QOTD: Willing Spirit, Weak Flesh?
Yesterday, the awe-inspiringly tall Matthew Guy asked about examples of daily drivers that achieved stratospheric odometer readings, which immediately catapulted this writer back to the middle of the previous decade — a better era for most things, save vehicle design.
Back then, your author’s beloved Camry Coupe was still running like a dream at 261,000 miles. Nary a drop of oil lost between changes. Repairs? Nonexistent. Bliss can truly exist outside of heaven. It was a happy coincidence that Guy’s post occured on the same morning that Murilee showed us an indestructible five-cylinder Benz diesel; truly a paragon of longevity.
Yet for every high-mileage champion, there’s a vehicle that gives up well before its time — wheezing to a stop before the finish line is in sight. Perhaps you’ve owned one?
We all hope and pray that our current ride goes the distance but, like your childhood vision of owning an ice cream factory, such dreams are often unrealistic. While I had hoped that my previous vehicle would soldier on well past its paid-off date, that was not to be. With coolant consumption reaching alarming levels, I hastily traded in Cruze 1.0 in order to recoup any measure of my initial investment. Blame might lie on a full-loss wintertime coolant dump that occured years earlier, and for an unknown period of time. There was a cold snap, a hose came loose following a dodgy repair, it’s a long story.
So, off it went to the auction at 129,000 miles. Not happy, this owner was. Now, before you place the blame solely on the decision to purchase a GM throwaway, the previous three low-rent GM sedans I’d owned were still running fine at 150,000+ miles. (Fingers crossed on Round Five…)
Despite its name being a stand-in for cheap reliability, my sister’s long-gone 2003 Honda Civic developed fatal engine and transmission issues at a ridiculously (for the model) low miles. It was a 1.7-liter/five-speed combo, if you’re curious. I don’t think the Civic made it to 125k before she ditched it in favor of something that wasn’t a grenade-in-waiting.
When a looming repair (or repairs) stand to cost the owner more than the car is worth, dropping the thing like a hot potato is the only acceptable course of action.
Comb those memory banks, B&B. We’ve talked indestructible hand-me-downs, now let’s talk turds. Did one of your vehicles give up the ghost long before its supposed best-before date? What was the odometer reading?
[Images: Chrysler, Honda]
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