Monday, May 24, 2010

The Great Car Hunt

When I was in Utah, I took my beloved Toyota Corolla to a shop that my friend had down in Provo. The check engine light has been on for, oh, about a year or so. Just solid on...sometimes it blinked. My car seemed to be running fine but I wanted to know why the light was on. Turns out it was a burnt valve in the cylinder head. Over $1000 to fix and they'd have to pull apart the whole engine. I was devastated. My super great reliable car...

..tears. Sigh. So I decided to not have them fix it but when I picked it up from them, it was shaking something terrible and I couldnt really go over 60 mph on the freeway. The check engine light was nonstop blinking. Terrible! So I knew it wouldn't make it back to Arizona and Tony & I started the great car hunt to find me another vehicle.

We looked at tons of cars...

Loved this car (above). It was from a police auction, the guy had bought it for super cheap, the check engine light was on though and so on our test drive we took it to Auto Zone. Yeah needed some work. At least a new tie rod and idk what else. Then I called the DMV the next morning and read them the vin # and they said the title was salvaged. Darn it :( :(

This was a cool car but it was a Kia. No good. Took it to the mechanic and it had some problems. Test driving it the RADIO skipped when we went over a pothole! I thought only cds skipped!? It had a sunroof though I think..sigh...

We looked on KSL. Checked out lots of dealerships and their trade in programs. Every used car lot on State Street and Redwood Rd and a few other areas. Drove to North SLC and almost bought a Chevy Malibu. But it needed $400-$700 worth of work before I could drive it back to Arizona. Darn it!

So when I was giving up hope...Tony kept checking KSL and sending me links. Then, he found one down in Spanish Fork.

Which, as you can see from the pictures, I ended up buying it!! (sorry its full of election materials in these pix)

It's a 2002 Mazda Protege5 with (now) 135,000k which is more than I wanted mile wise but all in all its not terrible. The car has been really well taken care of and actually used to be an Arizona car!

Tony went down on his lunch break to drive the car and take it to a mechanic. The only things wrong with it were/are:

some moisture on the power steering pump
tiny crack in the radiator

And thats about it. Yay! It got me safely back to Arizona. PHEW. A perk is that it has cruise control! I've never owned a car with that (that worked). I was so worried if I didnt find a car that I'd have to get a ride back or fly or rent a car. All options I didn't want to have to take. Loves go out to Tony for helping me 110% and being so patient with me when I was sick of looking & was getting discouraged. For taking time off work and giving me so much support.

Many many thanks go out to Brennen & his dad , esp Brennen, for talking to me pretty much every day multiple times a day about pros and cons of diff cars and helping me to know what to look for. Thanks to them I didnt buy a pile of junk!

Tons of thanks also to my boss for letting me stay an extra week and a few days in Utah and take time off work to go look at cars. I couldnt have done it without his understanding. Yay for great bosses!

My heart still hurts when I think about my Toyota. I sold it to a guy on KSL for $1200 and I hope he takes good care of it like I did & tried to. Thats the car I got a couple weeks after being home from the Oregon Portland Mission , April 30th 2005. It took me on my first weekend trips to San Francisco, Utah, Las Vegas for the first time & it moved me here to Arizona. Tony packed it ever so tightly with my belongings. It never broke down on me. Never overheated. Got excellent gas mileage.


Granted the new car is more me (?) and has tinted windows and power locks and windows to enjoy. There is no trunk, which is weird, but I'll get used to it. It gets 28mpg which is great bc I'll be taking it on lots of road trips. Hopefully this new car grows on me and treats me as well as my last car did + lasts me a good long time!


Ashlee G. said...

Awesome! I'm going to be car hunting soon! Can't wait to be a 2 car family again!

Stacie said...

My friend Brennen, his dad goes to car auctions, so let me know if you want that connection and I can give you his info

Ash and Matt said...

I dread the day when I'll need to buy a new car. It's just so nice having one all paid off! But mine is at 130K miles and counting, so I think I'll need one sooner than I'd hope haha.

Aaron & Ashley Gilbert said...

Yay for your new car! It is totally you. You should name it Stacie II

Aaron & Ashley Gilbert said...

Yay for your new car! It is totally you. You should name it Stacie II

Stacie said...

ROFL! Umm aghh @ naming cars. Idk any suggestions?

Michael Beckstead said...

Just got caught up on all your blogs! What a crazy story about your car and how long it took you to find one! I hope this one takes as good care of you as the last one!