It Served Us Well

We sold our van Friday, a Plymouth Grand Voyager. We bought it new in ’96. It’s been great, a family van, a youth group van, a camper and a daily driver. It has the typical battle scars and ailments of a 19 year old vehicle. After about 200,000 miles the transmission began giving us signs that it may need attention, but it has continued to serve.
The potential buyer and I took it for a test drive. I jiggled the keys as was necessary to turn the ignition and get us started. The transmission will sometimes hesitate to go into gear, and has been growling when in gear, but it didn’t hesitate today. I stopped soon and traded places so he could drive. He was watching for it to overheat (driving up Chehalem Mountain) but the temperature needle remained center gauge, although the front struts rattled, the headliner was sagging over the driver with a dark stain from an attempted repair, and the serpentine belt resumed squealing loudly halfway through the drive.
I didn’t think it likely I would get my full asking price considering the transmission noise and random failure, the leaking radiator, cracked passenger mirror, frequent squawking interference of the stereo speakers, and 209,000 miles on the odometer. His cash offer might not have been an unreasonable. The green coolant streaming down the driveway between us as we stood at the open hood made it difficult to counter his offer with any sincerity. I hope he made it home.

Almost 20 years ago

Almost 20 years ago


4 comments on “It Served Us Well

  1. Don MacDonald says:

    That is nice you were able to let it go with all of the problems.  I may end up doing that with Motor home in time ??    So now what are you going to get or are you ?   As for us were doing ok . I am starting to have a few problems with my left keen or back of it like it was many years ago. Having problems walking and hurts when ever I bend it back . I plan on having it look at I hope this week. I will let you know .  thanks for keeping up to date  DON

    • scanfie says:

      Hi, Don: I hope your knee is feeling better. I did have to replace the power steering pump on the van or we might have had to sell it for salvage. Power steering in our old cars was an option, but I don’t think these vans were ever intended to drive without it. It was not an enjoyable repair job, but it felt good to get it done, and was $70 well spent.

  2. Tahoe girl says:

    Good post! I have a dodge 1999 grand caravan we also bought new. It’s been on every camping trip with 2 kids, giant Newfoundland dogs too. I have @150,000 miles on it but it still runs. I’m not giving up on her till she sputters her last backfire. ( no it’s not doing that), but the front struts are gone and it most of the windows don’t open… Ha , so I understand your post completely.

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