A few weeks ago, my trusty old 1997 Voyager minivan died. The transmission just quit engaging. The engine would run, but it wouldn't go. Wah! I'd been driving it since my son was born, so that's 8-1/2 years. Over the years, little things started to go wrong. There was an issue with some "recall" work that I never had done, so anything electrical on the steering column quit working. Sort of. The cruise control wouldn't engage. The windshield wipers would work when I wanted them to, but also sometimes when THEY wanted to. The horn would not work when I wanted it to, but took to blaring all on its own when I turned corners. Yikes! I had my brother-in-law the mechanic yank it out for me. The tape deck ate a tape and wouldn't let go. The left tail light quit working, and it wasn't a burned-out bulb--it was electrical. Somewhere. We could never find the problem. It had an oil leak. The inside heater hose (part of the radiator/cooling system) sprung a leak and had to be bypassed, leaving me with no heat for the winter. Granted, not much of a problem for most of the year in Florida, but it does get chilly in the wintertime and I am NOT a fan of the cold!
It's a list of little things, things that I could live with for the most part, but an extensive list. We decided it wasn't worth putting in the $1200 - $1400 it would take to replace the transmission and still be driving a vehicle with all those "issues". So we got me a new car. Well, a used new car. A 1995 Infiniti J-30, pearl white, with a sunroof, leather interior, and a butt warmer! (Big yay!) You would never know it's that old. There's a little wear on the steering wheel, but other than that, it's pristine! It's gorgeous! (See picture above. Jealous?) The hardest thing to get used to has been being much lower to the ground than I was in the minivan. And the gearshift is on the "floor" to the right of the driver's seat instead of on the steering column. So once in awhile I'll grab the windshield wiper lever and try to "shift" with it. I always feel pretty stupid when that happens!
It's a great car. It's gorgeous. It handles beautifully. It gets decent gas mileage. Looks like I've got my ride set for the next decade or so! (By then my son will have his driver's license, and he's already planning on inheriting it!)