We drive old vehicles: a 2001 Avalon, a 2002 Caravan, a 1968 Charger (that’s for fun!) The biggest plus for this is not having a car payment. We basically drive our cars until they’re only good for donating to a scrapyard…then we find another cheap one. The van is getting up there in miles, but we don’t want to give up yet.
I only have four requirements for a vehicle: mostly-reliable (Bob doesn’t mind rescuing us every now and then), air-conditioning (I live in Kansas!), heat (I live in Kansas!) and quasi-quiet (mufflers are good inventions). So far, my van has met all the criteria; however, about 3 weeks ago, it started giving me fits when starting…it would just “click, click, click.” Eventually, though, it would always start, and my girls and I would be on our way. Finally, last week, it took over 30 tries to start it, and there was a funny clanky rattle from underneath; I called, “Enough!”
Bob, in all his glorious shade-tree-mechanic’s wisdom, started digging around and found a bad starter and a broken transmission mount. I was in a school board meeting when he sent me this picture…a little startling, to be sure!
Bob called O’Reilly’s to order the new parts (only $130); I picked them up (chit chatting with the parts store worker like I knew what I was talking about, of course), and two evenings covered in grease later, I’m good to go! Seriously, we’re shooting for another several months out of this van…
Now, here’s my shout-out to my husband: this man can (and does) fix EVERYTHING! So far on my van, (and this is only what I can recall off the top of my head), he has replaced the fuel pump, the driver’s side window and up/down mechanism (I don’t know what it’s called), the brakes, the oil pan/drain, battery terminals, and now the starter and engine mount.
Sometimes, I think he actually enjoys the breakdowns. When the fuel pump went out, his uncle and his grandfather even came over to “play.” It’s in his blood, apparently.
And this is just one vehicle. In the past, he rebuilt the bodies of Mustangs (we had a yellow ’98 GT and a red ’97 Cobra pre-children!) and continually tinkered with and jury-rigged our “piece of crap” Nisson Stanza.
When I’m not home, and Bob’s in the garage, he’s even found ways to involve the girls in the car work. Here, Josie is watching her Daddy change brakes.
Even though I know Bob never minds working on our daily drivers, nothing compares to getting to play with this sweet car!