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  1. #1
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    Reputation: PlatyPius's Avatar
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    Demon Carz Frum HELL!!!1

    It hasn't been fun the last couple of days.

    My 70+ year old mother calls me crying because her van is dead in the middle of US231 about 10 miles south of me. Then she says she'll call me back. She calls back and says that a man stopped and pushed her van to the side of the road by a Casey's gas station. She has just left her boyfriend's house (saying that makes me shudder, yes) and was only a few blocks away. I told her to try calling him a couple more times and then to call me back if his deaf ass doesn't answer the phone.

    She calls back a while later to say that he used his truck to push her van into a parking lot, and that she'll stay there that night and he'll look at the van in the morning.

    Next morning, they go to the van, start it up, drive it home, and let it sit and idle in front of his apartment for an hour or two....WITH THE OIL LIGHT ON. She calls me and mentions this funny looking red light that looks like it's dripping something. I tell her to shut the van off immediately. Boyfriend checks the oil - full. Bad, bad, bad. I tell her to NOT drive it, and I'll call the shop where I used to work to see if they know of any particular issues with that model (2000 Toyota Sienna). Before I get a chance to call the shop, she calls to tell me that she's home now....she drove it the 10 miles to her house with no oil pressure.

    So, after I close my shop, I drive over to her house (6:30pm, dark, and 2°F) Since I was an auto mechanic for 10 years, she expects me to be able to cough on it and fix it. I start it up. It sounds like 6 connecting rods trying to escape and be free. She "didn't hear a thing".

    By this point, I know the engine is toast anyway, so we drive to the shop. My old boss calls me today to tell me that my suspicions were correct (engine sludge - Toyota forums had lots of Sienna owners that had their engines blow up as early as 27,000 from sludging due to some design flaw in the PCV/vent system) and that a remanufactured engine from Jasper, installed, will be $6500. Blue Book on the van is $5500. Time for a new car.

    Mom wants another van. She doesn't need a van. Before she retired, she was the carpool driver, and I think she's still in that mindset. She is very reluctant to buy a vehicle from the Big Three; especially GM. I'm trying to convince her to look at a Pontiac Vibe (Toyota Matrix).

    Any other suggestions? She is on a fixed income (SS and work pension), still drives a lot (her 2000 Sienna had 165,000 miles on it), and has only had one accident in the past 10 years. She wants a new car, not used. It needs to be "cheap". Anyone have glowing recommendations of their vehicle that they want to share?
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  2. #2
    Climbs like a sprinter...
    Reputation: bmxhacksaw's Avatar
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    Nissan Cube or KIA Soul
    "It's turtles all the way down."

  3. #3
    25.806975801127
    Reputation: PlatyPius's Avatar
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    Oh, and she doesn't like small cars.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  4. #4
    Seat's not level
    Reputation: Chain's Avatar
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    Give her a bike....and a coffee mug.
    Bad decisions make great stories - JP

    He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know. -- Abraham Lincoln, Unknown , Unknown

  5. #5
    Beetpull DeLite
    Reputation: GirchyGirchy's Avatar
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    Mazda5. Cheap, small.

  6. #6
    No hero that's understood
    Reputation: q_and_a's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if a RAV 4 or a Honda or a Honda CRV qualify as "small cars" but both are great and can deal with some weather. If they are too pricey, I think the Hyundai Santa Fe is supposed to be good as well. I think Hyundai has fixed there quality problems that I have always associated with them.

  7. #7
    No hero that's understood
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    Also, Mazda CX-7 or CX-9 are supposed to be great.

  8. #8
    Climbs like a sprinter...
    Reputation: bmxhacksaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    Oh, and she doesn't like small cars.
    Maybach 62S

    "It's turtles all the way down."

  9. #9
    Moderatus Puisne
    Reputation: Argentius's Avatar
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    With the "small"

    thing I can't help you very much -- heck, I am not going to be much for personal experience on cars.

    But, you said budget, and I am going to GUESS that at her age she's not putting a great deal of strain on these things.

    I'm therefore going to give you a recommendation that she might not like -- presuming "NEW" is required.

    If that's true, is that Saturn deal still going on? It came up in Creaky's van thread.

    True, their reliability is potentially suspect, and, true, it is a GM, but they have emerged from bankruptcy, will honor the warranty at GM dealerships, but, most of all, $7,500 is a heck of a discount on an economical car.

    I don't think I could pass it up in her position. I don't like minivans and bigger cars, but maybe their mini-SUV would suit.

  10. #10
    Call me a Fred
    Reputation: MikeBiker's Avatar
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    Can you trade her in for a new mom?
    Mike

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You may starch my jumper
    Hang it upside your wall
    You know by that, baby
    I need my ashes hauled.

    Sleepy John Estes

    H

  11. #11
    Maximum Gluteus
    Reputation: Gregory Taylor's Avatar
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    The Vibe is a good call, if there are any left on the lots. I wouldn't go near any leftover Saturns.

    Other than GM orphans, cheap + new = Korean.
    Yet another cycling blog...updated whenever.
    http://teamlardbutt.wordpress.com

    We inched our way up the mountain, kilometer markers passing like kidney stones.

  12. #12
    25.806975801127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Taylor
    The Vibe is a good call, if there are any left on the lots. I wouldn't go near any leftover Saturns.

    Other than GM orphans, cheap + new = Korean.
    GM orphans, cheap + new = Korean = Pontiac G3 (Daewoo)

    Her "boyfriend" is trying to talk her into a 2002 Chevy Blazer. I told her I'd disown her if she bought a Blazer.

    (I own her house and pay her cell phone bill)
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  13. #13
    Moderatus Puisne
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    Does this "Boy"friend have a personal interest in this blazer?

  14. #14
    25.806975801127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argentius
    Does this "Boy"friend have a personal interest in this blazer?
    He has a GMC Jimmy.

    It's at a place called "Motorama", a buy-here, pay-here place. I asked her if she REALLY wanted to buy a car at a place called "Motorama"....
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  15. #15
    I ride in circles..
    Reputation: ZoSoSwiM's Avatar
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    Maybe give her a lesson on vehicle maintenance first...

    A used pontiac Vibe would likely be a great car for her actually... I know a lot of people that love them
    ~ Long Live Long Rides~

  16. #16
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    uh-oh

    If you like that, "guido" and "vitto" over here will giveya a great deal...

    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    He has a GMC Jimmy.

    It's at a place called "Motorama", a buy-here, pay-here place. I asked her if she REALLY wanted to buy a car at a place called "Motorama"....

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview's Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    He has a GMC Jimmy.

    It's at a place called "Motorama", a buy-here, pay-here place. I asked her if she REALLY wanted to buy a car at a place called "Motorama"....
    Isn't the Jimmy the all-time worst car ever reliability-wise?
    "It's hard to tell the poison from the cure, so enjoy the disease."
    -Mohair_Chair

  18. #18
    25.806975801127
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    Quote Originally Posted by estone2
    Isn't the Jimmy the all-time worst car ever reliability-wise?
    Along with the Blazer, yes. That's why I threatened to disown her if she buys it. I'd have to work on it, and I hate working on cars. That's why I stopped being a mechanic - too much GM sh!t out there.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  19. #19
    Beetpull DeLite
    Reputation: GirchyGirchy's Avatar
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    Let her buy it, she's ignored all of your advice already.

  20. #20
    Large Suburban Male
    Reputation: murbike's Avatar
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    My Mom (same demographics) just got a Honda Fit. It's bigger than it looks...
    “The 'Net is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.”
    William Gibson

  21. #21
    Rep *****.
    Reputation: firstrax's Avatar
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    Get a P.U.M.A.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Honda Element? Biggest small car ever, you could even call it a van.

  23. #23
    We're no better than mice
    Reputation: EverydayRide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTDave
    Honda Element? Biggest small car ever, you could even call it a van.
    This is true and there's also the Mazda 5 Review.


  24. #24
    25.806975801127
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    I think I have her talked into a Yaris. Until he talks her into the Blazer piece of crap again. Just found out that it's $5800 AND it has over 150,000 miles on it. Those things die at 162,849 miles, so it seems even more stupid to me now.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  25. #25
    Moderatus Puisne
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    $5800

    Can I just shoot her in the foot and have done with it? Who would evar do that?

    The Yaris is a nifty enough car, if on an aging platform -- but that is about as small as they come, I thought she didn't want that!

    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    I think I have her talked into a Yaris. Until he talks her into the Blazer piece of crap again. Just found out that it's $5800 AND it has over 150,000 miles on it. Those things die at 162,849 miles, so it seems even more stupid to me now.

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