Moving is stressful. Car problems are also stressful. Having car problems before moving is extremely stressful.
A week and a half before our move my dad came over to Chandler to help us with our yard and other house stuff. Chris was busy helping him so I decided to take kids to run errands and to get lunch. I finished running all my errands and was heading back home. I put my car in reverse and it clunked and lurched and stalled. So I tried again and it was very jerky but I was able to back up enough to get out of my parking space. I put it in drive and it clunked and lurched again. Again it was very jerky but I was able to move to a less crowded parking spot.
I called Chris who came out and tried to drive it. The same thing. He checked the oil and other enginey stuff. He then called my dad who came out and tried driving it. It did the same thing. My dad was able to at least get it to drive home.
Later that day we had family pictures and we took out a jeep a family friend was having us sell. Ryan turned on some lights in the jeep that we hadn’t noticed and when we finished pictures the jeep battery was dead. Neither us nor our photographer had jumper cables and we were in a pretty remote area, but luckily we were able to flag someone down to jump us.
In the meantime my dad had gone home but left us a car. (My mom was also in town for a meeting so she left her car and rode home with my dad.) The next day my dad came up with a trailer to take our van back to his car guy. (He charges about a quarter of the price than anywhere in the valley.) Chris normally fixes our cars but didn’t have time since we were moving.
It was looking like we may need a new transmission, but we were still hoping it could be a smaller,cheaper, easier fix. The car guy replaced the transmission mount and did a few things. Drove it a ways and it seemed fine. My dad got it back and drove it around and it seemed fine.
A few days later we went to Thatcher to say our goodbyes to our families and to pick up our car. We drove it around Thatcher a lot and it was fine. So we drove it back to Chandler two days before our move. It drove great and we were very optimistic about it. On the last stop light before our house it started clunking and lurching again. A check engine light came on and Chris pulled the codes. The transmission was going out.
We felt like our van could get us to Washington but we were afraid it would be expensive to fix up here when the transmission actually went out. So the day before our move we rented a car. Took the van to a shop to see what they thought. They confirmee it was the transmission and a lot of money to repair. Took it to a second shop and they said the same thing.
We decided we needed a different car for our long trip. I looked on Craig’s list and found a van for a great deal. We called the guy set up a time to drive it. Ashley (Chris’ sister) came out to babysit our kids so Chris and I could look at it without distractions. We drove to Phoenix and loved it. We bought it and went back home.
We got the tires rotated and filled up, got an oil change, and breaks checked out the morning we left.
Also in AZ when you buy a car private party you don’t have to pay sales tax. In WA you do. Since we bought it less than 3 months ago (even though we bought it in AZ) we had to pay sales tax. With that included we still got a good deal on the car.
Now my dad’s car guy will replace the transmission on our old van and we sell it in AZ.
It was a crazy time for the van to have problems but we are glad we had time to replace it. We love our new van and it did great on the drive up and we made it safely and with no incidents. Over all we are happy with how everything turned out!