How to prepare for the end of the road?

dchroustdchroust Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
How to prepare for the end of the road?

Four times each week I drive my 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier to work from Harris County to College Station, Texas, 67 miles each way. As a devoted and attentive (but technically unskilled) owner and with the lightest possible touch and step behind the wheel (to the displeasure of some fellow drivers), I now approach an odometer reading of 150,000 and gaze with unease from a car that is the last of its kind on the roads I travel.

I know I was not supposed to get this far in a Chevrolet Cavalier. Each day as I set out, often before or after dark, I wonder if I will meet the end this time, somewhere among those countless head of cattle there in that tangled country between home and desk. I shudder at the grotesquely indifferent stares of the cattle that may then be my only company.

How should I prepare for the end of the road? What will the state demand of me? What arrangements might I be prudent to make now for my Chevy Cavalier?

David Chroust


  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    and a former resident of Brazoria County just to your South, I say you should give your loyal Cavalier a proper send off and purchase another companion before said Cavalier expires and you must mire the difficulty of having cow flatulence as your only source of oxygen while stuck on the roadside.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,609
    ...well, first thing I would do is take the car to a mechanic that you trust, and have them look over the car, to see if they could find any potential trouble spots. If the car gets a clean bill of health, that should ease some of your fears as you set out to work.

    If you've been gentle enough on that car, and kept up on maintenance, even a Cavalier should last. I could see something like a bad starter or alternator, or fuel pump leaving you stranded. You can make it for awhile with no alternator, but the starter or fuel pump can end it right then and there! Or electrical problems. Any of these could leave you stranded, but aren't that big of an expense to repair.

    Still, if you're starting to feel uneasy about the car, with that age and mileage, I'd suggest donating it for a tax writeoff. Even if the car's been running flawlessly, I don't think there'd be much demand for it selling it outright, so that might be a hassle. If you trade it in, the dealer would basically take it off your hands, since he's probably going to wholesale it anyway. And a junkyard might only give you $50-100 for it. If you donate it though, you can write off its blue book retail value, presuming you itemize on your income taxes.

    As for preparing for the car's final destination, just make sure that you turn in the tags and registration to the DMV before you cancel the insurance, and keep the receipt that they give you, just in case they later try to say you didn't turn 'em in. If the thing breaks down on the side of the road, it may be tempting to just leave it there and let the state take it. However, I think they'll try to fine you, and make your life a living hell.
  • julusjulus Member Posts: 26
    Admit it David, you are in love with that car. The feeling comes through your writing. And on some level, the car loves you. An act of mutual destruction is the only answer. I see movie potential in this ...
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    I have a '92 Corsica. Which I gave to my daughter. Agter 5 years I got it back. I liked the car and was somewhat attached to it. In the past year and a half it has cost me 1700 (about the value of the car). Had I to do it over I would have gotten rid of it. Now if the car does cost me 1700 and thats for 2 yeats, its not a bad deal. Problem is the reliability. But my experience is that beyond 100K and expecially the age (13 years in your case) statistically you are going to have a 500 dollar bill a couple times a year. However if you have all good hoses-including the heater hoses and a good belt it probably won't let you sit. Unless your water pump has been replaced it's a time bomb. Check for a sign of antifreeze under the car before each trip. Cooling systems are what stop you on the road. But as I said be prepared for things to break. You are right to think it through before bad things happen. At least look for a potential replacement.

    Good luck
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