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Old 03-29-2019, 09:12 AM   #11
John V
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I hear you on not avoiding specific brands, but I've had so many friends and family with the same Subaru failures (engine / trans) that they're on my official "nope" list.

I'd look at a used Mazda 6. I have to imagine they're cheap, because Mazda resale value is usually pretty bad. The 6 was refreshed before the CX-5 was and is a lot nicer inside than the older Mazda stuff was.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:17 AM   #12
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Was that warranty extension some type of settlement for a class action suit? If so, very little chance for goodwill exception in my opinion.
Can't find a specific reference to it being part of a class action settlement. Most of the discussion suggests they took the action to try heading off a recall - but that's internet discussion, so...
Just called their hotline number for the program. I told them the story, gave them my info and a case manager will contact me. The guy said they work case-by-case so can't say for sure when, but thought it would probably be early next week.

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Sorry about the car troubles.

CVT or slushy?
CVT. It's supposed to be a lifetime fill, so it's a real pain the ass to drain and refill. That was probably a mistake on Subaru's part.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:22 AM   #13
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I hear you on not avoiding specific brands, but I've had so many friends and family with the same Subaru failures (engine / trans) that they're on my official "nope" list.

I'd look at a used Mazda 6. I have to imagine they're cheap, because Mazda resale value is usually pretty bad. The 6 was refreshed before the CX-5 was and is a lot nicer inside than the older Mazda stuff was.
I might be less interested in a new(er) Subaru. A 15+ year old one with 100-150k for dirt cheap money doesn't frighten me so much.

The other thing is my wife really, really, really loves the car. I'm not sure why. The idea of getting rid of the car brought her to tears last night in a wistful way.

We looked at new 6s in 2013. I liked them a lot. My wife was lukewarm. Pretty sure we'll include them in the looking again.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:32 AM   #14
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I hate to be the guy recommending an SUV, but if her problem is banging curbs and replacing control arms, maybe that's not a bad choice?

The downside is that used SUVs are going to be more expensive and maybe she doesn't like driving them.

The old Outbacks you're looking at do seem like a lot of car for the money, but OTOH if you buy one of those and the transmission shits the bed in a week, you're in the same position you are now except with one more junk car in the front yard.

Honestly? I'd spend the money to get a decent Toyota Highlander. It's a terrible car that I would never want to drive, but it's going to be fine transportation, probably won't kill you on maintenance, and will have decent resale when/if you want to sell it. It's also not a terrible first car for teenagers if it comes to that.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:37 AM   #15
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As a short term temporary bridge to whatever the long term solution is? Sure.

Spending maybe $3k on something that relieves the pressure to DO SOMETHING NOW because we're sharing a car so she can take her time to deciding what she wants and us finding the right one seems like a reasonable thing. Worst that happens is we leave it on the side of the road and try again. Best case, it serves her need for a short while, then I use it for commuting until one of my kids gets her license and then she/they drive it until we leave it on the side of the road in a couple years?
If you can achieve the above with a $3k car that is not going to suck more money, go for it...
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:05 AM   #16
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I hate to be the guy recommending an SUV, but if her problem is banging curbs and replacing control arms, maybe that's not a bad choice?

The downside is that used SUVs are going to be more expensive and maybe she doesn't like driving them.

The old Outbacks you're looking at do seem like a lot of car for the money, but OTOH if you buy one of those and the transmission shits the bed in a week, you're in the same position you are now except with one more junk car in the front yard.

Honestly? I'd spend the money to get a decent Toyota Highlander. It's a terrible car that I would never want to drive, but it's going to be fine transportation, probably won't kill you on maintenance, and will have decent resale when/if you want to sell it. It's also not a terrible first car for teenagers if it comes to that.
I do not disagree on the SUV durability point. She also drives 20k or more miles a year. Something more fuel efficient than a real SUV would be preferable. SUV sizes also bring other issues (a big one for me being that she park far enough on her side of the garage to not make me scream to myself every time I open the garage door). An SUV would also bring certain benefits. It's a compromise and not out of the question, but it would likely be a longer term solution rather than the quick fix bridge I'm contemplating right now.

Anything can shit the bed next week. Maybe if I was buying a late model M3 hundreds of miles away, it would shit the bed that very day before I was even fully on the freeway. The small initial outlay is the mitigation of that risk on the financial side. I'd be walking into it with the mentality that if it happens, I'll just have it hauled away rather than pretending that I'll fix it later like the decorative objects that are already there.

Should I buy something cheap that gives out immediately, I'll probably do it again and hope for better luck.

Going to restate this part for emhasis:
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Originally Posted by JST
I'd spend the money to get a decent
I don't want to "spend the money" on something "decent" without a period of relaxed thinking about it.


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If you can achieve the above with a $3k car that is not going to suck more money, go for it...
A bit of money over the course of a little while is okay. My thoughts are $3k purchase, up to $2k on "repairs" and up to $1k on "maintenance items" (excluding tires which will factor into negotiated price of vehicle) by the end of the calendar year. If/when I reach those thresholds, it goes on Craigslist and first reasonable offer takes it. "Reasonable" meaning that it won't cost me money to get rid of it, a total bed shitting not withstanding.

Overall, the car gods dealt me a shitty hand this week and it's going to cost me one way or another. Spending more, quickly, and under pressure, on something that may not be right for us is not the path I want to choose. Spending a little more over a slightly longer period on something that's right for us seems like a better choice.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:09 AM   #17
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Something that keeps popping in my head is that there are tons and tons of people daily driving old pieces of shit that they keep running and they work well enough despite constant repairs.

I drove that NA Miata every day for 5 years with next to no maintenance before it stopped running and it was not in good shape when I got it. What failed on it would have been a cheap and easy fix if I'd done it at the time, but I was lazy and looking for an excuse to get something else.

We're kinda car snobs here and our minimal acceptance standards are frequently unlike most people. As I age, I see less and less value and justification for newer and more expensive cars. Even "under warranty" holds less and less appeal every year whether I would fix it or pay to have someone fix it. It's been an interesting phase of my automotive development.

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Old 03-29-2019, 11:23 AM   #18
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My wife just texted that Carmax offered $3,000.

I told her to drive the car home, use my car the rest of the day and we'll talk this evening. Kinda want to wait to hear from SOA if they'll cover it, but that's a tempting offer given circumstances.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:31 PM   #19
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If she drives 20k/year, I think something new is more than justified. It takes just as much time to find something good at the sub-$5k price point. But yeah, finances cannot be argued with.

Could I interest in you an 6-speed manual, 535i, 56k miles? J/K
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:52 PM   #20
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You can find 2002-2004 Highlanders all day long for $5k. Thatís wha I had in mind.
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