Sunday, July 25, 2010
Could Be Worse. I Could Be Driving This Pile....
I own a 2005 Honda Odyssey Minivan. Yes, you can cue the "The Dad Life" rap in your head, I can't get that tune out of my mind since I saw it.
As a useful family vehicle, I like it fine. I don't get hung up on the whole "I'd rather get an SUV to be cool" thing as a family man. Look, when you are taking your kids to "the splash pad" it doesn't matter what you roll up in. You are still going to be smearing on sunscreen, popping Capri Sun's, and generally thinking to yourself: "I could be golfing right now."
So to me, I've always been a mini-van guy because simply, it's the right tool for the job.
Our Odyssey has wicked high miles on it, however. Something like 120k+. We've had it serviced regularly, and it hasn't been in any accidents, so I think it should be good until 200,000.
Plus: paid for. Cha-ching.
But recently, I noticed a bit too much play in the steering wheel, and the brakes cause the wheel to shimmy violently when you gently tap the brakes.
So I haul it to the dealer where I bought not just this van, but our previous Odyssey from. Service guy there replaces various brake parts, rotates tires, swears that the "tech" took it out for a drive, and it was good to go.
I brought it back.
More efforting to fix it. They gave it back to me. Said they did more things to the breaks and what-not. Said it was good to go.
No. Even worse.
So I take the van to get a second opinion from another Honda dealer nearer my house. Here's what comes back. Mind you, I have not had any of this work done.. yet. I'm trying to puzzle out what's going on.
Dealer #1 says: We replaced all the brake pads and turned the rotors. Rotated and balanced tires, everything looks good to us.
Dealer #2 says:
2 Broken Engine Mounts ($900 each)
1 Cracked Engine Mount ($250)
Leaking steering rack ($1075)
Loose L/F inner tie rod ($245)
Oh yeah. Rear wiper blade was worn. Replaced: No charge. Thank you.
Now, here's my conundrum. What the hell is going on?
On the one hand, I would normally be suspicious that Dealer #2 is just trying to take me to the woodshed with a bunch of needless car surgery. However, the van is driving like crap. All of this sounds quite plausible.
But why would Dealer #1 actually perform a lot of brake job mojo (much of it for free, since I kept taking the car back to get it "right") and then just whistle and pretend everything was cool??
Also, how many more miles (round to the nearest 10, please) until my van's engine just falls to the pavement like dropped pop fly in shallow right?
And don't say "sell the car and get an SUV." I checked the Blue Book. My van isn't worth crap in GOOD condition, much less this way. Aside from these mechanical issues, the interior is in fine condition, and the Touring model (which I have) is all tricked with NAV, back-up camera, prox sensors, DVD entertainment, auto-doors and the like.
There's no way I'm getting rid of it. Even if I've gotta take in the face and spend another 2-3K getting it fixed.
Thanks for your manly advice, oh, manly men.
PS: I have a sneaky suspicion my wife is STUNT JUMPING this puppy at the State Fair when I'm out of town. THREE BROKEN mounts!? CRIKEY!