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.