Monday, June 27, 2011

My 2005 Pontiac Montana

I drive the Tighty-Whitey.  A white minivan with a gray band around the bottom.  Its like driving a giant pair of men's underpants upside down everywhere I go.  (As if having a minivan wasn't cool enough!)

But I can not complain too much about her.  Mechanically, she has been a SUPER sound car!
She's 6 years old, but aside from general maintenance (oil changes, battery, tires, breaks) we've had nothing major go wrong with her.
There was a small problem with the passenger front window switch not working.   I could roll it up with the one on the drivers side, but the passenger couldn't roll their own window down.  Matt kept saying he was going to stop at the dealer and pick up a new switch, but magically it "repaired" itself and hasn't been a problem since.
There is also an occasional glitch with the transmission shifting hard.  Matt read somewhere that its some pressure switch (FYI, this is where I may translate man-talk into blond) that he'd have to pull the whole transmission out to change out - but it stopped doing that on its own too.

The first real problem arose recently.  When  I go 60 or over, I have a pretty wicked shimmy.  (It stops at above 75, so I just drive faster..  ;) That fixes everything, right!?)  I apparently need a new front drivers side hub.  With only 3 payments away from being paid off.  GO FIGURE.

Oh well, it doesn't hurt to be married to a mechanic eh?? 

Once I've made that last payment, we're going to setup automatic deposits into our savings account for at least the amount we've been making in car payments..  That way my budget is still used to that money being pulled out, and if we can keep her going with out any major repairs (this hub thing isn't super expensive, it will be $120 for both sides), we'll have a nice chunk set aside for a deposit and TTnL..

But what to get?  I don't like driving a mini-van and having the "mommy mobile" label..  But I often have those 3 rows of seats full of kids, plus I need something big enough to haul not only my kids around, but our 100+ pound vehicularly ill-mannered lab as well.  (I can't think of the last time I took him to the vet and didn't have the kids with me).  Plus I HATE grocery shopping, so I try to just do one giant trip a month, so I need to be able to fold that 3rd row down and make lots of room for groceries...
But I don't want the added fuel cost and insurance cost with an SUV.

GM got rid of the Pontiac line (and kept Buick?  Not one of their better decisions, in my opinion.).  I looked at the Chevy Traverse, but after having 2 Pontiac's - the interior seemed really cheap and dull to me.  (I had this same dilemma when I bought the Tighty Whitey, it was a toss up between it and a Chevy Venture - and even though the Chevy had a lot more options going for it, I chose the Pontiac because it just had a much nicer interior option..I mean, I don't stand outside checking the color of my car out as often as I am inside looking at the interior.)
I didn't have time to go look at the GMC Acadia (the GMC version of the Traverse), but all I can do is hope that they have a nicer interior package like the Pontiac's had.  I've never been drawn to the Buick line (don't you have to have to be a certain age to be able to buy one of those anyway!?  ;)  )

So for now I guess the Acadia is on the top of my list..  Hopefully I'll get to check them out before too long so I know if I need to start looking at other options...

Though I worry, can I teach the kids to be mindful of opening the car door and NOT opening it into the car next to me??

Aside from the obvious driving you to and from places, mommy mobiles are:

A place to eat ice cream in on the ride home from the mountains:

A place to nap on long car trips home:

A seat at the drive in:
A place to do lotion art:
For bringing friends to meet their new baby brothers:

For using as a rain gague when its flooding out...

You know, looking at all the places that van has taken us, moves, trips, birthday parties, shopping adventures, etc..  It kind of makes me sad to think about getting rid of it.  BUT ONLY FOR A SECOND OR TWO.

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