At what point do you throw in the towel with your car? As a card-carrying stubborn gearhead, I haven’t found the line yet. A few months ago I refreshed the top end of my 1990 Oldsmobile — a terrible old slushbucket — to fix a coolant leak from the cylinder head. The transmission no longer moves the car, even though it shifts, and this is after I did two wheel bearings and replaced a broken climate-control computer. Considering that the car has about 240,000 miles on it (I’m not sure because I replaced the cluster to fix a broken speedometer a while back), and has a Kelly Blue Book retail value of less than $700, why exactly did I bother? Because as long as I’m around, it’s not dead yet.
Some of you out there can see what’s coming and others probably think I’m a lunatic, but that car has so many stories wrapped in it, and I’ve learned so much from it, that it seems a shame to get rid of it. I’m sure others out there have that ratty old pickup you just won’t allow to die, while others are junkies for that new car smell. Both get the job done, but only one way leaves a hunk of sheet metal and castings with a personality. Sure, Olds isn’t even around now that GM has gone splat but what of it?
Who’s with me on this? Are you better off, in general, keeping one alive or sending it on its way? Let us know in comments.
(Thanks to Flickr user dave_7 for the great CC-licensed photo.)