Back in ’01 I inherited a six-year-old car with 20,000 miles on it. It still had the new car smell. So Karen drove it to work – about a half mile away – for three years. Then we moved to our current location, where Karen’s job is a bit farther away. So now we have a thirteen (soon to be fourteen) year old car with not quite 90,000 miles. Works for me.
Last year it needed over $700 in repairs. It needed four new tires – oh yeah. These were apparently the original tires to the car. “These tires haven’t been manufactured since ’98” they told me. I also needed to replace the exhaust system. The muffler had rusted out and was dragging on the ground. I hated spending all this money on a car that was ready to die anyway. In frustration I told Karen “When this car fails inspection next year I’m getting rid of it!” To be honest I was a little excited to replace the old girl. I started looking at Jettas.
This year came and the car passed inspection. No repairs needed. Crestfallen, I collected my perfectly working Grandma car from the mechanic. We’ll be driving her another year it seems. I started calling this car “The Cockroach” because it refuses to die.
But then our OTHER car started giving us problems. Our family car, you know, the minivan? One headache after the other, and now that we have four little boys it is a very big deal when the van is in the shop. So now we’re thinking that we might replace it before getting rid of the cockroach. Then comes Thanksgiving weekend 2008 and she won’t start.
But no worries, we had it towed to the mechanic and $200 later she’s back on her feet, er, wheels. He told me “It looked like this car had never had a tune up – ever.” He’s right. But now that she’s entering her twilight years I think we’ll put a little more effort into preventative maintenance.