Friday, September 22, 2017

New Car Coming--Sooner than Expected!

So. Last week I drove the Jeep Compass to take Terry up to Corning Hospital to get her knee scoped. Along Route 15 I noticed some vibration in the front end at 65-70 mph and told Terry she should get it checked out before she drives to St. Louis next month.

Yesterday she dropped it off at the Jeep dealer in Mansfield and they called back saying it needed new front brakes, new tires ("the belts inside were broken"), an alignment, a new tie rod, new struts, and a couple of other things. Total would be around $3000. This is a car they had in the shop last spring because one of the front brakes was making a squeeling sound. Now, I'm not a mechanic, but the Compass doesn't get a lot of miles put on it during the summer. It basically sits on the side of the house. It's one "big" trip was to the Carolinas and back. (On second thought, maybe we should stop going to Columbia, SC. Every time we do something needs an alignment.)

Anyway, we had been thinking of replacing the 2009 Compass and had already started to do some research. We had narrowed our choices down somewhat but had hoped to wait until spring or fall 2018. I told the Jeep people not to do any work and Terry and I drove over to Williams Toyota to see what they had available. Our targets there were the Sienna and the Rav4. They needed to have either 4-wheel or all-wheel drive because, hey!, we live in hilly snow country.

Well, Terry thought the Sienna too huge for her needs (the third row seating was just a little too much), but liked the size of the Rav4. The only model with all-wheel drive (AWD) on the lot was a base model in a pretty plumb color which we did take for a short test drive. Terry liked it, but I wanted a few more bells and whistles than the base model offered. They did have an XLE with AWD in Barcelona Red (same as the my Tundra) over on the Elmira lot, however. We could get either $2500 cash back or 0% financing on the Rav4.

So, we go back on Saturday to look at the XLE and--probably--sign some papers.


Jan Lynch McDougall said...

Interesting that you should experience a front-end vibration at 65-70 mph since I'm experiencing the exact same thing on my 2011 Chrysler 300C AWD. My husband keeps saying it's time to trade it in and now I think he's right. I've replaced the tires and the rotors and recently had the tires tested extensively for problems/defects. The whole thing sounds like a Chrysler, Daimler, Fiat production design defect and the list of "repairs" you mentioned sounds like, "If we replace everything, it's bound to go away," but this did not help my problem at all.

joated said...

Ransomed the Jeep from the dealer and brought it to one of the local mechanics so he could 1) check the Jeep over and 2) check the work done by the Jeep mechanic. Doesn't really matter to me as the Jeep is history one way or another. The only difference it will make is how much of a 1) trade-in value it retains or 2) tax deduction I can claim if/when it gets donated to a local charity.

The Compass model has had a low customer satisfaction rating for a pretty long time now but until recently we were happy with it (mostly). Looking at a recent copy of Consumer Reports, however, it is not rated well at all for the 2018 models.

Rev. Paul said...

Sounds to me (like you need my advice) like you've made the right choice.

joated said...

Our local independent mechanic took a look at the Compass on Friday. Tiers had more than 1/2 their tread and the "belts" weren't broken. The breaks were not in need of immediate replacement. It did not need alignment. Only one tie rod and one rotor needed to be replaced. Oh, and the tires needed to be balanced. His estimate was just around $400 vs the $2800 the dealer wanted for work that didn't really need to be done.

Monday I'll make arrangements to donate the Jeep to charity (Animal Care Sanctuary). We'll pick up the Rav4 XLE in Barcelona Red on Tuesday.