Instead of New Tires, It Looks Like We Will Be Getting a Different Car

My wife and I had planned on getting new tires for her Mitsubishi Outlander last night. However, after a set of surprise developments, we will be looking for a different car for her instead.

The plan was to get the tires after the girls were done with school. Only, when my wife was picking up our youngest daughter, her car stopped running outside of the school and she couldn't get it re-started so I had to come to her rescue and, eventually, had to call a tow truck (good thing we have towing insurance).

The problem was actually a small one, her battery just decided to die and needed to be replaced. It was an easy enough fix. But, after switching the battery, her "check engine" light came on and the mechanic, after investigating, found a bigger problem. Apparently, there are a lot of red flag codes popping up that are an indication the transmission is about to go. As a result, we are following his advice and are looking at a different car.

Yes, we could simply get the transmission fixed, as many of her friends were very verbal about on Facebook. But, there are a lot of reasons I'm opposed to that.

For one, the car only has 30,000 miles on it. Even if I can get the transmission fixed under warranty (which I'm not even sure the 6-year-old car has on anymore), the fact it is having this big of an issue with so few miles really makes me think this is only going to be the first of many expensive problems in the future.

Also, we still have 2 more years on our loan. I'm just not overly anxious to spend up to $4000 on a car I'm still making payments on.

The mechanic himself weighed heavily in on this decision too. We've done business with him in the past and he is as honest as we can find in our small town. The fact he is telling us to get rid of the car (advice that would not financially benefit him) rather than trying to sell us on the repair (something that would benefit him financially) says something about the seriousness of the problem.

The thing that ultimately pushed this over the edge was our visit to the car dealer last night (the one I leased my car from). We found an SUV that is similar to hers (2018 GMC Terrain, though we are going to look at some others today too) and, even after paying off/rolling in our existing loan, we can lease that vehicle with roughly the same monthly payment we are making now. It's hard to argue with making that move when it includes upgrading to a car that has a warranty.

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