Rhonda the Honda and the Green Goose are 18 and 13 years old, respectively. They have had, as you all well know, their ups and downs.
The Goose failed inspection this month, and needed new brakes. Ever since this repair, she's been acting, well, odd. Nothing to do with the brakes exactly, just poor pick up times - almost as if she needs some Geritol or something.
Rhonda simply acts old. She's got plenty of get-up-and-go, but little things just keep slowing down. Like the automatic windows - I have to pull a bit to get my side all the way down, and give a push to get it up.
But as every long-suffering car owner knows, there comes that final straw. The one thing, which while insignificant in and of itself, that makes you say, "It's time."
For my old Toyota, it was the loss of function of the driver's side windshield wiper at 200,000 miles. In the rain. With the baby in the car.
For Rhonda, it was the automatic door lock system.
I arrived home the other night and shut the car off, gathered my things and tried to exit the car. I pushed the power 'unlock' button. The lock knob popped up, and immediately popped back down. I tried again. I tried the unlock button on the passenger side. I tried quickly pulling the door open in the millisecond that the knob was up. I tried manually pulling the knob up. I could have powered the car back up, and rolled down the window to use my key in the lock on the OUTSIDE of the door, but, hey - remember that window problem? Yeah.
So I called Hubby (thank God for cell phones!) and he came out with his key to let me out of my own personal version of Christine.
So we had a discussion. A budget assessment. Took a deep breath and went shopping, and not for the first time. But this time we took a different approach. We went to a repo sale. We had no specific plan, just something relatively low mileage to replace Rhonda, preferably around 4 years old. We planned on looking for something to replace the Goose while we were at it, just to get a feel for the market at this type of sale. We set a maximum amount, figuring we'd be able to do pretty well with it.
On our way to the sale, one of the wheels on the Goose locked up, squealing and smoking for a bit before releasing. Hubby had his own 'final straw' moment.
So we ended up buying two vehicles and trading in both of our clunkers at once. Both are slightly older than we had in mind, but both are in great shape with low miles. Mine is an '05 Honda Accord, and Hubby's is an '06 Toyota Tundra. Both seat five, so if we are taking a crowd to the beach we'll need to take both cars. The rear seat in the truck is so roomy I have no trouble sitting there, and Hubby can get in and out of the Accord despite his knee.
The entire process took seven hours. We tested a BUNCH of cars.
And Babygirl go her fondest wish. The Accord has heated seats AND a sunroof.
Hubby is a very, very happy man.
Both cars together minus our trade-ins came to just slightly over what we set as the maximum for one.
It's all good.