What a stressful few days it has been!
The day after Seattle (friday) Laura and i thought it would be a good idea to take the car for a test drive on a mini trip to make sure everything would be ok on our long road trips. We decided to visit Squamish which was an hour away north of Vancouver. When we got on the highway and gained speed to around 70 kms per hour the car juddered considerably and felt like it would stall. Therefore we were not happy with this because we had paid a lot for this car and we needed something reliable to get us around Canada.
When we got home i rang the garage we purchased it from and booked it in to be sorted the following morning.
On Saturday we took the car in at 10am and left it with them to be picked up at 6pm. Next to the repair shop was a Casino, we thought "yeah we may aswel have a flutter because of our bad luck with the car". I put $20 in to the machine and on the third pull of the lever i won $30! and then after putting another $10 in i won $11. So $11 gained which isn't bad.
Laura on the other hand put in $5 and on her very first pull of the lever, the machine lit up and she won $54! What a lucky thing!
When we picked up the car the mechanic sat in the car whilst i drove to test if the transmission problem had gone. The juddering had disapeared but on questioning the mechanic on the overall state of the car he was not very convincing. He said that the 3rd gear was very worn and wouldnt last more than 80,000 kms, the ball joint had just about gone and that in short it wanst very reliable at all.
Because they had fixed the original problem and that it was working ok for now we couldnt get our money back. We were faced with the dilema, do we just grit our teeth and pray it gets us to where we need to go or do we stay another day in Vancouver and try to find an alternativ by trading it in?
After literally hours contemplating what to do. We decided to stay another day tell work we would arrive a day later and look for another car on the basis that the ford may break down on us and the resale value in a years time would be rock bottom if anything at all. If it did break down on us because we upped our budget originally we wouldnt have the money for a new transmission if it did break on us.
The first garage we went to today, suzuki. Had a lovely estate car that drove beautifully and was perfect. The salesman didnt quite grasp however when i said to him we could only afford a straight swap plus about $400. By speaking to his manager and saying "the best deal we can do is a swap and $2000". This gives you an idea of how much they thought the ford is worth. So that garage was a no go.
We then went to Crysler who had a car that they would swap but it didnt even start due to a dead battery. That garage was a no go.
By this time it was 3 o'clock on a sunday and we only had one other garage bookmarked that may help us. Time was running out.
This garage was called sensible autos and the man who owned and sold all the cars was a man in his mid 50's and after i told him the whole story of how we had got this car and we just weren't happy with it. He showed us a 2000 Mazda Protege. I think that because he was a parent of a child around our age he really wanted to help us out. He looked over our car and again reiterated that it wasn't in the greatest mechanical shape. We spoke for a while, mainly about hat we plan to do on our travels and about university etc. and said he could do us a deal with a straight swap plus $750. Due to the lack of confidence we both had in the ford after 3 different opinions saying that it was not good we decided to cut our losses and go with our gut feeling.
After a test drive and driving the mazda home we are delighted that we went to that garage and the nice man was able to help us out because the mazda looks and drives like brand new. After changing the insurance over it worked out that we would save $400 over the year which is another bonus.
After these stressful days we are happy tht the issue of the car is sorted and a kep component of our trip will no longer be a worry. Now we have to be up in 6 hours for the 10 hour drive to Jasper to start work on Wednesday!