So my 1994 Ford Aerostar van, that I have had since 1995 didn't pass the smog check this time around. The diagnosis: it needs a new catalytic converter. With estimates of parts and labor ranging from $300 plus parts and up (and parts were going to be around $600 - $1100 depending upon where you got them) with no guarantee that it would pass smog after having the repairs done, I decided it was finally time to get a new vehicle. Actually it had been my plan to get a new one in two years (provided the van had passed smog this year), so my timetable was moved up.
After checking out the prices of brand new, and nearly new vehicles I knew I would be better off getting a good older model van. I finally ended up with a 2003 GMC Safari passenger van. It takes a little getting used to something different but I think I'm going to like it okay. Compared to my Ford its hardly been driven. No cracked bumper, no power steering pump that needs replaced again, no cracked radiator that costs $200 - $300 to replace, no 14" tires that have to be special ordered, a working air conditioner (that will be a novelty as mine hasn't worked in ten years LOL), no dull, chipped, peeling paint, and only 120,000 miles as opposed to 270,000 (250,000 of which I myself put on that van, did I mention that it was a great van).
And the silver lining, the State is giving my $1500.00 to retire (can you say crush it like a soda can) the old van.
Still I'm going to miss traveling in the old van. It has a lot of memories in it, trips to Missouri with my parents, all those antiques and crafts shows up and down the coast, Easter parties at my Sisters house.
Time to say goodbye old friend, and hello new friend. I just pray it is as good the one that I'm letting go.