Greetings from Pennsylvania! That’s right, I’ve left the warm (enough) confines of Southern California and journeyed east to meet the fiancee’s parents. It’s going fantastic, thanks for asking. Only thing is, they aren’t exactly what I’d call “car people.” Well, my future father in law’s OK enough. 2002 Jetta with a stick. Not a GLI with the VR6 but salty. Decent. Respectable. Her stepmother, however… Picture it: downtown Philadelphia, six people in the car. Me at the wheel because, “You drive cars (hic) for a living — you drive!” And after half a mile everyone starts noticing how poorly the car is riding. “These old streets are lousy in the winter.” Then it gets worse. “Well,” I say, “The Chevy Venture is one of the reasons why GM is circling the drain.” And when I park — yup — it’s a flat tire. And it’s 26 degrees out. And windy. And it takes 20 minutes to get the jack unstuck. So now there’s a mini-spare donut on the right front corner and the dash reads “AWD Disable.” But, we make it back, no sweat. The next morning (today!) we need to be in Quakertown and it’s 14 degrees and icy and the one tire shop has a “two hour plus” wait. We need to go, so we schlep 40 frosty miles in a hobbled minivan on one pretty alright tire. We live, but not my finest automotive hour. You?
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