Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Van Woes

Our minivan is 6 years old this year.  That just boggles my mind.  Of course if the van is 6 years old, that means Bryce isn't far behind since we got it a few weeks before he was born.  It's got about 70,000 miles on it, which really isn't too bad considering it is driving pretty much every single day.  Jason has kept up on all its scheduled maintenance and oil changes as he always does with cars and we hope to get several more years out of it.  (Although I know there's another minivan in our future once this one is done - a family of 3 kids really needs a minivan - I'm most definitely NOT the large SUV type.) 

Anyhow, back in March on a semi-warm day, I turned on the AC because the car was warm after sitting in the sun for a bit.  However, while the blower came on, the cold air never came.  I mentioned it to Jason and he wanted to test it for himself.  He did and we kept putting off taking it in for service kind of because we didn't need the AC yet and because, well, we were afraid of the repair bill.  (We were right.)  Finally, last week he decided to take it in this past Monday.  (Funny too because the day before it was actually pretty warm and we had to ride in the van with all the windows up because it was pouring - talk about gross. Hot and muggy!  The kids kept asking why it was so hot!) 

We took it yesterday and got the call - oof.  It's going to cost around $2000 to get it fixed.  For air conditioning!  Jason told the guy to just wait on it, give it a charge, and we'll decide when to bring it back in.  So we picked it up and on the way home, all this bright green stuff was squirting out the back and it was smoking.  Niiiiiice.  We weren't sure if they hadn't hooked something back up or what, but that confirmed that the van was going back again this morning.  Thank goodness Jason and I work so close to one another so we can carpool.  (He goes in late, I leave a little early, while not doable in the long term, it's not a problem for things like this.)  And since the van won't be fixed until tomorrow, it looks like we'll be doing it again tomorrow.  Not such a big deal, but I feel a little bad because tomorrow is Caroline's 3rd quarter honor roll breakfast and I'll have to miss it since I need to go into work when Jason does.  My mom is definitely going to go and maybe my MIL and Piper.  I hope she understands. 

I just hate that fixing something as "frivolous" as the air conditioning costs so darn much.  Honestly, we can't NOT have AC - the van has terrible ventilation in the back since Caravan models prior to 2008 don't have the roll down side window and only those crappy "vents."  Plus, after feeling how terrible it was driving during a summer rainstorm, we knew we couldn't just power through.  I think part of my anxiety about it is that this is just the AC and now we wait for the other shoe to drop with the engine or something like that.  Plus, Jason's car is now 10 years old and we're trying to decide how long we want to keep that.  Honestly, I'd be happy just driving it until it requires some hugely expensive repair (we put a few grand into it a few years ago).  It still drives fine and is in good shape.  You see old VW's on the road alllll the time, so it could last a good while longer.

I hate the car game.  It makes me understand why some people buy new cars every 5 years.  Not understand how they can afford it, but understand the motivation.  Here's hoping this AC repair is it for a while beyond regular maintenance like tires and oil changes.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Bummer! $2K for A/C??? That does seem expensive. Sheesh!!! But, it is something you would need.

We will be in the market for a new car soon too. My car is fine, for now, but Landon's 626 is very old. He only drives it to work and back, so it doesn't go far and we are hoping it will hold out for another year or so.

Six years is not that old for a van. I would be frustrated if that was the only thing wrong with it AND to have to pay that much to fix it is very annoying... and the green stuff??? Super annoying! Ugh!