Saturday, February 5, 2011

So long, Honda!

In 2006 when our family grew by 2, we were driving a (then) 8 year old Ford Windstar like this one.

It was our first mini-van. It served our family well, but it had a lot of problems and we were worried about it. Larry was really concerned about my safety and whether or not I'd break down on the side of the road somewhere with all the kids. Also, with the way the seats were configured in that van, it made it difficult to get into & out of the backseat and there was only 1 rear door on the passenger side. We knew it was time for a swap to better fit our growing family. A couple of days before the kids moved in, we traded in the Windstar for a new(er) 2003 Honda Odyssey like this one. (Yes, it was also silver. Many people never realized we switched vans.)

I totally fell in love with this van & all its cool bells & whistles. The cup holders alone practically sold the van to me. I swear, there were cupholders everywhere! Pull out tables, the cargo 'well' in the back, a wider wheel base so that little persons riding in the back could spread out a little. Oh my. I was sold on the first test drive around the church parking lot! I've said, for the past 5 years, that if I had it my way, I'd only drive Odysseys for the rest of my life. It was such a great vehicle!

About a year ago, things on that van began to malfunction & fall apart. I guess that should be expected as a vehicle ages, though. First one of the rear vent windows quit working. Then the remote stopped working to unlock the driver's door (it still worked for everything else). Then the cruise control wouldn't always come on when you pressed the button....but 1 mile down the road you could try again & it would work! Then the power lock on the driver's side door quit working at all. You could still manually lift the little knob thing to unlock it, though, but that was frustrating when I was out at night alone. I'd have to unlock the passenger side door & lean across to unlock the driver's door...or open the driver's side back sliding door & reach through to unlock the driver's door. Then there's the solenoid (sp?) that is going out. Don't ask me what a solenoid is. I'm just repeating the word Larry and my dad and a mechanic used. What it does it ...well, I don't know. The problem was that sometimes when it's in park, you couldn't shift it out of gear. For a while. You'd have to sit & pump the brake pedal over & over to make a little switch "click" so you can change gears. That's just a simple frustration & test of patience unless you're sitting in the car line at the kids' school & you can't GO and get out of the way of the rest of the cars...or when you're already late & it takes 4 solid minutes of working the brake pedal to get the car out of gear. A couple of years ago the ignition went out so we had to replace it, but getting a new key that would fit the ignition and all the doors would've cost about $250 more (the keys are computer chipped so they cost a LOT), so we just got a separate key for the ignition. Larry used the valet key (because he lost his in the bottom of the lake a few years back) so his key only worked for certain things on the van. The list kept growing and the miles on the van kept rising. None of the issues were making it undrivable and honestly we would've continued driving it for a lot longer because Hondas are known for lasting well into the 150K mile range (or more!) and we loved the van. However, we were beginning to add up the costs of the repairs (that is, the cost if we could afford to get it all done!) and realized that the costly repairs would probably be close to the value of the van itself since most of the parts needed were Honda-specific ones that would have to be put on by the dealership mechanic (pricey!).

Last week I was looking around online at minivans advertised with local dealerships & found one at a dealership where several of our friends work. If we bought it from them, we knew two things. #1 They'd be honest with us if this van was a 'lemon'. #2 It would help them out if we purchased it from them. So we made a phone call & asked about the van. It was still available! This morning Larry picked it up from the lot and brought it home for me to drive to my niece's birthday party. When we drove up, none of our family recognized the car and wondered who was showing up at my sister's house. What a fun surprise! We loved the van & my dad (our most trusted mechanic) gave it his thumbs up of approval, so this afternoon we drove back to the dealership & bought it! With our trade in of the Honda, we were able to get this van for the exact same payment...or possibly slightly LESS...and it's 4 years newer and only has 40K miles on it!

It needs a bath, but this is our new van! Isn't it pretty?! The color is called Claret Red. It's kind of a burgundy-wine-red color, not true red like it sort of appears in this picture. It's a Kia Sedona.


Tara and Ryan said...

What a beauty:) Can we go cruise?????

Rachel said...

Nice! I may have been known once (or twice)to chose my car based on how many cup holders where in it. Completely ignoring the mechanical facts..good thing I have four brothers to keep my head on straight!

Amber @ Striving For 31 said...

WOOHOO!! So happy for you and super jealous!

Lauree said...

That's what we bought last year and I love it. Kia's are usually cheaper but just as good and as safe as the others. Our payments were slightly reduced as well! I love Kias.