In 2001 I realized a dream and purchased a truck. OK, it wasn't exactly a truck.
It was a 1999 Ford Explorer. I bought it used with 20,000 miles on it.
But it's basically a Ford Ranger with a truck cap.
We've been through a lot, me and that rig.
Had some issues with the engine not turning over in cold weather and found out it [thanks to my mechanically-inclined friend, Micah] it was the IAC. They're substandard on the Explorer, so a few years later I keep a ratchet set in the car with me and you tap on it to make it run.
Making a left turn onto Tylersville Road one snowy day I was t-boned by a careless driver and had to get some major front end body work done on it.
Right after we sold our house and were living in a friend's basement, the crankshaft inexplicably fell out of the engine. Fortunately, for the first time in my life, I took the extended warranty out on it and they replaced it with a rebuilt engine.
But through three dwelling places and as many jobs, that car has stuck with me. And we paid it off a few years ago which even makes it nicer. So even though the temperature/compass console no longer works, and my washer fluid won't come out, I've grown quite fond of that vehicle.
Last Monday night I could really feel that the Explorer was shaking in the rear. It had been getting progessively worse the past few weeks, but I chalked it up to all the potholes around the city. I finally got it into the shop and it needed major suspension work, new tires, and some minor exhaust work.
And they weren't going to do the work for free.
We discussed the possibilities of going to one car, but it just isn't feasible now with Kelly working and me in school. We briefly pondered if it was worth the investment to fix this car or if we should get a new [used] one.
But, in the end, we decided to put the cash into the vehicle. So they fixed it up, we picked it up right before the blizzard, and it sat on a sidestreet for a few days. I finally drove it around on Monday and it rides like a dream.
I'm excited about a few more years of my and the Explorer traversing greater Cincinnati and beyond.