The end of a car era

In June while driving home from visiting our oldest son and his family in Alberta our car, a 2002 Intrepid, broke down over a hundred miles from home. Auto insurance paid for the tow back to the city but this was the second time in the last year we’d been stranded on the highway and we sat in the ditch for two hours waiting for the truck. It was a blown transmission line, same trouble as the last time, but a different line. I said to my wife that that would be the last time we ever drove that car out of town. The fix was not even expensive but I just couldn’t trust it again to get us anywhere and back. In the years we’ve owned it we’ve replaced the water pump, the power steering pump three times, the rack and pinion, and now two transmission repairs. At those times it was my philosophy that it is always cheaper to make a repair now and then than to make monthly payments on a newer car. But when one becomes afraid of driving said car for fear of breakdown it’s time to move on.

We had that tansmision line replaced and gave the car to our daughter to drive to work in as long as it lasted. This morning it finally gave up entirely. Repeated stalling while idling, warning lights on all over the place, a loud clacking noise under the hood, and the failure of all the gauges and dials told me today would be it’s last day with us as a working vehicle. Back in June after deciding we had to start looking for something else I began an in-depth search and study of hundreds of new and used cars, plus watched about a hundred You Tube videos by car mechanics and reviewers. I found out long after we bought it that the Chrysler v6, 2.7 liter engine was among the worst ever made. However I must say that it was never the engine which gave us trouble and it always started easily.

In August we bought a new Toyota Rav4, which rated very highly by all who tested it, including Consumer Reports. So our daughter will have to begin using her F150 for work which will mean a bit more in gas but the Toyota will be for my wife and me, unlike the Intrepid which all the kids used for learning to drive and well beyond high school. I’m sure half of the 205,000 kilometers on it were from their driving, not ours. And tomorrow the Intrepid, which we loved for most of it’s time with us, will be towed away after 17 years of being “the family car”. I can’t guarantee there won’t be the odd tear, but someone out there somewhere needs the parts it will be stripped for.


Aww. Yes, it sounds like it’s time.

We have two older cars now and one not as old. All of them have many many miles on them, though one has a “newer” engine with 60k miles on it. Luckily we rarely take long trips, and we do have an auto club, but I would rather not have the car break down while I am driving it!

But I know how you feel about being sad to see a car go. I felt like that with my Taurus station wagon. I loved that car. You could fit so much in it, and we had a good run with it, and then passed it along to a family member.

I will feel the same way with our Toyota Highlander when the time comes. :confused: It’s such a comfortable car and handles well.

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Good for you, getting the absolute maximum use out of your car. Despite all the repairs, it accomplished a lot.

I rented an Intrepid a long time ago, and it was kind of a thrill, at least compared to most cars I’d driven.

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I found this photo of me with the Intrepid taken in 2010. Before any of the troubles began. :slight_smile:

ps, that may be the only photo of me in existence where I’m wearing a wrist watch. I can’t stand the feel of them and the battery ones always stop working when I put them on.



Very much so. It travelled to South Dakota twice, to northern Ontario, to Seattle for our oldest son’s wedding, not to mention to my inlaws’ farm a hundred times. Despite it’s poor reputation among car gurus, we got more than the expected life from it. :slight_smile: And at the time we bought it, it was by far the best vehicle we’d ever owned.

According to Scotty Kilmer, You Tube mechanic, that Highlander may still be going long after you and I have ceased to. LOL


We will be keeping that car until it dies most likely!

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I remember thinking that was a not bad looking car at the time, though I preferred them in black! :wink:

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Given that your old car was not the most reliable car as per consumer ratings that mention that same problems you had, I think you probably got good use out of it. I tend to drive my cars till they die - still driving a 2005 Ford Escape that is doing well (but only 88,000 miles so far). Before that I had the car from hell - a Plymouth neon with headgasket problems. I saw service bulletins on the problem (though no recall) and called Chrysler headquarters and asked and actually got a refund from them for the second round of headgasket replacement expenses.

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Like mine, you mean? :smile:

A brother-in-law had one of those for a long time but eventually started having issues. He replaced it with a Jeep Compass. From the frying pan into the fire… :smile:

Any car looks better in black! :slightly_smiling_face:


Being that I’m getting up in years, I’ve had to say goodbye to my share of cars. The problem with getting older is the risk of breaking down in the middle of nowhere and too arthritic to even change a tire without needing four days to recover from it.

I’ve bought cars new, old and gently used. They all have their pluses and minuses. Less spent at first or less spent overall? Warranty or not? My current Nissan is only reaching three years old and 26,000 miles and I’m ready to trade it in. For a brand new car, I’ve had all the oil evaporate (yes, I waited too long between changes but in 6months?) replaced the heater fan, two batteries, had a piece of the body fall off and now my key fob doesn’t work. Thankfully, I have a second fob but it’s not the battery…we’ve put in two and it still won’t start. This car has a key to enter if you want but to start it, you can only use the fob! Never again. Luckily, it happened to me at home, not somewhere else.

I have no idea what to get. I loved my Jeep but they don’t have the highest record either. Had a Toyota RAV and the newer ones don’t accommodate my left leg…they hit me in the knee…painfully! I’ll just start looking and eventually a salesman will find me the car I want just to get rid of me! :joy:


It never hurts to ask. The worst that can happen is you’ll be told no. But more likely, to keep good will, you’ll be told yes, as you were. There’s an old truism that says, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Never hurts to speak up. I’ve learned that we miss out on a lot out of fear of making our wishes known.

Congrats on the new car.

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I don’t have a new car - bought the Escape when it was new in 2005. However, it still runs like new.

Obviously it will be up to you and how you feel in the vehicle, but I personally like my Subaru Outback. A lot like my wife’s RAV in layout and equipment, but just a bit bigger so it is more comfortable for me to drive and we can fit more in it for trips.

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I’ve never test drove a Subaru! No real reason, just never have. They used to be much smaller but have upsized over the last ten or so years! When I begin my search in earnest, I will include them! Thanks!

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RIP to your 2002 Intrepid @CelticWarlord. Tears were shed when we had to retire our Chevy Suburban that we drove out of AK on the AlCan Hwy, down the West coast of U.S. then across the Southern states to Ft. Rucker, Alabama. After that assignment my husband went to Ft. Carson CO where I drove visiting family members to the top of Pikes Peak at least 6 times in that Suburban. Currently I drive a RAV4 my second one and I love it. My first RAV was still running well but just like Pattyit because of my and RAV’s aging, I couldn’t risk getting stranded along side of an Interstate. I hated trading it in as 1995 was the last year Toyota made the RAV with a manual transmission. I am now used to not having to shift but after a lifetime of driving a manual, it took a lot of conscious effort not to do so. Happy Trails to you in your RAV!


There is actually good news on this front. Rather than sell it to a wrecker for next to nothing, we gave it to a nephew who loves working on old cars. He picked it up on Wednesday and hauled off to his place, which is only a short distance from my inlaws’ farm. So we can visit it whenever we’re out there. :smiley:

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“Ah, Intrepid, we hardly knew ye!” :beers:

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