The time had finally come. I had to get a new vehicle. I was totally dreading doing this. My Pathfinder and I had been together for over 12 years and almost 170k miles. I thought we were in it for the long haul and would hit the 200,000 mark, but that was not to be. I told my husband several times in the past year I wished it could last forever. Over the years I had very few problems with it even after hitting a deer that resulted in over $10,000 in damage and taking six weeks to repair! I drove it longer post-crash than before without any concerns.
Then one very cold winter day—the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s—I had the kids loaded up, headed for the Y for School’s Out Rocks! We were only a few minutes away from home when the dash started to light up. I could tell I had lost the power steering and it would not accelerate. I pulled off at the neighbor’s farm and tried to restart, but with no luck. I looked around at three faces more concerned that we would now be late for School’s Out Rocks than our current problem. It was at that moment I finally got over my emotional hang up that had been preventing me from even wanting another vehicle. This vehicle had brought my babies home from the hospital and the next one would probably last to take them away to college.
So I called for a tow from our local mechanic. They were there in 15 minutes and my mom made it in about 20 to get us. We returned home to try again with my husband’s truck, now joking that we hoped nothing would happen to it, but if it did maybe the mechanic could give us a BOGO on tows for the day.
We finally arrived at the Y.
Vehicle diagnosis was that the computer module that tells everything what to do could be going bad. But the connections were all corroded so they cleaned and greased them up. It restarted, they drove it and it was fine. All was good until a month later when I went to work and when it was time to it wouldn’t start. Now the computer module really had gone bad. So we forked over the money to get that fixed. I needed it to last a few more weeks until we were ready to shop.
Oh what to buy. That was difficult to figure out. Whatever I got had some big shoes…err tires to fill. I wanted consistent reliability and something that would last into the double digit years. A trip to the auto show helped narrow the field. I wound up with quite the spread of vehicles I liked though.
I was deeply enamored with the Jeep Wrangler basic in all matters, which I liked, and it doubled as a convertible of sorts plus it would do well in the snow. I test drove a Volvo. It was very nice and about as close as they come to the semi-autonomous driving of the future. I also drove (and purchased) a Toyota 4Runner, which my husband insisted was probably the best choice to meet my high standard for reliability and longevity. It is also quite nice and has a lot of features I would survive without like the voice activated assistant who can’t seem to understand “go home” when it comes to directions and instead wants to call my husband! But we manage.
-by Amy Herd, Sports Registrar