ups and downs toward the end of 2012

This has been a year of changes like no other.  Things were going along swimmingly for quite some time before the last quarter of the year hit. Now, after having four working cars in the household–a 22-year-old Corolla, an 8-year-old Honda SUV, an 11-year-old Camry, and a very old minivan–two of our cars are kaput.

The Camry, which was my husband’s, has developed a stalling problem that only occurs on occasion, like once a week or once every two weeks. After taking it to our very competent mechanic who could find no problems with it, it is now at the dealership. The mechanics there too are finding nothing out of the ordinary.

We’ve done our own research and found that this problem is not all that unusual with this fifth-generation V6 Camry, but there never seems to be a definitive reason for the stalling. One post we read on a forum sounded as if we had written it, the problem was so identifiable. That Camry owner ended up selling the vehicle, so we never heard what the resolution was, if there ever was one. Very frustrating for a car that has up until now displayed no problems.

Then, the transmission on our ’96 minivan that our teenage son uses went out–again (American made)–and we are not putting good money after bad to fix that thing. We will look for something small and affordable. Or he can learn to drive the stick and take over our 22-year-old Corolla while I get a more decent used car, although I do love that bare-bones Corolla.

I guess this is a lesson in “things don’t last forever”–cherished vehicles or human beings. We have to get the most out of them while they are with us and move on when it’s their time to go–or not “go,” as the case may be. I just despise car shopping–whether for used or new–but it will be nice, if it comes to that, to have a brand-new car to start from scratch with. So, it looks like 2013 will be a year of “new beginnings.”


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