Toyota Of Bellingham


OMG! I totally did not expect to spend 5 hours at the Toyota Dealership today. I started writing my blog post while sitting by the receptionist desk waiting to be called into sign some papers and now I'm back home sitting on the couch with my Macbook after eating dinner. My head is still spinning. Love and Fear is spattered all over within this story of me trying to figure out why I thought I needed a new car in the first place over a year ago. 

Having a reliable car is important for a lot of reasons though I'm sure I could get along without even having a car at all. Now that I think about it... sigh... too late for that now.  I do love the freedom of having a vehicle and I also have an affinity for Toyotas specifically. I thought that it was a sure thing that if I got a Toyota, even with high miles, I would be getting a reliable vehicle. Over a year ago I decided to buy a new to me used car and started looking for something to fit all kinds of requirements I had in mind. 

Long story short, I thought I had found the perfect SUV, it had just over 170000 miles but the price was right and it fit what I was looking for. It had everything, leather heated seats, premium sound, tow package, keyless entry and it was the right color. The only thing I didn't like was the gas mileage but I figured I would just drive carefully. Other than that it seemed like a dream, one owner car, purchased and serviced it's whole life at the dealership where I was going to buy it. The guy who sold it to me made it seem like I was getting a steal of a deal and could guarantee that it was in perfect condition, because they knew it intimately. Toyotas are known for longevity when it comes to mileage so it seemed like a sure bet.  Everything was fine until I took it in for an oil change a year later.

I went to pay the bill and as I walked up to grab my keys the service guy gave me a look that made my heart sink. He went over the list as usual saying some unexpected things then told me that the transmission and rear differential were leaking. And then he told me that it was listed in the service records from before I purchased it. WTF? Why didn't anyone tell me that before I bought the car? I immediately assumed I just got screwed by the car dealer who wanted to make his sale. It made me so mad and sad at the same time. Then the poor service guy suggested I go talk to somebody about it- he could tell I was upset and rightly so.

Needless to say they didn't charge me for the oil change that day and promised to make the situation right somehow. How? Fast forward to today. The plan was to make it right by finding me a better vehicle and giving me a good price on my vehicle as a trade in. It's been a process and this was not the first time I got a call saying hey, we have a vehicle that may work for you. In fact we had just gone to the dealership and looked at a different highlander yesterday but it was baby blue, without a hitch and not anything close to what I'd hoped for. 

Now I am rife with fear that I made a mistake. Scared that I just got taken advantage of again and mistrusting everyone in the situation. I don't even trust myself at the moment. I decided to go ahead with the new deal and take a huge hit to my pride based on numbers. I'll be getting a better vehicle for sure because it was owned previously by the son of my Mom's line dance instructor who is a Toyota mechanic. Yeah, go figure that coincidence out, it must be a sign? How is it that after I got the text from the car dealer telling me he had another different vehicle that might work, that I saw a facebook post of someone who had just upgraded to a Sprinter Van there. WTF? Really. I connected the dots and laughed.

I still didn't expect to spend 5 hours at the dealership today, nor did I expect to sign on for a loan borrowing even more money. Oscillating between thinking "it's only money" and "it's way more debt", wondering if I am doing the right thing. Knowing all the other things I could do with that money or could not do without that debt. Ugh. I do however love the way this sporty lifted white RAV4 looks and if it all works out I'll be driving it home Tuesday and saying goodbye to what I thought was my dream car and long term companion. I'm sad and afraid yet happy and excited, full of fear and love, all kinds of confused and wondering. 

My mind goes back to the Highlander and wonder why both of the front flip down visors broke since then, wondering why the front driver window suddenly recently stopped working too. Wondering why the air filter was clogged and needing replacement already, why they told me it was almost due for new brakes last time too, why it may have needed new rotors too. Why they didn't tell me it had problems in the first place and why they said they would fix it by selling me a new car that costs more than I wanted to spend (though my payments will be the same).

Why have I found myself in this situation, torn over the whole thing? What am I to learn from this mess and how do I make it right with myself? Was I meant to get a different car anyway?

I thought I had a pretty good radar for truth but now my trust has been compromised again by so many variables. I don't know what to do other than to write it all down here for reviewing later and then go hoop it off for now. I always have hope. I hope that they really are doing this to make it right. I hope that I made the right choice and that it's all going to work out for the best. I hope that I can trust again in the decency of car dealers. I want to give rave reviews but honestly, I did give rave reviews about this dealership but little did I know. And now I know more but I wish I knew more before. Sigh... the story goes on to be continued...