The Calm After the Storm

by jolyn on October 27, 2010

in Moving,On Cars

I’ve been quite engaged this past week with a lot of load of this.

Pun intended.

And now that John’s gone, I’m looking around at the destruction left in the wake of someone preparing to be a geo-bachelor for… an as of yet undetermined amount of time, and all I want to do is take a nap. Is it a good thing that we haven’t had a call for a showing in over three weeks? Because right now it feels like it is, even though all I wanted to do when John left was get in the truck and drive off with him.

How Far Do You Push Your Car?

John got a very late start, even by our standards. He got stuck at the Toyota dealership trying to get the converter-thingie fixed that makes the trailer lights work. The part that was needed is no longer available. Quote: Wow, we haven’t seen one of these in a loooong time. They don’t make that part anymore for ones this old, boy how-die.

The guy was talking about our 1999 Toyota 4Runner like it was a machine relic. The thing’s running great, you know? Pushing 200,000 miles and still holding strong.

We’ll see how it’s faring after this trip, though. And after towing (almost? over?) 1000 pounds of schtuff. If he had to do it all over again, John’s already saying that he would have had the movers come and do a split move: take part of his stuff now and the rest of it (with us) later. Thing is, either way, we’re on the hook for the cost of his move in the short-term: he won’t get reimbursed for anything until we’re all moved. Time will tell when that happens…

How far do you push your car? Is 11-years-old really so … unusual?

Oh — and once they finally got a converter-thingie part jimmy-rigged so John could drive cross-country without getting arrested for not having rear lights on his 1000-pound trailer? They bid him adieu — with no charge, in honor of a military man with a trailer load of stuff fixing to move cross-country, geo-bachelor like. Thank you, Toyota.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo November 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I know this is a late comment, but couldn’t help weighing in! Our second car, which we are borrowing, is the only car my parents ever bought new. It’s a 1980 Ford F150 that has moved across the country many times. Still has the original engine, transmission, etc. Dad’s a pretty good mechanic and rebuilds parts on it now and again, but all in all, it is mostly original. Headlights are a little dimmer than they used to be, but hey, it’s a year younger than I am. Brother was born on the seat on the way to the hospital. Our hope is that it will be our son’s first car (he’s 18 months old). That is, if America still has gasoline then. Anyway, it’s a beast to drive, but it’s faithful. Your Toyota has a lot of miles left in it!

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Tam November 1, 2010 at 11:29 pm

both of our cars are 10 yrs old with lots of mileage but we need to hold out as long as we can. The thought of a car payment makes my heart skip beats and gives me night sweats. Frankly I pray every night for another day in the life of our vechiles.

Girl thinking about you guys and hopefully you all will be together sooner rather than later. I will add that to my prayers…along with my cars..LOL LOL HUGS!

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jolyn Reply:

Thanks so much, Tam. I do really appreciate it. And so good to see you here!

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Forest November 1, 2010 at 8:42 am

Your car is practically brand new to many of the cars running around here! It’s not uncommon to see cars from the early 70s busying around like normal!

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jolyn Reply:

Ha! We Americans are so auto-centric, I don’t know why. But my husband is no exception. If we hadn’t turned over this new financial leaf over a year ago or so, I’m sure we would have bought a new (to us) car by now, sad but true.

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Cheryl B. October 31, 2010 at 8:50 am

My Camry is a 1999, we bought it used with 77,000 miles on it. It has about 130,000 now. My 1986 Toyota Tercel 4-wheel drive wagon (I should have never sold that dang thang), we sold to my FIL back in 1994 for $1500.00. He just sold it again for $1000.00!! Unknown miles at this point, well over 200,000, probably more like 300,000.

Picture makes me sniff, sniff……

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Kaycee October 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

My current car just hit 10 years old. However, it *only* has 76,000 miles on it.

My previous car was 16 years old and beginning to act up and it again “only” had 115,000 miles on it.

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Andi B. @ Modern Tightwad October 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

Your cars still in baby years for a Toyota. I wouldn’t think twice about driving it around. I have a 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage with 170,000 miles on it that just won’t die; with the amount of miles and the way I drive you think it would’ve given up the ghost by now. And my husband drives a 1969 Datsun 510 Wagon. It gets us from point A to point B and is a lot of fun on the way. I hope you’re able to join your husband soon. :)

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Crystal @ BFS October 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I am sooooo hoping my car makes it 10 years…I know most cars can, but the Chevy Aveo is very badly made. I would think that my husband’s Prius could make it 10 years easy, but convincing him of that at year 6 or 7 is going to be rough. He just really doesn’t like driving the same car longer than that…

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Andrea October 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm

The picture is cute in a way your little guy looks to be saying its all good Dad I got this. We are owners of two vehicles one 7 years old and one 10 years old. Glad to hear Toyota helped out just to let you know my husband worked in the service dept. for a Toyota dealership up untill just recently and they earn most of their money off of customer feedback. So if any one person helped him he should get some sort of survey and they look for nothing but excellent on those pesky little things, I never new this untill our financial means depended on others feedback. My thoughts and prayes during your hopefully brief single parent time.

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Michelle October 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm

HAHA, 11 years being a relic!…yea not so much. My husband and I would consider that quite new actually. The newest car we have ever owned is a 1991, our jeep. We now have air :) never had a car that had air before lol. Of course we can rough it a lil more than most since we don’t have kids i guess. Ironically we’ve both lived in AZ our entire lives too. (the 118 in the summer all our lives n no air lol, i think we are crazy :P ) Most of the vehicles we’ve had we’re early 80′s or 70′s…but then again i guess we’re an exception to the rule since we both work on cars. We’ve always been able to do a rebuild when needed or the general maintenance. But i guess it all depends on who you ask, anyone dealing with new vehicles will say anything over 7 or 8 years or 200k is outa date or needs replaced. We both restore 60′s & 70′s cars, now those are the “relics” i guess you would say. Cause its hard to find people who still know about them. As far as mileage we typically go over 300k…but like i said we know how to do all the work. I would say since you have a newer car that is hittin the 200k mark & still able to do the work you need it to go for it :) sounds like it has & will keep serving you guys well :) Just never under estimate the small things which make all the difference for the life of the vehicle :)

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jolyn Reply:

Yea, my husband is the maintenance man. He likes to say that the liquids are the life-blood of the car. :)

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Michelle Reply:

It is Oh-so true too:)

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jaime October 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm

and I wish you and your family the best! Hope you are all together again soon.

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jaime October 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm

That’s not a relic by any means! I have a 97 dodge caravan …160,000 mi. and on it’s last legs, but still going…(we don’t think we can get it to pass inspection in April, regulations are so strict here in RI… so we are considering our options for a replacement right now. And hubby has a 2000 Saturn LS with 60,000. It’s a great car. His old car a 95 Concorde died the morning after our wedding and this saturn has been great to us since. We plan on running both of them until we can’t anymore.

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jolyn Reply:

Actually, California has strict inspections as well and we’re not sure how our cars will fare when we have to register them there. We just registered them here again in Ohio so at least we’ll have a year to figure it out.

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amanda October 28, 2010 at 11:07 am

Last year the USAA magazine said that the average age of a car in the US is 9 years old. I’d say 11 years is well within the error on that average. Good luck to John and all of you!

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jolyn Reply:

Thanks, Amanda. And nine years? I missed that one. I’m a little surprised, I must admit, but that’s a good thing.

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Evan October 28, 2010 at 11:04 am

My Last car (which was my first car lol) was an amazing 1993 240sx it died in 2006 (I bought it in 1999). I am not sure how far it went since the odometer stopped working at 171,000 LOL

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Cathie October 28, 2010 at 10:11 am

We have a 2003 Taurus with 170k, a 2005 Pacifica with 152k, and a 1999 Quest with 214k. We rotate them based on current conditions. For instance, right now, my husband must travel all over the state, so he uses the Taurus because it gets much better mpg. I drive the Pacifica back and forth to work (only 12 miles, but heavy traffic each way) and my MIL drives the Quest, which needs some work (understandably) just because she doesn’t need to go anywhere, really, and she loves vans. We don’t plan on replacing any of them until we HAVE to, or until we can do it painlessly, financially speaking. We certainly have every intention of paying cash, although I am much firmer on that than my husband is. He doesn’t see a car payment as terrible, if we are in a position to pay it.

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jolyn Reply:

I really, really hope we buy our next car with cash. If we do get in a bind and end up having to borrow some of the money for our next car, I intend to pay it off as quickly as humanly possible. But hopefully it won’t come to that!

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Susan October 28, 2010 at 9:42 am

We sold our ’97 GMC when we moved overseas to family friend who’s still using it. I’d still have it if we hadn’t moved! Love to hear about some giving – Good Job Toyota!

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jolyn Reply:

Isn’t it? I was really, really glad to hear about that, especially in light of how much we have been spending on this move lately, which is considerable.

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Mysti October 28, 2010 at 9:24 am

Safe Travels, John!

My car is a 2000 Ford Windstar @ 143k miles. I am trying to get it to 200k (with an average of 15k a year, that is about 4 years from now). I don’t think a 1999 car is a relic by any means.

And for what it is worth, I am eyeballing a replacement for when the time comes. Right now, I am in love with the Toyota FJ Cruiser….so maybe in 4 years I will be able to get a good used one!

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Andrew October 28, 2010 at 8:33 am

I’m about to roll my inherited 1997 Grand Marquis over 100k miles.. It’s required a bit of work but runs great in between.

Good on Toyota for not charging you.. it’ nice to hear about a dealership doing things the right way for a change.

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jolyn Reply:

It really is, isn’t it?

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Kim October 28, 2010 at 7:48 am

I’m saying a prayer for his safe travels and to be with your entire family while you are apart. We have always driven our cars until they can’t go any longer. We have 2 right now that are just shy of 200,000. We had a Mazda 323 that was over 20 years old. We called it “the put put” since it had the get and go similar to a golf cart. It just kept going and going for us.

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jolyn Reply:

20 years. Oh, wow. That is impressive. I love how cars take on personalities. And thanks for your prayers; we really appreciate them.

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Di October 28, 2010 at 7:13 am

Great post! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you go through your separation.

And good for you on keeping your vehicle so long. I would still be driving my ’99 caravan if I hadn’t been caught in a flash flood that totaled it. Dave Ramsey would be proud of you. ;)

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jolyn Reply:

Ha! If it weren’t for DR, I honestly think we might have replaced it over a year ago. I discovered TMMO just in time. And thanks for your thoughts and prayers. They do mean a lot.

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