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.
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??)