Monday, December 29, 2014

Our New Metal Family Member




In November, when it was time to get the oil changed again in the minivan, it wound up running up to an $884 tab. The oil change turned into brakes and other stuff. The van, which was a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country, had served us faithfully for a few years. I picked it up in August 2009, soon after Little Bear was born. I bought it to replace the lemon of a Ford Taurus that I was driving around.

The first time I drove the car out was to a Westfield marching band rehearsal - which was one week before the idiot who was directing the band would "fire" me from the marching band for questioning his teaching methods. Because, after all, what the hell did I know? I had only taught for ten years and brought three marching bands to double-digit point increases, whereas he had been out of college for about six weeks. But, I digress. Bottom line is, we got five good years out of that car.

In recent months, it had been starting to accelerate its demise: we had been dumping around $400 into it monthly at the shop (when averaged out). The brake light started coming on regularly about two weeks after that, and when we were told that it would be a $1,200 cost to fix.....

One of the benefits of having a good friend who is a car salesman is that the whole process gets streamlined. He's going to hunt out the bargains, help with the trade-in, and push everything through quickly. We went from taking the car into the shop Friday morning to a new vehicle on Saturday afternoon with no headaches. Would have been done by lunchtime on Friday except for that whole "work" thing for me.

So, our new family member: a 2011 Kia Sedlna, which is a minivan that's about 125% the size of our previous one. It's got lots of cool bells and whistles: DVD player, automatic doors, aux port for iPhones, that sort of thing. The kids like it a lot, even if we haven't gone anywhere far enough to watch a movie.

We like it okay. Gets around the same gas mileage as the T&C. Have to get another key made, which is a bit of a pain in the butt, and turns out that a recall happened on the same day we bought it. So, that was annoying. Out of our control, though.

More fights about who sits in the front and the back for The Boy and Little Bear. Shrug. Gives them something to talk about.


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