197,000

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I love my car.

I bought it 6 years before having any children – thinking: If within the next 10 years I have children, I’ll have to be able to fit car seats in here. Rear doors are important. Cargo space is important. Fuel economy is important. Reliability is important. Definitely a Honda.

If I had known in 1998 when I started looking for a new car that the ’98 Honda CR-V I chose would’ve lasted this long, this well, despite issues that’d kill a lesser (*cough*American*cough*) car, I’d have… I’d have… Well, I don’t think I’d have paid more. But it would’ve been something else good. I’d have named it, or something. As it stands, it has no name. It doesn’t need one.

The significant history of my beloved car.

  • Bought in October, 1998 for around $23k? Don’t remember right now. Eventually paid over 26k (interest blows).
  • In 2000/2001 – right around 75k miles, it was in an accident – hit from behind by an F150. Bent the frame. It was repaired, but the rear differential was never the same. To this day, it has a leak, and it howls. My mechanic says “Replacing that rear end is expensive, and you can’t prove the crash did it. You can live with the howl, just make sure you keep the rear diff’s oil level up.” And he has been right.
  • In October 2003, I finished paying for it. Free and clear, now the bigger maintenance bills loom. About twice per year we have a 50k mile maintenance done, costing $400-500. That’s still cheaper than the payments.
  • November, 2003. The check engine light began staring at me. Sometimes 93 octane gas turned off the light for a while. Mechanic Wisdom: “It’s one or both of the o2 sensors near the catalytic converter. They control the richness of fuel being burned. It’s not a big deal, but it could eventually lead to damage in the cat. If that happens, it’ll feel like it’s losing power.” No power lost.
  • In April 2004, we had the 2 oxygen sensors replaced for close to $500, before a road trip to Chicago.
  • In May 2004, the check engine light re-appeared, for the same reason as before. Mechanic Wisdom: “If you start noticing your mileage dropping, it’s time to think about the $1500 catalytic converter replacement.” No mileage drop – we’re still getting nearly 350 miles/tank, on regular unleaded.

Since he’s been so right, and since he’s saved me a hefty chunk of change he could probably have gotten out of me, much appreciation goes to Township Automotive, in Plymouth, MI. Highly recommended.

I’ve recently started perusing classified ads for a used Honda Pilot. I’ll bet that one makes it even farther.

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