The PlumMobile is gone

Here’s the abridged version.

I got the car over to the dealership yesterday. They tore the cooling system apart and found nothing. That is bad, because something simple like a leaking hose or defective radiator would have put the overheating issue to bed. But they found nothing.

We talked to the owner of the dealership. He is a decent guy and gave me an offer to think over. So I went home and did that.

I got home and felt like the offer made sense, so I headed back over to the dealership to get something done.

When I got to the dealership, my car reeked of coolant. No coolant was present anywhere external to the engine, which leads all of us to believe that the car has a warped head or block. The entire repair will need to be redone, and the cost of the head and or/new motor will be on my dime. I could probably go back to Subaru of America and try to recoup a portion of that, but I would still be out thousands easy. And it would be a fight to be sure.

In short, my car blue books for about mid to low 6’s. I owe about $7900. Cost of the potential engine repair is looking like a worst case scenario of $4500. The owner offered $7000 for the car, gave me a 2008 Forester Sports Edition (non-turbo) for invoice, threw in 2 years of free maintenance and a set of tires once my first set wears out, plus a set of crossbars for my bike racks.

This morning it was 20-something degrees and I was in my driveway at 7:30am ripping my car apart. I tore out my amp, all of my speakers, the stereo, all kinds of cabling and battery connections, and put all of the factory stuff back in. It took about 2 solid hours. I can’t believe everything still works. I’m bringing it in and picking up the new car in about an hour.

My old car is headed straight for the auction. The owner doesn’t want it on his lot. It has 111,500 miles, a major engine problem, a questionable transmission, a really bad service and repair history, and it smells like ass.

I did drive the Forester XT, and I think the motor is fantastic. It is also much more expensive – way too much more expensive – and it drinks premium gas. This was not a good equation for someone who drives almost 100 miles a day, already pays $300 a month in gas, and doesn’t want a $500+ car payment.

I drove a base model Forester with a manual transmission, and it just doesn’t work. Without the power of the turbo, the transmission lugs a lot more, requiring more frequent shifting. I found it annoying. The manual turbo was very smooth. But again, very cost prohibitive. As well, cars with that turbo motor are among the most expensive to insure. Besides, it was no Viggen. I actually like the car I’m getting, even though it’s another automatic.

Back in a bit!

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