I'm breaking up with my car.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a venting thread; I’m not looking for advice or judgement. I’ve considered all of my options and am doing what I think is best. I am not including every detail about steps that I have taken/research I have performed/remedies I have pursued. If you’re not inclined to post the equivalent of a soothing, murmuring sound, please feel free to move along. :slight_smile:

I have a 2008 Mazda RX-8. In March of last year, when it was 22 months old, it started randomly stalling. While I was in gear. I had a hellish drive from the end of the NJ Turnpike to my Northern Virginia dealership the first time it happened, and the second time (a month later) I’d driven from Northern Virginia to my mom’s house near Baltimore: I wound up crawling into her driveway and having it towed to a local dealership. Neither dealership could reproduce the problem or figure out what was wrong. They both chalked it up to bad gas/water in the tank, and when the problem went away as suddenly as it appeared I tried to just forget about it. It took several months for me to stop being nervous every time I drove it, especially on longer trips, but eventually I started trusting my car again and life was good.

Until this past Friday night, when the exact same problem recurred. This time I was on my way to a poker game: I limped to a stop in front of the host’s house (phew), and had it towed to my dealership from there. They ran the diagnostics yesterday, and once again they could not reproduce the problem or figure out what was wrong. They talked to Mazda, and the only suggestion from the mother ship would have cost me $200 and was not even likely to fix the problem; it was a “this is the only thing we can think of” guess, and they wouldn’t cover it under the warranty (I have 2 months/600 miles left). I said no way was I paying a dime toward the issue; I picked it up yesterday, and have decided to trade it in.

I feel a little weird about passing my problem along to someone else, but I have no other option (and maybe it won’t happen to anyone else?). I can’t keep a car that I can’t rely on, and it’s not paid off so I can’t afford to just get another one. Luckily, I’m not upside down on my loan: Kelly Blue Book puts the trade-in value at a little more than what I owe, so I’m hoping to get at least what I owe. I’ll have to get financing with nothing down (unless they offer more than I owe for my car), but I checked my credit score yesterday and it’s very healthy – so I don’t feel as bad about asking for that as I would if my score were just “meh.”

I have loved my car for the past almost three years, but this latest incident seems to have taken the bloom off the rose: when I drove it last night and this morning all I felt was stress, worrying about whether it would stall, and all I could think about was replacing it. I’m eyeing a new Honda Accord V6 coupe, and I found a dealership that has one I want in stock: I have an appointment for a test drive on Thursday morning (my schedule was bad today and the salesman has a seminar tomorrow), and if all goes well I’ll probably do the financing then.

I’m angry and frustrated with Mazda, and I’m sad about having to give up my baby. It’s only my second new car, and it’s the first one with everything that I wanted (plus I’ll admit that I love hearing “nice car!” at the gas station/carwash/etc.). It’s been garaged for the past two years so it’s still in great condition, and it’s a lot of fun to drive…well, when it runs. I’m having a little trouble getting into the “yay new car/new toy!” frame of mind because I’m just so annoyed by the whole situation, though I think that the Accord will be great (and it’s probably what I should have bought three years ago). Plus I didn’t WANT to be getting a new car right now: I was looking forward to having just 2 more years of payments. Sigh.

(Also, in an unrelated note, holy crap was a manual transmission hard to find! I wonder if this will be the last time I’m able to get one??)

We’re in the process of looking at new cars, and we’re finding the same thing with manual transmissions. They are still out there, but where as manual used to be the low end, high gas mileage version of a car, it now seems to be mainly on the higher end, sportier versions; all leather and heated seats and sunroofs. On top of that, the gearing is often set up so you get worse fuel economy in the manuals (we assume this means it’s geared for more VROOM and less economy).

Oh, that sucks. Too well do I know the feeling of not being able to trust my wheels! I am starting to lose faith in my current car because it’s making a knocking noise that I can’t afford to get fixed. So it goes… but until now it’s been a very pleasant 2 years. Before that all I ever owned were beaters, this was the first car I’ve bought that was less than 5 years old at the time.

I think I am upside down on my loan, though. blargh!

**The little two-door tramp!

Sad to hear, but dump it now before it loses further value.

My 2002 VW GTI is still going strong thank heavens. I’ve had lots of electrical problems but little else and the turbo still puts a smile on my face. Pssst, manual trannie too.

I know only too well the feeling of “Can I trust you, car?”

I’ve got a 2000 Saturn. It was new when I got it, and it’s still my first car.

But a year ago, I had issues with turning the key in the ignition, resulting in two new key cylinders in less than a month, several parental rides to or from work and a couple of taxi rides. Plus, three calls to tow trucks (twice the tow truck driver got it started, once the car took a nice little ride and the car repairman couldnt’ find anything wrong).

But finally, after the second key cylinder installation, all my problems were gone.

But, it’s still a more than ten year old car with no air-conditioning ( I can’t see spending a thousand dollars to get that fixed) that part of me wants to replace, and most of me keeps begging the car to keep running a little bit longer.

Run it into the ground! That’s my philosophy. Once it’s paid off, keep those payments at bay for as long as possible.

I was saddened to break up with my first car. It was new when I was 8 (and I was in my twenties when I got it!) but it kept me moving wonderfully for the year and change I had it. Until one day it just wouldn’t start. Would turn over but nothing. It was determined the fuel pump, which was promptly fixed but it died on the way home and it was completely unreliable after that. Tried three alternators (pick n pull then a new one), a new battery, then deemed it just too much trouble and cost to hunt down an electrical gremlin that would drain the battery and leave me stranded on busy streets in rush hour.

I love my replacement but it’s a hassle too, since it seems to be a magnet for people who can’t see where they are going or are driving stupid (two collisions in the space of a year! Same time of day, different places and neither one my fault… Kinda hard to be my fault when I wasn’t moving both times!)

Pssttttt. YOu might read here. It seems you’re not alone.

The Accord V6 coupe I’m looking at is the top trimline, with heated leather seats and a sunroof – and it was still hard to find in a stick. :slight_smile:

I haven’t compared the fuel economy between the manual and automatic versions of the Accord, but the manual will be better than my RX-8. Hell, there are SUVs with better fuel economy than the RX-8.

Well, technically the RX-8 is a four-door…wait, are you talking about me?!? :wink:

If I could get past my ridiculous aversion to hatchback styling, I’d get a GTI in a heartbeat.

Oh, if we’re talking first cars it took me forever to get over mine: an '81 VW Rabbit that was 10 years old when I got it. I drove that thing until the mechanic said that it wasn’t worth repairing anymore – which was just three years later. I missed that car for a long time!

Yeah, I came across that thread while researching the stalling problem. I’m definitely not alone: in addition to that thread (and others like it) the tow truck driver was able to describe the problem to me, and my cousin – who sells Mazdas – told me that he’s seen several RX-8s towed into his dealership for the same thing. He thought the problem had been fixed by the '07 model year, though. Apparently not. :frowning:

I’m only on my second car, so… :wink: (What can I say? I was a late bloomer when it came to getting my license!)

Hey, I’ve been driving for 24 years and the car I have now is only my fourth – and only my second new one. :slight_smile:

I’ve had my car about 2 years longer than I’ve had my boyfriend (now husband) and we are about to celebrate 11 years together next month. The car was two years old when I got it, and it’s my first car! I think it’s in the 330 000km (205 000 miles) range.

I recently reconnected with a friend from high school/cégep who can’t believe I’m still driving the same car I’ve had since then!

I’m trying to run it into the ground, but the damn thing just won’t die. How many years can the engine light stay on for before something actually happens to the engine, by the way?

I’m graduating…again…soon (this car has gotten me through two university degrees separated by a couple years of work!) and I’ll probably buy a new/used car in the next year or so. But it’s going to be tough - I actually think I will cry when I have to give up this car! I’m not ready to break up with it!
ETA: in case anyone’s wondering, it’s a Tercel. Cute little rustbucket.

That really sucks, I hate an unreliable car, especially one that’s only 3 years old. Get a Mazdaspeed3. Nothing but 6-speed manual available. :wink:

I would, except: (1) I hate the current “big smile” styling of the front end (even more than I hate hatchbacks), and (2) I’m a little annoyed with Mazda right now. :slight_smile:

I see your point. I have an 08 Mazdaspeed3 which I think is way sexy, but that big smile on newer ones it indeed terrible. At least it’s not as bad on the Speed version.

Sorry to hear. No problems with my '94 RX7 so far, but there is no way I would use it as a daily driver.

Wow, OP that’s pretty horrible. Only 3 years old too, bought new. I have sympathy for ya for sure. Good luck choosing a new car; don’t feel too guilty about it. The V6 Hondas are nice. If it can save you a bit, go for a lightly used one.

Nah: as long as I can afford new, I’ll buy new. :slight_smile:

Hate hatchbacks? How about an Audi TT?