Thursday, October 21, 2010

Upgrades on Four Wheels

Northern New England, for those that don't know, is Subaru Country. There must be something appealing about how awesome all-wheel-drive is in the snow. Maybe it is the ability of Subarus to last to 200,000 miles that appeals to a Yankee's sense of thrift. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of Subarus around here.

So, when Hilary's car reached the end of the line a year ago by utterly failing New Hampshire inpsection, we had little difficulty in replacing a '94 Legacy Wagon that has 140,000 miles on it with a '95 Legacy Wagon that had 203,000 miles on it. This was largely a strategic move: at the time we were in process of buying our house, and didn't want to muddle our credit by applying for both a mortgage and an auto loan in the same breath. So, we sought a bridge car with a little life left in it, one that could take a place of Hilary's flagging station wagon at least through the winter. We paid a whopping $750 for it in a private sale, spent a little to fix it up and - wonder of wonders - managed to get over a year and 10,000 miles out of it.

We knew it was getting old by any number of measures. We could tell from the various noises that it was on questionable mechanical footing. Sure, it was always a struggle to find third gear. Sure we hardly put any money into fixing or maintaining it. But golly if it didn't start up every single time! We took it in for its annual inspection a while back and were told that they would pass it this year with some reservation, but assured us it wouldn't pass again next year. I guess 15 New England winters had finally gotten to it, and were beginning to cause some real structural integrity issues.

So, with tremendous gratitude, we drove that car to a Subaru dealership in the area and bought ourselves a new one. Well, not exactly "new" - it's a 2002 Subaru Outback wagon with 60,000+ miles on it. That's pretty low miles for a car of that age, and seems to be in great shape. It even has butt-warmers, something Hilary is quite pleased about with winter on the way. Here's hoping to another ten year, 100,000-mile relationship with Subaru!

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