When the van’s a rockin, don’t…
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Back in January of 2003, my wife and I bought a new van. It only had 17 miles on it when we made the purchase and some of those miles were from the test drive. It was our largest car purchase and it was the only time we have ever bought a new car in our 20 years of marriage.
I can remember how well we tried to maintain it when we first brought it home. It would get regular cleanings and we would watch where we parked it in order to stave off those accidental scratches that the inconsiderate morons absent minded would cause when letting their grocery carts rub up against it. In short, we babied and protected it. Somewhere along the line it received a scratch or two, the new car smell faded, and different parts started needed to be replaced. Here is what is interesting, at the time when it needed the most care, we started ignoring the little warning signs that bigger problems were coming. We just didn’t want to hassle with the old beast because there was a cost associated and there was a time involvement that made it inconvenient.
Our family is planning a long ‘roadcation’ out west in the near future and we need that old beast to be at its best since we will be taking in long miles across diverse conditions. As we were preparing for the trip, it became apparent that we were going to have to do some maintenance on those things that we had been ignoring. That is how I spent most of my Memorial Day Weekend – maintaining the old beast.
First it was just a brake job and new tires, but that soon blossomed into:
- New drums for the back end
- New rotors and wheel bearings for the front end
- Replacing the AC Compressor and Accumulator
- Installing a new serpentine belt
- AND.. a new Catalytic Converter
Some of those things I knew I needed to do, but some of them didn’t become apparent until I started digging into other areas and opening what was hidden. It took 2 days and about $1500 to address these issues… but it is going to be worth the peace of mind when we are on the road for our long trip.
Maybe it is a man thing, but those types of lessons are easy to apply to other areas of our lives. Take a marriage for instance. Mine has been running for near to 20 years and the new car smell wore out some time back. There have been a few scratches and dents along the way. There has also been some time spent ignoring the warning signs of maintenance needed.
It’s appropriate that this trip is coming up as it will provide opportunity for slowing down and doing some maintenance. It will be our first opportunity as husband and wife (and family) to invest more than 2 weeks of family togetherness. No work objectives, no piano lessons, no sports practices, no yard work that just has to get done, no.. none of that. We just don’t need any of that to ‘come a knockin’ on this trip. There is a lifetime of travel that our family still has to make and these times are necessary in order for there to be peace of mind about that trip.
We will keep you all updated on our ‘roadcation’ in the old beast when the time comes. Hopefully we will learn new insights about ourselves, our faith, and our country as we ride along.