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 New year, new vehicle

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soothsayer
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PostSubject: New year, new vehicle   Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:07 pm

So.  Tuesday morning on my way to work the Caprice Classic died.  Oh, the engine still ran, quite beautifully actually, but it just lost its get up and go.  Transmission all gone, buh-bye.

There was some sputtering a couple days prior, almost as if it was slipping out of gear, but it always picked right back up.  I had (falsely) believed it to be a sign that the filters needed changing, whether it was an air or fuel filter; I've had similar experiences with this kind of thing, which is why I believed what I did.  Anywho, back to Tuesday morning.

Just got a block past the traffic lights, right by the county shed, when the car just didn't want to go past 20.  The engine would rev up, but the car just didn't want to move beyond that speed.  Not good, not in the slightest.  Headed back home, left the mrs a note, swapped vehicles.  At this point I was thinking something along the lines of a vacuum hose on the transmission, as I had a car that did almost the same thing as that (remember the gray car, the one where we replaced the main gasket?  Habinero, anyone?)

The wife took the car to drop the youngest off at school, which I had believed to be fine, seeing as how it wouldn't go above 20.  Boy got dropped just fine, the wife went up a block to turn, and that's where the car died...  it started to roll backwards / downhill while it was in drive.  A small hill, almost a mound, barely that.  Try as she might, the car wouldn't go forward...  wouldn't go in reverse, either.

Did some checking online to see what a new transmission would cost, and it wasn't good, at least not when you factor in labor costs.  Seemed a new vehicle was in order; luckily we were planning on buying another vehicle anyway, so it wasn't too much of a burden; we had just hoped that it wasn't going to be this soon.  Because time was of the essence, the wife grabbed the first thing that was within our price range (and oddly enough, was able to get it for a thousand less than what was being asked): a 2002 PT Cruiser.  Blue Book price of just over $3000, rated 7.5 out of 10.  Sticker price was $2900, got it for $2000.  There's some dings here and there, the front fender has a slight crack in it, while the rear fender looks as is someone backed into a pole (fiberglass bumper).  Sun roof, which is nice.  Heated seats.  Dark blue exterior, cream / gray / blue interior.  I barely fit in it, have to sit kind of at an angle, or at least my neck does, but there is surprisingly a nice amount of leg room.

The dealer we got it from didn't have a warranty on it, but did say that anything we hear or might go wrong within the first week, he'd take care of, so I'm going to be putting it through the passes this week.

{EDIT}

SO anyway, I sold the Caprice.  A junk dealer had offered Gail $250 for it, but I told her to give me until the end of the week to see what I could do to sell it.  Put a post on Craig's List and almost immediately I had callers and texters and emailers, some as far away as Milwaukee.  Sold the car for almost $400; I'm thinking I could have held out for more, but hey, money's money and the car was gone within 24 hours.  Not bad.  For giggle purposes, here's the original Craig's posting:

Quote :
SELLING IMMEDIATELY: 1996 Caprice Classic, four door. Power seats, windows, mirrors, cassette player (sorry). Everything is in excellent condition with the following exceptions... driver side mirror is epoxied onto the car (the mirror is still adjustable though), some very minor rust or peeled paint on rear, cruise doesn't work, very minor seal leak on the top portion of the driver's side window and... this is the sole reason for selling... the transmission is shot... gone... kaput. It was either replace the transmission, or get another vehicle.

The engine starts beautifully, runs smooth, and up until today ran great. There was a minor leak in the rear main seal, and there is a hole in a forward section of the exhaust, but other than that, everything was fine. The engine still runs beautifully.

I don't want to junk the car because it is in excellent shape engine-wise. If I can sell the car as is, whether for parts or, if you are mechanically inclined and can replace the transmission, more power to you and to me.

I'll post pictures when I get home this afternoon, I just want to post this as quickly as possible. Contact me either by email or by phone (prefer phone call over text, but I'm okay with either). I am at work right now, so I may not be able to answer right away: leave a message and call back number. Make me an offer, one that's better than what the junk guy is offering (he is offering $250), and it's yours... you'll just need to tow it out or load it up, because it obviously isn't driving itself out.

My wife is giving me until the end of this week to get rid of it. Whether by you or by the junker, it'll be gone by this coming Friday (April 25).
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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: Re: New year, new vehicle   Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:34 am

This tale was a roller coaster of emotion. First I was sad for your car troubles. Then I was all YAY for your new vehicle. Then I was all sad again when I saw PT Cruiser. Of course, everyone is different, but we test drove one not too long ago and it was one of the most uncomfortable rides we ever experienced. I hope you find yours a better ride then we did! Here's to a long and happy PT Cruiser life! Drinks! 

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PostSubject: Re: New year, new vehicle   Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:58 am

I'm actually starting to like it. There are a few electrical issues that might be a simple fix (side mirrors don't adjust, driver's seat doesn't elevate / lower, cruise light comes on but doesn't hold), but I won't really know until I can find a fuse diagram online seeing as how the owner's manual is missing (did find and downloaded a repair manual though, so that's good).

Also discovered yesterday that the hood release doesn't work. The pull handle is just loose and floppy; this evening, weather permitting, I'm going to see if I can't get the release to open; if not, then that is definitely one issue that the dealer will have to fix. Gail did say it did open before, so who knows...

Pretty good on gas so far. Can't really make a determination until the tank is near empty.

Comfort-wise, I don't know. There's a lot (A LOT) of leg room, and with the seat reclined just a little bit, I do have head clearance: no one can sit behind me though. Width-wise is a different story. Use the top of the door as the arm rest, more comfortable than the actual arm rest (this could be because the seat is elevated too high, but because it can't be lowered right now...), and I'm pretty much using both front seat's arm rests for the right arm; can easily just use the one, but my wings got to spread, man.

**Just found an owner's manual. Good to go!**

All in all, I'm going to have to say that this vehicle isn't bad. It could be better, sure... could be a tad bigger but let's face it, do I really need bigger? Sure, I'd love to have a Suburban or a box / step van, but this car is probably just the right size, or rather is the size we really need. I really can't say beyond that until I figure out the mileage... Kelly Blue Book says up to 21 city / 29 highway, and if that's the case, freakin' sweat! OH! Gail must have read the numbers on the car's description wrong: it's a 2003, not a 2002. Just wanted to make a mention of that real quick.

I also screwed up: interior coloring is grey and blue; only thing that is cream are accents, such as the shift knob. Really isn't that bad as it somewhat matches the coloring of my Gundam SD Heavyarms (the blue one with dual gatlin guns). I don't see me putting it in there, but it would make for a nice dashboard Jesus fill-in.
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PostSubject: Re: New year, new vehicle   Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:59 pm

Oh, I did forget to mention something: the weirdness that is the control layout.

Window wipers are on a lever... not a turn switch, a lever... on the right side of the steering column. The light switch is a turn switch, located on the end of a lever, on the left of the steering column; there's something else this controls, but I can't remember what off-hand. Cruise control is lever activated, right side of the steering column... but you need to press the button on the end for it to turn on.

Window controls for all four windows are centrally located on the dash board. The controls for the back seat riders are centrally located on the bottom of the center console.

The gas hole (heh. gas hole.) is located on the right side of the vehicle.
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PostSubject: Re: New year, new vehicle   Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:45 pm

BUMP
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PostSubject: Re: New year, new vehicle   Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:28 am

I only had the Cruiser since April 2014?  Seems longer than that... must have been all the trips taken with it.

It'll be missed.  Or rather, the gas mileage will be missed.  Had such great mileage.  *sniff*  Sad
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PostSubject: Re: New year, new vehicle   Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:00 am

For those who don't know, the Cruiser and I were involved in a roll-over accident on November 25.  Below are some pictures of the vehicle after the accident, from when the car was towed away and brought to a junk area.







As you can see, most of the damage was on the front end. In truth, it really doesn't even look as if there was that much damage; the two tires on the driver side were pushed of their wheels, some fender / wheel well damage, busted tail lights, busted windshield, but all in all it looks good. For a roll-over, that is. I didn't open the hood to see what kind of damage there was to the engine.

Could have been worse. Things could always be worse. Reflecting back on this, I figure I got off luck (all things considered). That, or the PT Cruiser is one hell of a car and was able to stand up to a beating. I am curious about the engine though. When I was upside down, I did have a liquid dripping on me, but I couldn't tell you if it was radiator fluid or windshield wiper fluid; wasn't gas or transmission fluid, that much is certain. Looking at the front of the car, it doesn't look as if anything was pushed into the engine compartment.

If I had the disposable cash, who knows, I probably could have had this sitting in the yard, working on it slowly over time. But, since a vehicle was needed, and I really wasn't thinking about the future of this one, off it went to the scrap yard. And, having gotten a new replacement vehicle for $2000 was probably cheaper than repairing this one.
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