer. The dealership hasn't fixed a price for it yet, but Sales Guy says it will likely be a bit over $13,000.

I told Sales Guy I'd touch base with him Monday and tell him which of the two, if either, he should take to my mechanic for a look-see. I hope I can manage to decide by then.
Mood:: 'hopeful' hopeful
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:35pm on 30/11/2006 under , ,
Those of you who may have assumed that I am, by now, the possessor of a spiffy, certified pre-owned 2001 Honda have reckoned without Murphy's greedy grasp. He forgets about me for months at a time, but when he decides to harass me, he makes the experience memorable.

As is my practice, I refused to purchase the car until my mechanic had checked it out. The earliest time my mechanic could do so was 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday. If all went well, [livejournal.com profile] esrblog and I would meet Sales Guy that night to seal the deal.

While Sales Guy was driving the car to my mechanic's garage, the "Check Engine" light went on. My mechanic later told me that he discovered that the car had a technical bulletin out on it concerning the torque converter. A torque converter, it turns out, is a key component of an automatic transmission; it performs essentially the same function for an automatic transmission that a clutch does for a manual transmission, namely, it regulates the transmission of power to the car's wheels.

It is, in short, a very bad part of the car to have problems with.

Sales Guy told me that he had his service techs replace the transmission fluid, but he wanted to drive the car a bit more that day and see whether the problem reappeared before going further with the transaction. I agreed. My mechanic told me, privately, that except for the torque converter problem he thought the car was great, but that I should get a written warranty that the dealer would fix any transmission problems gratis for at least a year or refuse to take the car.

I talked to Sales Guy again and he said that the car has the remains of the original power train (read: engine and transmission) warranty: 7 years from the original purchase (which he thought would mean until November 2007) or 100,000 miles, whichever came first. The car has about 49,000 miles on it now. I said that, subject to actually reading the warranty, I'd proceed on Wednesday night with the deal if the car was showing no relapse and the warranty was as claimed.

Wednesday morning, Sales Guy called me back and said the "Check Engine" light was back again. This time they weren't fooling around; they were going to replace the torque converter themselves, but that would take a few days. He expects the torque converter to be replaced Friday, and he wants to drive it some more over the weekend. If there are no problems and I'm still interested, we could proceed on Monday night.

I thought about it. This was the only real problem my mechanic saw, and the dealership has been backed into fixing it with no cost to me.

So I told Sales Guy that I may well still take the car then, if I haven't found another car I prefer in the meantime. He agreed to leave things that way till Monday.

In the meantime, I have three or four prospects (most at other dealerships) that I want to check, an $84 bill from my mechanic for checking out the car, and a slowly growing bill for my rental car.

We'll see what happens Monday.
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful

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